I was working for XY. In month 4, the egomaniac CTO called his nearly 40 employees to the meeting room just to humiliate me. He made me connect my laptop to the projector to revert a change he perceived as disobedient while the others watched. I quit on the spot. He was fired for this and I got a clean experience letter (stating I quit). I could have stayed at this company but his favourites (who could resent me) are still there and its very bad there: it took 1.5 years to release what was a 4 month project.

I worked 5 years and 4 jobs, which won't inspire confidence in an interviewer. How do I explain to an interviewer to a employee or freelance contract position I had to quit because of these circumstances? The other stakeholders agree I suffered an injustice but I don't want an awkward reference-checking call.

I'm working in India.

  • Is this 4-month stint counted among those 4 jobs? Was that your latest job? (meaning you are without a job now) What were the durations and the order of your other 3 (or 4?) jobs?
    – Masked Man
    Commented May 14, 2017 at 10:46
  • @MaskedMan that was my fourth job. I have been a wannapreneur for 7 months. The others were 11 months, 18 months, 2 years. Commented May 14, 2017 at 10:48
  • @aitchnyu What were the reasons for leaving those earlier jobs? The 2 year job sounds ok. The 18 month job would also be sort of ok if it were not part of this sequence. As you have rightly realized, a 4-month stint (regardless of the reason) in the sequence makes you look like a job hopper. It is not the end of the world though. The reasons for leaving those previous jobs may help to salvage the situation somewhat.
    – Masked Man
    Commented May 14, 2017 at 11:29

3 Answers 3


Chris G has the simple answer in his comment to Swizzler:

My boss did something inappropriate, which led to his dismissal, but created an environment in which I was not comfortable working

It is truthful, shows that the fault was not yours, and does not badmouth your previous employer. You do not need to say anything further.


Short answer:


Depending on your age its still normal to switch jobs often, if you explain that you're still trying to find something to stay and a place where you love the job and the company loves you you're not afraid for a long term commitment.

If they specifically ask why you quit you can explain that a situation existed which got your boss fired but still let you in doubt if you fit into their culture - you want to achive your goals but you want to achive them WITH your coworkes, not against them.

  • I'm having trouble parsing the second paragraph and what if they assume I was also naughty? Commented May 14, 2017 at 16:24
  • @aitchnyu if they assume it you can't do much. Pretty sure they will ask, then you can explain that you couldn't see yourself in their culture - and offer them references, if they want they can call your supervisor from the previous job. Even just giving them the reference will reduce their mistrust.
    – Swizzler
    Commented May 14, 2017 at 16:31
  • 5
    If pressed, someone like, "My boss did something inappropriate, which led to his dismissal, but created an environment in which I was not comfortable working"
    – Chris G
    Commented May 14, 2017 at 18:00
  • I disagree - 4 jobs in 5 years is not normal in professional careers, even if you are just starting out...
    – HorusKol
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 1:39

its very bad there

This is probably the only important thing you said in your entire post. When you describe "an awkward reference checking call" or two employees who now might dislike you all I am thinking is seriously, you are letting an awkward phone call and the hypothetical feelings of two people who are not that important to you drive your career right now? 4 jobs in 5 years sounds about right to me, I don't know why you have a problem with this. Do your research, which means actually interview at firms where it is not very bad.

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