Explaining Unemployment in a Job Interview

Explaining Unemployment in a Job InterviewAlthough the unemployment rate is at 4.1 percent, the lowest it’s been in 17 years, there are still 6.7 million people who are without jobs living in the United States.

Regardless of the reasons for the gaps in your employment history, if you’re looking for work, you may be wondering how you’re going to address the subject during an interview. But, fear not! While your work situation will surely be discussed, follow these tips to calmly and professionally handle any tough questions that may arise.

Be honest – While you may want to avoid the truth, especially in situations where you were let go involuntarily, it’s crucial that you’re honest. You never want lies that you’ve told to be exposed in the future and telling the truth upfront will show honesty and integrity to your potential employer.

Stick to the point – Although you may feel the need to have to explain every single detail of what led up to your unemployment, no employer has the time to listen to such a lengthy explanation.

Hiring managers want to be assured that your time away from work will not impact your ability to perform the job well. In one to two sentences, discuss the employment gap and then move on to explain how you’ve been preparing for the particular job opportunity that you are interviewing for.

Keep positive – No matter how unhappy you may have been at your previous job, it’s never okay to complain about former employers or co-workers. Not only does it come off unprofessional, but it signals red flags that you could be a problem in the workplace.

If you were fired or laid off, explain with tact why it happened. Highlight the lessons you learned and how it’s helped you to improve your work ethics.

Come prepared – Before going into an interview, it’s always a good idea to research the company you want to work for. Understand what the company does and what your role in the organization would be. Preparing yourself not only shows your interest in the job but that you are doing all you can to regain employment.

Explaining your unemployment in a job interview doesn’t have to be scary, and honestly, hiring managers are familiar with all kinds of hiring and firing situations. So, do your best with the opportunities you are given and you will find a job that’s right for you.

With many jobs trending up in the construction, food services, healthcare, and manufacturing industries, why not gain the skills you need to start a new career? The Jobs Partnership offers an innovative no-cost training program called LifeWorks for men and women who are unemployed. Upon graduating from the course, you will be able to meet and interview with our employer partners as well as access job postings on our Orlando Jobs Connection website. For more information or to see if you qualify, contact The Jobs Partnership by calling 407-641-0755 or by filling out our LifeWorks application online.

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