Being laid off from a job is never fun, and one of the most difficult parts about being laid off is having to find a new job to pay the bills. Often times individuals who’ve been laid off have little confidence during the interview process and experience a difficult time selling themselves to employers. One of the best ways you can help yourself is by getting ready for tough interview questions, especially in preparation for your first interview since being laid off. Here are three of the most common questions you may be asked and how you can effectively handle them.
Why were you laid off?
It’s critical to remember that employers are more concerned with why you were laid off than the simple fact that you were laid off. Employers know that layoffs occur frequently, but want to have an understanding of the circumstances that took place with your former employer. In most cases, honesty is always the best policy. Whether you were part of a mass layoff or part of a smaller group of layoffs, be sure to explain the situation clearly during your interview and don’t let your emotions dictate how you respond.
Why have you been out of work for so long?
If you’ve been unemployed for a significant amount of time, there’s a good chance you may encounter this question. In most cases, it’s best to explain to the interviewer that you’ve been out of work by choice. Maybe you had to refine your skills and take some classes, or maybe you had to take care of some personal matters. Whatever the reason, be up front and honest. Most importantly, make it clear that though you’ve had time off, you’re serious about securing a job and getting back into the workforce.
What have you been doing since you were laid off?
Even if you’ve been actively searching for a new job, your interviewer is going to suspect that you’ve had some free time in between job applications and interviews. When answering this question, be sure to demonstrate ways in which you’ve focused on your professional development, such as attending industry events, volunteering, or even exercising. Any way you can show that you’ve used your time and energy for personal and professional growth will reflect positively on you during your interview.
It’s no doubt that the interview process is challenging, especially if your work history includes being laid off. However, with the right preparation, you’ll gain the confidence you need to impress your interviewer and put yourself on the path to an exciting new position.
What are you waiting for? Let one of our talented recruiters help you prepare for your next interview! Get in touch with Keepers Staffing, a leading staffing provider in Washington, D.C.; Alexandria, VA; Baltimore, MD and Rockville, MD; and learn how we can help you find a new job!