How to Explain Unemployment in a Job Interview

Telling the interviewer that you’re currently unemployed can be stressful for everyone but don’t be too embarrassed. You can spin it to your advantage.

With 4.9 percent of the US and 5.1 percent of the UK population being unemployed, having to talk about your unemployment might not be as uncommon as you may have thought. In fact, it’s a topic that comes up in interview rooms all across the world and it’s for this reason that you shouldn’t be stressed out about discussing your unemployment. Hiring managers are used to discussing unemployment with perspective candidates and so long you keep it positive there’s no reason to worry over this.

See Also: How to Answer "Describe Yourself" in a Job Interview

Of course, that’s not to say that this topic is insignificant or unimportant, it simply needs to be dealt with swiftly and delicately and in order to help you out with being the best you could possibly be in your next interview we’ve put together a guide that will help you explain unemployment. Go through it and take notes. We are sure that with this advice in hand there’s no way you are not going to shine through.

1. Address the Issue

job interview

Obviously you are not going to be able to hide that you’ve been unemployed, your resume and your work history on it will let the hiring manager know of your employment status –or lack of- before you even work through the doors. So, it’s important to address the issue on your own.

By explaining to the hiring manager that you’ve been unemployed for quite some time you can come out being more confident and more certain that this should not in any way affect their decision.

2. Explain the Reasons for Being Unemployed

job interview candidate

It’s important to explain to the hiring manager why you’ve been unemployed and although you shouldn’t allow for this to take up too much of your interview time you should take the time to offer the hiring manager with a concise yet honest explanation as to why you had to leave the workforce.

Whether you had to give up on your job to raise your kids, take care of a loved one or had a prick for a previous boss and then had trouble getting another job it’s important that you’re honest with the hiring manager. Of course, if you identify with that last reason try to gloss over the fact and be as polite as possible. Remember that bad-mouthing previous employers never has positive results, so hold your tongue.

3. Be Positive

Job Interview

The reason why the hiring manager is interested in your unemployed is because they want to make sure that you are not lazy. They want to know that you are a capable professional who’ll be motivated and willing to go the extra mile.

Reassure the hiring manager that you’re ready to return to the workforce and focus on why you are passionate about this position. Discuss what you hope to achieve in this company explain why you’d rather have this position and work for this company than in any other position or company out there.

The more enthusiastic you are about the opportunity the more you’ll convince the hiring manager that you are ready to take over the world.

4. Talk About Skills and Qualifications Acquired During Unemployment

Job Interview

Hopefully you weren’t idle during your unemployment and you worked towards acquiring a qualification that will now help you get the job you’re after.

However, even if you didn’t go back to school or took a course you probably still acquire some new transferable skills which you can add to your resume and discuss in your job interview. So, make sure that you mentioned all the things you learnt while unemployed and your hiring manager will be dazzled by your ability to make the most out of every situation.

See Also: The 15 Hardest Interview Questions

Having been unemployed doesn’t need to scare you. You can actually use it your advantage to demonstrate your passion for work and your enthusiasm for the position.

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Have you ever had to explain unemployment in a job interview? How did you handle it? Let us know below…