Explaining the Pre-Pandemic Job Gap in Your Next Interview
Tips to Communicate Confidently.
As you return to work you may need to explain the dreaded “job gap” that isn’t COVID-19 related. Whatever the reason for it, when you interview for that coveted position, be sure you know what you’re going to say ahead of time to that hiring manager. Read through these tips on how to answer the question when it is asked.
It could be asked about, so be prepared
Did you further your knowledge by taking courses? Was research done to find viable sites to learn more in your field? Did you develop yourself personally? Whatever it is, be sure to update your resume and project positivity and confidence.
Always be honest
Social media accounts tell all. It can make or break your interview. Remember that, for the most part, your potential employer can simply look you up on social media to find out what you’ve been up to. So be truthful without going into too much gory detail. Basically let the interviewer know the reason for the job gap in your employment, making sure they know you’re now ready to get back into the workforce.
Maybe you were laid off. Here is a great way to say it:
“The last company I was employed at went through a major restructuring and as a result, my job was eliminated. I enjoyed that position so it was a very difficult time for me. During my tenure, I mastered many important skills which led me to apply for this position. I’m looking forward to applying those skills again.”
Maybe you were fired:
My former employer and I had a difference in my position responsibilities. Looking back, I know now that there are some things I could’ve done differently. I learned from that experience and I’m excited to bring the skills I’ve learned to another company.”
Maybe you needed a mental health break:
“I had some personal issues so I had to take time to focus on myself to become a stronger “me”. I’ve done that. I’m now prepared for any challenge brought my way and am very excited to prove to both my employer and myself that I’m ready, willing, and able to conquer anything.”
Without getting into specifics, let the interviewer know how you spent your time. Did you stay in touch with colleagues? Were you able to pick up some freelance work? How did you prepare for getting back into the workforce? Maybe you spent some time doing volunteer work. An employer wants to know that you’ve been active even though you weren’t employed.
Again, no details needed
If the reason is private and personal, as a last resort, tell the employer you’re not comfortable addressing the gap. This is truly the last resort. At that point, try to redirect the interview back to the fact that you know you have the skills to do the job and do it great! Do this by asking a question right after you talk about your unwillingness to share your explanation.
Having a job gap is obviously not the best scenario, but it’s nothing employers haven’t seen a million times in their career. Take a deep breath, go into that interview with confidence, and knock their socks off!
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