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The Best Interview Answer about Gaps in Employment

Answering Interview Questions about Gaps In Employment

The more extensive your job history the more likely you will have some gaps in your employment. Short gaps and obvious periods of study or job transition usually require no explanation in the job interview.

Likewise, if the gap occurred a number of years ago and has been followed by solid employment it is generally ignored. However long and recent periods of unemployment require a properly thought out job interview answer.

These gaps in employment can raise concerns in the minds of potential employers about the candidate's reliability and commitment and need to be clarified.

Reasons such as taking time off to travel, further your studies or to have children are usually straightforward explanations that can be given in the job interview.

However personal reasons can prove difficult to discuss. Giving the interview answer "for personal reasons"  to questions about why you were not working for a period of time is usually insufficient.

It is open to all sorts of misinterpretation, it also leaves the interviewer in the dark and with the perception that you may be hiding something. This makes it difficult for the interviewer to mentally move onto the more positive aspects of the job interview.

If you took time out to care for an ill family member emphasize how you had evaluated the situation and concluded that you would be unable to give the commitment you wanted to your position as well as look after the family member. You can end the discussion by assuring the interviewer that the reason has now resolved itself and you are able to recommit yourself completely to your career.

"I stayed home to look after my sick mother. I knew I would be unable to devote myself properly to my job and to being the care-taker, so I resigned. The situation has now changed and I am ready to re-enter the work force. I am excited about making a positive contribution to your company."

If you took time out to recover from an illness such as depression this can be addressed in the job interview if the employment gap is queried. Prepare a short but straightforward explanation that you feel comfortable with. Highlight how you have met the challenge and overcome your problems. In your interview answer refer to the skills you gained in your previous jobs and how they make you the right job candidate. Impress upon the interviewer your readiness and eagerness to assume new responsibilities and challenges.

"I went through a difficult time emotionally following the ........., and I took some time out to deal with this. It was a difficult period for me but I worked hard and succeeded in overcoming it. I am a stronger person for it and now I am a hundred percent ready to tackle a new job. I feel that the experience I gained at my previous company can really benefit this position in the following ways ....."

Avoid sounding defensive. Acknowledge the interviewer's concern.

"I fully understand that you need to know what I was doing during that time, and I would like to discuss this with you."

Appear composed and unapologetic, this will reassure the interviewer that you are comfortable with your reasons and that they should be too.
interview answer

If you have been looking for a job for a long time and this is queried during the interview, you can discuss how you are looking for a long term prospect and not just a paycheck. Use your interview answer to explain that you want to be sure that the job is right and go on to describe why you feel this is the right position and company for you.

Focus on the efforts you have made while you have been unemployed. Discuss any classes you have taken or any volunteer work you got involved in. Even attempts to improve your fitness or cooking skills can be viewed in a positive light! Taking on part-time and temporary work at whatever level during your job search shows a strong work ethic and flexibility. Show how you have kept up to date in your industry and job knowledge.

Taking time out to travel contributes to personal development.

"I was fortunate enough to be able to take a year out to travel extensively. I was presented with a number of challenges that taught me a great deal about myself and helped develop my abilities. I am really excited about putting these to good use in my new job."

A reference check will confirm dates of employment so it is not possible to misrepresent these in either your CV or during the job interview. The best strategy is a simple and honest interview answer that clarifies any concerns the interviewer has and highlights your ability to handle difficult situations and challenges by focusing positively on the future.

During the job interview you will be asked a number of common job interview questions and answers. Prepare for these by using the answer guidelines and sample interview answers to formulate your own winning answers in the job interview.

Source : My Career
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