When you’ve been out of work for six months or more, interviewers are going to ask, “What have you been doing for the last six months?” You need to explain reasons why you haven’t been working.
You can’t very well answer, “Well…duh…I’ve been looking for work you jerk!” You need to prepare a logical response for why you’ve been out of work for so long. How? By giving your absence from the workforce a positive spin. To this end, you might say, “Yes, it has been awhile. And I’m looking forward to getting back to work at the right company.”
When you’re taking classes, your answer can be straight forward: “Since I’ve been downsized, I’ve been taking courses to pick up more computer skills that I’m now offering to my next employer.”
But let’s say that you’ve been sitting on the sidelines for a few months, idling away your time, or working through a bucket list of accumulated things that had to be done around the house or apartment. The best approach is to be honest. Say, “After twenty-five years as a working stiff, I treated myself to some well deserved time off. Now I’m refreshed and ready for work.”
If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines for just a few months—no sweat. But when you’ve been unemployed for more than that, you need to explain the reason why by putting a positive spin on it.
“Are you still working?” is one of the tough interview questions you could be asked. Click here to read how to answer the “are you still working” question.
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RANDY PLACE is a career strategist and author of Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach, the perfect companion for both job hunters and careerists.