Handling Job Interview after Long Unemployment Period
Updated : February 8th, 2012
Many American who became jobless in the early days of recession remain unemployed and the practical and emotional toll is immense. The recent jobs report had mixed news. Overall unemployment levels have resolved at a relatively lower 8.5% percent but almost 5.6 million Americans have been out of work for more than 6 months and nearly 3.9 million for more than a year. Presently, employers are spoiled for choices. Many people are applying for the same job and unless you have a great work history, you have less chance of getting selected.
When someone who has been laid off for more than six months applies for a job, it’s hard to get back in. Employers look at the long term unemployed with a suspicious eye and have questions about that resume gap. Even if you have a great CV, the employer will think….if no one else is hiring this person, why should I? Moreover, they might also think that you are not motivated to find work and are not trying hard.
Long term unemployment leads to lack of confidence and once you begin to feel unworthy of a job, you stop bothering about your look and punctuality becomes less important. The more rejections you get the less confident you feel and the drive to live life can be exhausting…it’s a vicious circle.
Be positive while explaining long-term unemployment
The fact is that recruiters will presume that you have a fault or some other negative reason for your lack of work. Hiring managers will anticipate you to hold yourself accountable and at least be able to clearly give one or two genuine reasons for long- term unemployment. If you can’t confess to what has happened to some degree, then the supposition will be you are faulty in your ability to see the situation for what it is. In addition, you will be seen as someone who accuses others for setbacks.
Though the average length of unemployment in America is 10 months, you cannot mention down economy the only reason for your problem. This doesn’t make you look unlucky but you appear someone who feels offended and helpless. So, a valid reason for being jobless for this long is a combination of the current economy and the mistakes made during the job hunt process. This will exhibit professionalism and the ability to learn from mistakes.
It’s very important to assure the interviewer that you’re not out of touch with your industry. For this, you should be capable of explaining the top trends, changes and challenges that are being practiced by your industry. This will explain your dedication to your field and your wish to stay in it. Emphasizing volunteer or the freelance work is the best way to clear that you have been making efforts to keep your skills up-to-date. Lastly, this shows that you understand the value of utilizing your time and energy as a way to continue growing yourself.
Many individuals have lost their job without any fault of their own, yet they are facing a crisis of confidence in their abilities. If you don’t deal with that fear, it will translate in your body language and facial expressions. Hiring managers will see through you, if you think you’re doing a fabulous job masking it. So, it is always good to work with an experienced career coach who can help you work through your feelings.
With unique personality humor can be used when discussing long-term unemployment. Too much joking and excuses will make it seem as if you don’t appreciate what has happened to you. Responsibility must be your mantra, when it comes to long-term unemployment.
Leave your past behind and keep your future growing
Keep yourself away from the people in the same boat. You need to surround yourself with people who are working in your industry. This can be done by joining groups on LinkedIn in your area of expertise, attending industry events and setting up interviews with people working in same domains that you aspire to. There are many opportunities to be to be found; but you must be looking in the right places.