Interview Preparation 2022: Explaining a Gap in Employment

There are many reasons you might have a gap in your employment - family obligations, studying, time out travelling, redundancy. And, unless you have a significant gap of 6 months or more, they aren’t usually a concern to employers. Regardless, they shouldn’t be something that hold you back.

Tip 1: Be truthful

This is the single most important thing you can do. Employers simply want to know what you were doing during your time of unemployment and that the gap isn’t related to your lack of capability or motivation.

Tip 2: Be proactive

Employers want to see how you utilise your time. If you have a gap at present, think about how you can use your time effectively. Can you take a course? Do some voluntary work? Think about your personal development and how these things will help in your next role.

Tip 3: Be prepared

Prepare to be asked about a recent gap at interview stage. Keep the detail about what caused unemployment positive and brief, and instead expand on how you spent your time. As an example –

Reason for gap: “I enjoyed working at my previous job but unfortunately the company had to restructure and my role was made redundant”.

How you have spent your time: “Since the restructure I have taken X course to develop my customer service skills and keep up-to-date with the industry”.

Be confident and clear, without over-explaining, emphasising why your skills, experience and attitude make you the best fit for the job.

Closing Thoughts

Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon to have gaps in employment and that employers aren’t trying to catch you out. What’s most important is honesty about your career break and enthusiasm to re-enter the workplace.

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