How To Talk About Your Covid-19 Related Unemployment In Your Next Interview

How To Talk About Your Covid-19 Related Unemployment In Your Next Interview

As Covid-19 spread across the US, more and more individuals found themselves out of work. Almost every industry in the country was affected by the pandemic, and businesses across the board laid-off employees. Some people needed to quit their jobs to stay home and care for their kids. Whatever your reason for Covid unemployment was, you weren't the only one without a job. However, that doesn't mean you should go into a job interview with no explanation. Learn more about how to discuss your pandemic unemployment during an interview.

Dealing with Resume Gaps

When a manager is looking at resumes, it doesn't matter why you're unemployed. They see a gap on your resume and start to worry. And, sadly, you won't have an opportunity to speak up for yourself until you get an interview. If the manager chooses to call you in for an interview, you should be prepared to impress. You need to work hard to overcome any preconceived notions associated with your employment gap.

Fortunately, Covid has made it slightly easier to explain away a resume gap. Instead of immediately dismissing applicants for a gap on their resume, employers give them a chance during the interview.

What You Can Do to Impress

To overcome any bias about your Covid-19 unemployment, you have to stand out during your interview. But that's easier said than done. You can't say a few words about your unemployment and expect a prospective employer to hire you.

Employers want to know you'll stick around and be an asset to them. By following these tips, you can show them your worth in an interview.

Prepare for the Questions

Even if you spent months preparing, you couldn't predict every question during a job interview. However, if you were unemployed for any length of time, you can be sure the hiring manager will ask about it. Go into the interview knowing you need to discuss what happened.

As you search for jobs, think about how to handle the questions about your unemployment. Take notes on all the ways in which you can answer questions regarding the resume gap. Then, pick the best three answers. Approach a friend or family member about hosting a mock interview. When they ask about the unemployment period, try out each of your three answers.

Talk About It at Home

Unemployment isn't something people like to discuss with their friends and family. For that reason, you probably didn't tell everyone in your life about your unemployment. To practice for your interview, tell a friend about the experience and how you feel about it.

The more you talk about unemployment, the easier it will be to talk about it during the interview. On the day of your interview, you can feel at ease.

Tell the Truth

There's no reason for dishonesty regarding your unemployment stint. Although a hiring manager will ask you about it, they won't refuse you the job because of the unemployment. They could, however, refuse you a job for lying about your start and end dates or your reasons for unemployment.

In the end, the employer will find out about the deceit. Whatever industry you work in, word gets around quickly. It's likely that someone at the company knows about you or your unemployment. It's best to be truthful.

Be Concise

When people get nervous, they tend to ramble. As you try to explain your resume gap, avoid babbling on about it. You don't need to tell a lengthy story detailing the events that lead up to your unemployment. Keep your explanation short and sweet.

So what should you say? First, explain that you enjoyed your experience at the business, but you were let go. In some cases, the manager might not ask you to elaborate. You can spend more time focusing on your accomplishments and skills.

If you spend too much time discussing your unemployment, you take away from your assets. Focusing on the negative never has good results. If possible, leave your answer two or three sentences short.

Discuss How You Spent Your Time

During your unemployment period, you had time to improve your skills. Did you take an online course, practice a skill, or read a book? If you used your time wisely, you'll really impress the hiring manager.

When you're given an opportunity, explain how you improved yourself while you were unemployed. By showing the manager you used your time wisely, you can use your unemployment as an asset instead of a red mark on your record.

Deal with Controversy

If you lost your job for misconduct or any other reason, you probably don't like to talk about it. Certainly, you don't want to discuss the matter with a hiring manager.

Despite your feelings, don't hide from the issues you fear. Address them right away, refusing to skirt the problem. As you talk about your termination, explain what you learned from the other experience. Convince the hiring manager you have no interest in making the same mistakes from your past.

Don't Speak Badly of Your Previous Employer

Was your previous boss a horrible leader? If so, you might want to reveal their nature to the hiring manager. However, this won't help you receive a job offer. The negativity comes across as unprofessional, and you should do your best to avoid it.

You don't need to say anything good about them either. Rather than mention the boss or company, talk about yourself and your hopes for the future.

Be Confident

Depending on the situation, body language can matter more than your actual words. If you're confident in your interview, you improve your chances of a job offer. No matter what you feel inside, exude confidence on the outside.

Getting confidence isn't easy and requires work on your part. First, you need to prepare and practice for the interview. By rehearsing your answers, you build your confidence. You can also get feedback on whether or not your body language makes you look confident.

Although this tip is helpful, it's hard to get right. There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance. If you act superior, you could miss out on a job offer. But get it right and you’re one step closer to a new job.

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