If you go to an interview, you have to expect the tough questions. Hiring managers don’t want you to be sad or upset, but they do want to be flustered, because they are aware how easy it is to BS your way through a job interview. The more unprepared you are for a question, the more likely they will receive a candid answer (or, at the very least, a chance to see how you act when you are unprepared).
How to Answer
If you are asked why it has taken you so long to find employment, you have two types of answer options:
- You can talk about work you did while unemployed (starting your own business, freelancing, consulting, volunteering) and claim that you were trying your hand at those activities before you decided to re-enter the job market.
- You can make it sound like you were in no hurry.
The first is fairly easy, which is why it is strongly recommended that you keep yourself busy while you are unemployed. The busier you are, the more you can claim that it wasn’t wasted time. The latter is more difficult, which is why we will give an example below.
“I don’t know. I had a few interviews here and there, but they never seemed to pan out.”
“It was not my intention to apply to just any job that would hire me. I have been waiting for companies that meet my career goals that are looking to hire someone with my qualifications. Those are few and far between.”
A good answer implies that it hasn’t been a long time for you, and that the time you spent off work was intentional. It also compliments the company, which is something that interviewers like.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Don’t give any actual reasons.
- Say that you were working, in some way, while unemployed or
- Say that you were waiting for jobs that meet your select criteria.