A tough question if you’ve been on the beach a long time. You don’t want to seem like damaged goods.
You want to emphasize factors which have prolonged your job search by your own choice.
Example: “After my job was terminated, I made a conscious decision not to jump on the first opportunities to come along. In my life, I’ve found out that you can always turn a negative into a positive IF you try hard enough. This is what I determined to do. I decided to take whatever time I needed to think through what I do best, what I most want to do, where I’d like to do it…and then identify those companies that could offer such an opportunity.”
“Also, in all honesty, you have to factor in the recession (consolidation, stabilization, etc.) in the (banking, financial services, manufacturing, advertising, etc.) industry.” “So between my being selective and the companies in our industry downsizing, the process has taken time. But in the end, I’m convinced that when I do find the right match, all that careful evaluation from both sides of the desk will have been well worthwhile for both the company that hires me and myself.
Answering the question "Why have you been out of work so long?" in an interview can be a bit tricky, but it's important to be honest and transparent in your response.
Here are a few examples of how to answer this question:
- Explain any personal reasons: If you have been out of work due to personal reasons such as taking care of a family member, you can explain this in a respectful and honest manner. For example, "I have been out of work for the past year because I have been taking care of my elderly mother, who has been ill."
- Discuss any unemployment or underemployment: If you have been unemployed or underemployed, you can explain the reasons for this and how you have been actively searching for new opportunities. For example, "I have been out of work for the past several months because I was laid off due to budget cuts at my last company, and have been actively searching for new opportunities in my field."
- Highlight any voluntary reasons: If you have been out of work voluntarily, such as taking time off to travel or pursue personal interests, you can explain this in a positive manner. For example, "I have been out of work for the past several months because I took some time off to travel and pursue some personal interests, but I am now ready to return to the workforce."
- Emphasize your continued learning and development: Show that you have been actively working to improve your skills and knowledge during your time out of work. For example, "I have been out of work for the past several months, but I have been actively working to improve my skills and knowledge by taking online courses and attending workshops in my field."
- Show that you are eager to return to work: Express your enthusiasm and eagerness to return to the workforce, and how you are ready to contribute to a new company. For example, "I have been out of work for the past several months, but I am eager to return to the workforce, and I am confident that my skills and experience will be a valuable asset to your company."
It's important to remember that the interviewer wants to know that you're genuinely interested in the position and that you'll be a good fit for the company and the team, and not just looking for any job.
Showing your enthusiasm and willingness to continue learning and developing skills will demonstrate that you're a good fit for the company and the position.