How to Deal With Extended Gaps in Your Work Experiences

By Christopher Everett

     Few things are much more stressful during a job interview than coping with some of the more intense questions. Having a gap or break in employment record can make an already tense experience that much more challenging. Try to feel yourself hearing this job interivew question - "Can you provide more details about the gaps in your work history?" It is one of the more dreaded second interview questions a job candidate can be asked if not well prepared, but the strain can just as simply be relieved with one or two simple steps.

     Job history gaps might be the result of any number things. They might be due to a layoff, health problems for you or a member of the family, or any possible number of other causes. What the business wants to realise is why the breaks exist and appraise the candidate's employability by taking into account the explanations offered. At best the employer will learn if the individual faced problems outside their control in some cases, while in others they will learn a person simply is unemployable. With the cost to hire for an open position averaging two and a half times or sometimes more of the annual salary being offered for the job, it becomes clear corporations attempt to make efficient hiring choices.

     As you're probably coming to realise, not having a good reply to this question could be the honest to goodness difference between having employment disparities be a non-issue and sinking your possibilities at landing a new hiring paying job. Dealing with work disparities and queries about them is relatively simple. The key is preparation. Review your work history identifying any extended work discrepencies of more than a month. Note the explanation for the gap to bring it fully into memory. After, sum up the explanation into single or multiple part sentence answer if asked about that interruption. For example, if an individual with a lengthy record as a contract worker experienced a couple of months of unemployment in their work history they might reply when asked questions about it with "The position was cut due to downsizing, and it took me one or two months to secure a new opportunity." If it were due to company layoffs it might read as "The period being asked about was due to company headcount layoffs. As much as I liked the position it was included with other cuts." The important thing to recall is keep the answer concise volunteering nothing more than what is needed to answer the question and frame the answer in a good fashion. Never speak poorly of a prior employer regardless of the degree the ill feeling you may have for the company.

     Just as important as the answer itself is what you are doing with your time if an employment gap was extended for a longer period like half a year or longer. It's vital that you demonstrate your job related abilities failed to become rusty, outmoded, or that you spent your time on the couch. Did you volunteer with a local organization, attended job retraining, take courses at a local community college, or something similar to this to maximize your time? If so , this demonstrates intense desire with the potential employer you have remained relevant and current with the heart beat of the labor pool. If you have not, keep this information under consideration should you find yourself facing a future situation with time between employers.

     What should ideally be taken away is second interview questions can offer a large number of challenges to the unprepared. Against this, preparations are not tricky to undertake but if neglected can lead to enduring a stress filled interview. Knowing this, invest the justified time to stand by for many questions you may surely face. In fact , the interview experience you have will be determined by your level of complete preparedness and that is something each us has full control over if we choose to exercise it.

About the Author:

Chris Everett is a hiring manager giving help to those wanting to understand how to successfully answer second interview questions. Confidently respond to second interview questions with his help and advice.