Addressing Employment Gaps in an Interview
One of the most feared parts of the job search is having gaps of employment on your resume. While it may not be the end of the world, if the gap between jobs is significant, chances are a hiring manager will bring it up during an interview. This dreaded question can make the interview an even more awkward conversation. Knowing how to answer it the right way can potentially make all the difference in the outcome of your interview.
There is nothing wrong with having gaps between jobs, whatever the reason may be. Maybe you decided to spend more time with your family, or change career paths, there is no reason for anyone to make you feel lesser than simply because you took some time off. When it comes to answering this question during an interview, it is easy to become defensive. You know why you took time off, but explaining it so the person you’re talking to understands can be a challenge in and of itself.
When we get into uncomfortable situations, most of us tend to over talk and maybe divulge too much. When asked about a gap in employment on the resume, you may panic and end up saying too much. In these situations, saying less is usually the best thing to do.
Offer an Explanation
There is a delicate balance between oversharing and explaining yourself. Finding the right balance, although sometimes difficult, can go a long way. Explaining your situation may let the hiring manager or interviewer to feel more comfortable and perhaps even relate to your situation. Just remember, you do not need to justify your reasons to anyone.
After answering the question to the best of your ability, it is time to move on. Explain your situation, why it made you a better person, what you learned from the experience and how you can be successful in this new role then move onto the next question. Just because you have a gap between jobs, that doesn’t define who you are as a person or employee. Finding a job is difficult, no matter where you are at in your career. Remember that.