How to Address Being Laid-off in a Job Interview
Addressing the separation from your last employer when it wasn't voluntary can be tricky. Here are the ways to best handle a layoff in your next job interview.
Being laid off can be a difficult thing to address in a job interview. You want to be honest about why you are no longer with your previous company but you don't want to sound negative. Here are some tips on how to talk about being laid off in a job interview.
1. Be Honest
The first thing you need to do is be honest about the situation. If you try to sugar coat it or avoid the subject, it will only make you look bad in the long run. Be upfront and honest about what happened and why you are no longer with your previous company.
This includes talking about an upcoming lay-off. If you know your job is going to be eliminated, don't try to keep it a secret. Be honest and tell the interviewer about the situation. They will appreciate your transparency.
2. Don't Blame Others
When you are explaining the situation, it is important that you do not place blame on anyone else. This includes your previous employer, your co-workers, or anyone else involved in the situation. Taking responsibility for your part in the situation will show that you are taking ownership of the situation and that you are ready to move on.
People get let go all of the time for lots of reasons. It's ok to talk about it now, but don't get stuck in the weeds when you do. Remember, a job interview is about you and your abilities to do the new job that you are being considered for. So, keep all of your answers about you as well as relevant to what the interviewer wants to know.
3. Focus on the Positive
When you are talking about being laid off, try to focus on the positive aspects of the situation. For example, you can mention that you now have more time to dedicate to your job search or that you are excited about the opportunity to start fresh with a new company. Focusing on the positive will help put a positive spin on the situation and make you look more favorable to potential employers.
Keep in mind that being let go from your last job does not mean that you are desperate for a new job. Instead, it can mean an opportunity to find your perfect role or to pursue your dreams. Make sure that you talk about how you are using the separation from your last job as a means to pursue your goals and build your career.
4. Highlight Your Experience
Even though being laid off can be a difficult thing to talk about, it is important to remember that you are not the first person to go through this situation. In fact, many interviewers have been in the same position before. As such, they will understand and empathize with what you are going through. Make sure you connect with the interviewer as a person first and that will make it easier for them to empathize with your recent employment separation.
To highlight your experience, make sure to prepare for your job interview. This means compiling examples and talking points about your strengths. Talk about your skills and strengths in each of your answers to the interview questions. This will shift your focus away from being let go and back to what you can do as a professional.
5. Avoid Badmouthing Your Previous Employer
One of the worst things you can do in a job interview is badmouthing your previous employer, boss, or colleagues. This will only make you look bad and will reflect poorly on your character. If you were laid off due to downsizing or restructuring, simply explain the situation without placing blame or getting into negativity.
It is also important to avoid talking about salary or benefits when you are badmouthing your previous employer. This will only make you look greedy and unprofessional. If you do have negative things to say about your job, keep them to yourself. The last thing you want to do is turn off a potential employer with your negativity.
6. Be Prepared to Answer Questions About the Lay-Off
In addition to avoiding badmouthing your previous employer, you also need to be prepared to answer questions about the layoff. This includes questions about why you were let go and what you have been doing since then.
When you are preparing for your job interview, make sure to have a few key points ready to discuss. For example, you can talk about how the lay-off has made you more excited about job hunting or how you have been using the extra time to network and learn new skills. Whatever you do, make sure that your answers are positive and focus on your abilities and experience.
7. Don’t Let the Lay-Off Define You
It is important to remember that being laid off does not define you as a person. This is just a small bump in the road of your career. It does not mean that you are a bad employee or that you will never find another job.
Use the lay-off as motivation to pursue your dream job. Remember that you are in control of your career and that you can make the decisions that will lead you to success. Do not let the lay-off get you down – use it as an opportunity to pursue your goals and build your career.
8. Show That You Are Moving Forward
Finally, it is important that you show that you are moving forward from the situation. Let the interviewer know that you have learned from the experience and that you are ready to move on to a new job. Showing that you are taking the situation in stride will help put the interviewer at ease and make them more likely to consider you for the job.
Losing your job can be difficult, but it is important to remember that it is not the end of the world. When addressing being laid off in a job interview, be honest, avoid placing blame, focus on the positive, and avoid badmouthing your previous employer. Following these tips will help you navigate this tricky topic and give you a better chance of landing the next job in your career.
Want to make sure that you put your best foot forward in your next job interview? Our job interview coaches and outplacement career experts would love to help. Submit your information below and our team will be in touch to talk about how we may be able to assist.