In the best of circumstances, job interviews can feel stressful. However, when you have to explain a lay-off, it can be even more nerve-wracking. How do you approach this sensitive topic in a way that won’t impact a potential offer? Here are some tips to help you:

Be honest about the situation.

Trying to avoid the topic or talk your way around it doesn’t work. Instead, just be honest about the situation. For instance, if you were laid off due to the pandemic, explaining that will go a long way in positioning you in a more positive way.


Bring it up yourself.

Don’t just hope the hiring manager won’t ask about your layoff. They will, and bringing it up first will demonstrate to them you have nothing to hide. It will show you’re confident and comfortable talking about the situation, as well as willing to answer any questions they might have.


Offer facts if you can.

If you were one of hundreds of employees laid off from your company, tell that to the hiring manager. Whether it was due to the pandemic or restructuring, explaining that your job loss was part of a larger company issue – and not based on your performance. This will take the attention away from you.


Keep what you say simple.

Don’t be too long-winded when it comes to talking about your layoff. Explain the “what” and “why” it happened and then move on. Be prepared to talk about what you learned about the situation or any silver linings that came from it, such as the opportunity to find a more rewarding position. Then move onto why you’re a good fit for the job.


Practice what you’re going to say ahead of time.

This is not a conversation you want to walk into without preparation. Instead, think about what you want to say and how you want to frame it. Then practice your response. You’ll feel more comfortable talking about the situation to the hiring manager. It will also help you avoid getting emotional during the conversation.


Need more help finding a new job after a company layoff?

At PrideStaff, we’re a leading employment firm in the Tempe area. We have relationships with many of the top employers throughout the area and can connect you with a great new job at organizations that are hiring. Contact us today to get started.

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