How to Prepare for a Job Interview After a Layoff

Were you recently laid off from your job? If so, you have two choices. They usually include collecting unemployment for your preset time or finding a new job right away. Although many do not like to rush the process, you may want to jump right back in. With drive and determination, you could land a job interview in as little as one week. But, wait! What if it has been years since your last job interview? You are likely nervous. To help calm your nerves, continue reading on for a few helpful tips.

Practice explaining your unemployed situation. If you are jumping right in after being laid off from work, you could have an interview scheduled one week after losing your job. This is good, as it shows drive and determination. However, you may still be bitter. In this economy, many know layoffs are a common occurrence. The company you are interviewing with knows this. Do not be afraid to say you were laid off, but don’t be bitter or negative about the company that let you go. Companies need good and positive thinking employees. Nothing shows your positive attitude more than handling a layoff with dignity and respect.

Research the company in question. Right now, your goal is to find a job. You may visit a company website, look solely at their careers or employment section, and then be on your way. Once you have scheduled an interview, do the research. Use the internet or ask around. You don’t need to know the company’s entire history, but have a general idea of who and what you are dealing with. For example, if applying for a manufacturing job, know what the company makes and some of their buyers. Find a suitable way to work the information you learned into the conversation. This shows drive, determination, and action.

Familiarize yourself with common interview questions. If you were laid off from a job you had for 10 years, you may not remember what an interview was like. Ask around or use the internet to research. Some of the common questions asked include: What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What are your goals in five months and then five years? Why do you want to work for the company? Why do you feel you will be a valuable asset? It is easier to prepare for a job interview after a layoff when you know what to expect.

Practice answering the above mentioned questions. At the very least, practice in front a mirror. It is best to use a trusted friend or relative. They can ask questions and give you feedback. If you get feedback, consider their suggestions. Yes, it is hard to hear you are sounding unprofessional, but the friend or relative in question has your best interest in mind. They are trying to bring an unbiased opinion to the table and help you land a job.

Dress for success. Even if applying for a job as a cashier or janitor, dress like you are on top of the word. Never show up in shorts or jeans. Fancy eveningwear is not required by any means, but look professional. Pants should be black or tan. Both men and women should opt for solid color polo or dress shirts.

Arrive early. Most recommend arriving on time, but you want to do more. Don’t take unnecessary risks with heavy traffic or bad weather. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your interview. You will have to wait, but it is worth it. The unemployment rate is high in the United States. Now, it is common for hundreds of people to apply for one position. Don’t let being late immediately eliminate you.

Have a positive attitude. If you are used to working in an office and are now applying for the position of a retail cashier, you may be less than thrilled. You may consider it a step-down, but need the money. Yes, this can be depressing, but don’t let your disappointment show. Be positive, speak clearly, and make eye contact.

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