If you have been without a job for a while, employers will want to know how you have used your time since you last worked. Therefore, during your interview session, you may be asked, “What have you been doing since your last job?“
Honesty will help you answer that question in the best way possible. Good preparation also helps. You should let the interviewer understand that you have been busy and active, whether you have lost the job out of your own free will or otherwise.
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What The Interviewer Wants To Know
Managers and interviewers may want to know how you used that time. Whether you are raising a child or looking for a job while studying, your answer provides a window into your current situation.
Also, the way you answer that question may reveal your personality. For example, your choice of words used in your reply can make your interviewers see you as though you were going through a lot or that you were tired and weighed down by the demands of your previous job.
Read also: Interview Questions To Discover Commitment And Motivation
How Would You Answer “What You Have Been Doing Since Your Last Job?”
In your answer, you have to be honest. Choose your tone and words carefully, as stated above. For example, it is OK and logical to say you were looking for a job.
Try to frame your answer according to your desire to find a role that best fits your knowledge and skills, instead of the answer that says you get a lot of rejection after the discussion.
Look for ways to show that you are a go-getter, if possible. For example, mention things you have done beyond your ability to find work that could fit your talents and abilities as a worker.
Very Good Answers
The following examples indicate the related answers to the question, “What have you been doing since your last job.”
Answer No. 1
I worked on several self-made projects while I actively sought employment.
In this response, the recipient indicates that he or she has done another job while seeking a new role. It makes them look like a go-getter and creates an opportunity for the interviewer to ask a follow-up question about the job you are doing.
Answer No. 2
My elderly parents needed a temporary caregiver, and I wasted no time caring for them.
It is common for people to resign from their job for personal or family reasons. This person gives a clear reason for leaving work.
Answer No. 3
I took further education classes and seminars.
In this answer, the respondent demonstrates and shows their commitment towards learning and gaining skills during the time out, as it were. Their desire to continue growing in knowledge is something most employers love.
Other Sample Responses May Include:
- I volunteered for a literacy program to help disadvantaged children.
- I spent time as a stay-at-home parent and volunteered at my daughter’s school.
- I spent a year traveling abroad after graduating from college.
Tips For Giving The Best Answer
It is important to provide information about what you did when you were not working, especially if you have been without a job for quite a long time. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
If you have done improvement courses or workshops to improve your skills, share that knowledge with your interviewer. If you have volunteered for any agency or development firm or enrolled as a student to gain more
information or exposure to a new field, it will be nice to mention those. If you have recently lost a job, it is good to sign up for an experience like this to show your interest in professional development for employers.
For those who are changing your work ethic, it makes sense to emphasize that you have been exploring alternatives to works that might suit your skills and interests.
Therefore, be prepared to share the activities involved in your assessment, such as job research, job interviews, and job search. In addition, share some of what you have learned about how the new field is equal.
Tell Others About Your Situation
If you have resigned from your job to care for a sick spouse, child, or parent, it may be appropriate to share this information. Once the problem has been solved, you can now devote your full time and attention to your job.
Disclosing a personal health problem can be tricky and can only be good once it is resolved and is unlikely to recur. Maybe you changed to a new location due to family reasons such as a partner’s work or being close to a child or parent.
Then, you can focus on finding the right position in a challenging market. If you have taken a break to pursue your personal goal, such as doing some extra life plans like hiking, traveling, sightseeing, etc., say so.
Presenting this may be appropriate as long as you can explain how the need is met and effectively emphasize your current enthusiasm for a job opening.
When answering any interview question, it is important to focus on the good and assure the interviewer that you are sincerely looking for a job and are qualified.
Read also: How to Answer “What Was Most and Least Rewarding About Your Last Job?”
What Not To Say
Do Not Lie
Your interviewer may ask a follow-up question that indicates you have been fibbing. For example, if you say you have taken a class, and you didn’t, that will be easily seen. It’s just not right to fib or lie.
Avoid “Nothing” As A Reply
This response will make you appear lazy or aimless. A one-sentence answer is preferable. Remember, it is OK to talk about personal reasons why you may have left your previous job.
Do Not Be Negative
It can be difficult to stay optimistic when you are six months into fruitless research. However, in your response to this question, stay positive.
For example, instead of saying, “I have been looking for a job without success”, you could say, “I was looking for jobs that fit my skills and interests.” And then, if you can do any of the work-related tasks you’ve been working on, do not hesitate!
Possible Follow-Up Questions
Some answers to “What have you been doing since your last job?” may lead to the following questions.
For example, if you say you were studying, the interviewer may ask for more information about classes. Or, once you say you have moved to and are familiar with the new city, the interviewer may ask where you have explored so far. Other follow-up questions may include the following:
- Why did you leave your last job?
- Where is your future goal?
- What is your dream job?
- What do you hope to learn from your job?
Preparation is helpful; As with any interview question, thinking ahead of time will help you to provide a solid answer.
Short and simple answer; But, again, you don’t need to go into details; with one or two sentences, you can get any interview question right.
Go beyond the minimum; If you have been involved in a relevant, work-related activity, go ahead and share the details.
Be positive; Don’t focus on how long you’ve been out of work or how much experience you have missed.