The answer to this question is dependant on the timespan and way it occurred. If you have a current work gap that is a year or longer, you can provide a somewhat similar answer as the example below. If you haven’t done anything productive, then I’d suggest you to follow some workshops or online courses that relate to the requirements in the vacancy. Employers want to see that you’ve worked on your professional skills and are ready to get back on track.
Example Answer (No Experience)
“Well, after a number of years studying at [University Name], I took a sabbatical year to visit industry specific events, meet new like-minded people and further educate myself on [Subject] through online courses. For example, I’ve immersed myself in learning the ins and outs of [Topic 1] and [Topic 2] listed in the job description. I’m excited to put my knowledge into practice and contribute to [XYZ Company]’s objectives.”
Example Answer (Experienced)
“After my former company downsized due to broader market factors, I was in between jobs for longer than I anticipated. I was focused on finding the right fit and my savings allowed me to spend a bit more time choosing my next job role. To stay up-to-date on [Subject] and further improve [Skill 1] and [Skill 2], I took free and paid courses on Skillshare, Coursera and Udemy.”
Interview Question Tips
Do inform them about what you’ve learned or done for re-entry. For example, you can reframe the interview question to “What are the experiences and learnings you took away from the employment gap?” That will turn your defense mechanism and the interviewer’s inquisitive approach to something more positive and constructive.
- Don’t inform them about any negative personal or professional experiences. So don’t blame your ex-employer, colleagues, friends, family or say that a particular life event is the root cause of the employment gap.