How to ace an interview if you’ve been out of work for a while as firms go on a hiring spree

How to ace an interview if you’ve been out of work for a while as firms go on a hiring spree

06/10/2021

FIRMS are on a hiring spree, with payrolls swelling by almost 100,000 last month.

But as the pandemic drags on, the number of people jobless for at least a year has risen by almost a quarter, to 381,236.

Careers expert  John Lees, of johnleescareers.com and author of Knockout Interview, has tips for aceing interviews if you have been out of work for a while . . . 

❶ Don’t make an issue of it: A lot of people have been laid off lately. Just state your work history and do not say anything downbeat about unemployment or struggling to find work.

Keep it upbeat: With friends, practise answering the question ‘Why are you looking for a job now?’ Do not detail how you were laid off or how you feel about it — say what you have enjoyed in work.

Do not make it about you: If asked why you left your last job, point to a bigger picture, such as: “Like a lot of people, I was laid off last/this year.” Employers worry if they think you were singled out, or sound demotivated or desperate.

Focus on the present: Show you have done your homework into the kind of organisations and roles that interest you. Cite skills evidence matched to the job.

Talk about how you’ve filled the gap: Refer to evidence that you have been active in keeping your skills up to date. Talk about what you have been learning — from online courses, volunteering, work placements, or just by talking to people in interesting jobs.

Law if stuck abroad

TENS of thousands of Brits have rushed back from Portugal after it was added to the UK’s amber travel list. But if you’re stuck abroad or unexpectedly forced to quarantine, what are your rights at work? Employment law expert Alan Price, of Bright HR, explains . . .

STAFF stuck in Portugal because of travel delays and difficulties in getting a pre-departure Covid test – or those unable to return to work due to having to self-isolate – must get in touch with their employer as soon as possible to discuss the situation.

Employees should indicate when they expect to be back at work so companies can make arrangements to cover them.

Obviously, people travelled to Portugal when it was on the green list, so were not expecting to self-isolate upon return, so their employer does have to be empathetic to that.

Staff will want to know whether they will be paid or not during this period, but that isn’t a straightforward question.

There are a variety of ways in which employers can handle unexpected absences, including extended annual leave or using banked-up time off in lieu.

It may be agreed as unpaid leave. But if an employee has to self-isolate and can work from home, this is beneficial for all parties.  

JOB SPOT

HOMEWARE retailer JYSK is taking on store assistants across the country.

Search for a role at careers.jysk.co.uk.

Belfast for all

BELFAST is our most inclusive city for LGBTQ+ jobseekers, ahead of London, Brighton and Manchester, says Adzuna. 

The jobs board’s study, for Pride Month, found 18.5 per cent of ads in the Northern Irish city actively encourage jobseekers of all sexual orientations to apply.

Under six per cent of job ads nationwide actively promote inclusivity for the community.

The science sector is the most active in promoting workplace diversity with 11 per cent.

By comparison, only 2.6 per cent of Trade and Construction job ads used inclusive language.

Adzuna’s Andrew Hunter said: “Fewer than one in 16 job ads explicitly encourage applications from the LGBTQ+ community, meaning plenty of room for improvement for UK employers.”

JOB SPOT

DOMINO’S is looking to hire 5,000 pizza chefs and delivery drivers across its 1,100 branches around the country this month.

Find your new job at dominosrecruitment.co.uk.

Public duty

SAY cheers to your new career. Butcombe Pubs & Inns are taking on 200 new staff to cope with the post-lockdown hospitality boom.

Roles include chefs at all levels, front of house managers, cleaners and bar and waiting staff, alongside brewing teams, sales, marketing and positions in HR jobs.

Recruitment manager Dan Flanagan said: “We can offer people the chance to join a business that is growing, even during a global pandemic.”

Apply at harri.com.

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