Interview Questions: Work History


What have you been doing since your last job?

If there is a gap in employment on your resume, an interviewer will more than likely ask what you've been doing since your last job.

Being honest is the best approach to this question, but develop a response ahead of time so you're prepared. Let the interviewer know that you have been busy and active during this time. Some suggestions to explain what you've been doing while you're out of the workforce:

  • While I've been actively job seeking, I have worked on several freelance projects.
  • I volunteered for a literacy program that assists disadvantaged children (any volunteer activity you've participated in while out of work is great to mention, since it shows you've been staying active).
  • I spent time looking after my aging parents, becasue they needed a temporary caregiver until other arrangements could be made (caring for a sick or elderly family member is considered a valid reason to have left a job).
  • I spent time being a stay at home mom (or dad) and volunteering at my son's school (staying at home with a child is also a valid reason to have left a job).
  • I was looking to add to my skill set by taking some continuing education classes and seminars (enrolling in college courses or pursuing additional certifications are strong signs that you are looking to better yourself and will be looked upon favorably in the majority of cases).

It really doesn't matter what you may have been doing, as long as you're able to provide a good explanation. People losing their job is something hiring managers understand - it can happen to anyone.  It's not always easy to find a new job fast and there are also many legitimate non-employment related reasons for not being in the workforce.