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How to approach a layoff during a job interview: 5 key tips

Unfortunately, layoffs are a part of the professional world, whether it's in large corporations or startups. However, explaining a layoff during a job interview can be a daunting challenge. Nonetheless, experts recommend being honest and transparent in such situations.


Tip 1: Honesty Above All

It is essential to speak openly and honestly about your layoff during the job interview. Recruiters understand that a layoff is not always your fault. Be transparent about the reasons for your departure, especially if it was related to economic circumstances. Reassure your future employer that your performance was not the issue.

Tip 2: Adopt a Positive Attitude

Instead of focusing on the layoff, highlight the positive aspects. Talk about your skills, achievements, and how you contributed to the success of your previous company. Don't dwell on the layoff but show how you added value to your role.

Tip 3: Emphasize the Transition Period

Executive and leadership positions may take time to secure. Use the transition period productively. Discuss the skills you developed and how you improved your employability. Mention actions such as volunteering or training to demonstrate that you invested in your professional growth.

Tip 4: Avoid Negative Comments

Maintain a neutral or positive tone when talking about your former employer. Avoid criticizing or denigrating. Negative comments can give the impression that you might do the same in the future. Stay professional and constructive.

Tip 5: Maintain Positive Relationships

Maintaining good relationships with former employers is valuable. It can strengthen your credibility in future interviews. If you were laid off due to circumstances beyond your performance, mention that you have good references within your former company.


Explaining a layoff to a new employer is not easy, but it can be successfully managed by adopting a transparent and positive approach. Each layoff can be an opportunity to showcase your resilience and professional growth. Be prepared to speak openly about your experience while highlighting your value as a professional. Need more career advice? Contact us.



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