How to Talk about Long Employment Gaps in IT Job Interviews

Sometimes when you’re interviewing for IT jobs, you may be asked about how long you’ve been unemployed or job searching.  If you have been searching or unemployed for a long time, you need to be delicate in how you respond.  This is especially true in IT, where IT recruiters and IT staffing firms usually find that people have particularly short periods of unemployment.  Here are a few tips that will help you represent yourself and your IT recruiting companies well.

Firstly, keep any negative emotions out of your answer.  If you’ve been working with technical recruiters and IT staffing companies for a while to find an IT job, you might feel disappointed or discouraged.  Make sure this doesn’t come through when you respond to the hiring manager or interviewers.  Keep a positive, upbeat tone and project confidence that you and your IT recruiting firms will find something that you’re a great fit for.  People want to hire IT professionals who are emotionally stable, happy people who are confident in themselves and their abilities.  Don’t do anything to ruin that image of yourself.

Secondly, keep the language positive and stress that you are in control of your job search.  One way to do this is to suggest that you’re being very judicious in your search and don’t want your IT staffing agencies to place you in a job that’s a bad fit.  Another is to let your interviewer know if you’ve purposely taken time off from your search.  People do take time off from work or a job search for some legitimate reasons.  Some of these are: caring for a family member, travelling, dealing with health issues, moving to a new part of the country, or just to take a break—though this is the least desirable response.

Lastly, practice talking about this before your interviews.  You might get feedback from your IT recruiting agencies or just practice with a family member or friend.  Whatever the case may be, it will help you feel prepared and calm if you’ve practiced talking about this before the IT job interview.

Travel IT job search
Sometimes IT professionals take longer periods of time off between IT jobs to travel. Photo credit: Kate Ter Haar via Flickr.

AVID Technical Resources About AVID Technical Resources
AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.