Great Interview Questions: How to Answer the Interview Question About Being Laid Off and Unemployed

There is usually the dread of the question relative to being laid off and unemployed.


The good news bad news is with this recent economic conditions and the current labor force situation, that there are more people that are unemployed and have been laid off, looking for work.


This should soften any of the “stigmas” that would previously be carried during the interviewing process relative to this issue.


You will always fair better if the person you are interviewing has been laid off at one time in their career, or they are a loved one or very close acquaintance that has been laid off. It will then make the interviewer in that case less judgmental on the issue of being laid off. They could very much end up being a great advocate for you.


If at all possible it would be great if you are able to uncover their opinion on this matter.


Is always better if during the actual interview you are able to address any negative concerns they have about you or your professional background, in terms of you being seriously considered as a viable candidate for the position you are interviewing for.


QUESTION: Why do you think you were one of the employees chosen to be laid off during the downsizing?


ANSWER: As you know this has been a challenging economy for most industries and companies.  By laying people off my past employer will be able to provide better service at a lower cost to their customers in their merger with ABC Company. These are good sound business economics that are to the advantage of our customers. Naturally with the merger there were some areas where there was a duplication of talent. My position was just one of the positions that needed to be eliminated because of the duplication.


I see this is a great opportunity for me to work for another company/industry. In addition I see this move actually benefiting me by broadening the scope of my experience.


What is the next step from here?


Practice your answer a loud.


  1. Write you answer to the question shown above or a version similar to the question. Save both the question and the answer in your computer folder marked “Interview Questions”.


  1. After 24 hours, go back and review you answer(s). Rework the answer to improve the answer and to match your normal every day verbiage. You want your answer to sound natural.


  1. Practice with a partner, peer and/or support person.


  1. If you will brave, video tape or record yourself.


  1. Practice again.


I wish you the best of luck in you interviews this week.


I believe in you!


Feel prepared and confident answering your common interview questions in the interview, regarding being unemployed and laid off.

Good luck,


Eleanor Anne Sweet

The Job Search Expert.  ™



If you are looking for additional job search information to help get you unstuck in your job search process, visit my other blog, “Sweet Job Advice”, found at