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“Why has it taken you so long to find a job.”

Select the strongest answer

(A) Because the job market is so tight, I did not run out and try to get just any job. I took my time, thinking about finding the “right” job. I went on some informational interviews to find out what opportunities were out there and where the future of this industry is headed. I also took some on-line classes and a few short courses. I have to admit it was a nice time to research and explore. I now feel prepared and ready to find the right opportunity.

(B) Well, I can blame the problem on the economy, or not finding the ideal situation, but one thing I know is that I have what it takes to do a good job, and I am here to let you know what I can bring to your company. What sets me apart from the masses is my ability to relate and work with a wide diversity of customers with a combination of technical skills and people skills. I have an excellent background with five years experience in this industry and knowledge of several software programs.

(C) It’s a really tight job market out there and it just hasn’t been easy to get a job. I have been in job search the entire time. Just didn’t get lucky. I did all the right things like networking and going to job clubs and meetings, but my skills just didn’t seem to be in demand. I know there are a lot of people out there looking. The competition is tough.


Strongest Answer

(B) is the most honest answer. This answer also deflects the question and focuses more on what you have to offer, especially what separates you from all the other people applying for this job.
Talking about what you can bring to the job, and not what you have gone through to get to this interview would be a good technique to try.

Not As Strong an Answer

(A) is a good answer because it explains what you have been doing in the time you’ve been unemployed. The emphasis is mainly about what you’ve been doing to prepare and could benefit from some information about what you have discovered in your quest for information or what you have to offer.

The Weakest Answer

(C) is the weakest answer because it blames the economy for your “bad luck.” It also talks about your skills not being in demand instead of saying what you did to improve on your skills to make yourself more employable. This answer has a somewhat passive tone. An interviewer might get the idea that no one else was willing to hire you and that maybe you are not a desirable product.

Boost Your Interview IQ will  help you to make sure you are giving the strongest answer.