• English Job Interview Preparation: Filling the Gaps

    When I am preparing Spanish speaking students for interviews in English, most of them are surprised by the attention paid to dates and the chronological order of work experience on curriculums in interviews in Britain and the United States.

    One of my students was asked how to explain a gap of one year in his work experience on his curriculum during a job interview in English. Thankfully, he had an answer prepared!

    Do you have gaps in your curriculum? Here are some ways of explaining them. Be careful to keep your explanation as simple as possible and always tell the truth!

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    1. Unemployment

    If you were unemployed during this period, then say that. This does not have to be a bad thing. If unemployment prompted you to undertake further study, re-evaluate your career path and actively embrace work when you finally found it, then state that proudly in the interview.

    2. Study

    If you took a break from work to study even a short or seemingly irrelevant course, this is an important addition to your curriculum and should be mentioned in your interview. It just might be the interesting individual detail that could set you apart from other candidates.

     3. Live In A Foreign Country

    You might not like to remember your year long holiday romance in Turkey, but did it make you learn another language or have a unique job experience? Did it teach you a valuable life lesson? Remember to focus on the positive aspects.

    4. Travel

    If you spent a year or years traveling around the world then this is also valuable information in an interview. Most employers view this as showing independence as well as cultural interest and awareness.

    5. Alternative Forms Of Work

    Did you work part-time, maybe freelance or in consultancy? Maybe you worked in a coffee shop? These work experiences are still valid and should not be overlooked in interviews as a result of  the job skills and workplace experience they gave you.

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