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How To Answer ‘Why Aren’t You Working Now?’

Source | Forbes : By Liz Ryan 

It is critical for job-seekers to keep in mind that when you’re feeling vulnerable, a simple question can throw you off your game.

Most job-seekers feel vulnerable at least part of the time. It is nerve-wracking to apply for jobs and go on job interviews, trying hard not to focus on the mounting pile of bills on the counter.

Job-hunting is stressful — there’s no doubt about that.

An interviewer who asks you “Why aren’t you working right now?” doesn’t necessarily mean to insult or demean you, although their words can sting.

The question “Why aren’t you working now?” can feel like an accusation.

It’s not like you’re eating bon-bons all day and watching TV! Nobody wants to be asked “Why aren’t you working?” when they’re desperately trying to find a job.

You can easily be thrown by the question “Why aren’t you working right now?” and stumble as you try to answer it coherently.

“Why aren’t you working now?” is an impolite question, but interviewers are often poorly trained if they are trained at all. It would be much kinder and more polite to ask a job applicant “So, I’d love to hear about your background, especially your most recent position. Can you please fill me in?”

If you don’t hear the part of the story where the applicant left their last job, you can follow up with “I can’t quite tell from your resume — have you left that job, or are you still working there?”

The question “Why aren’t you working now?” suggests that you have something to explain away or apologize for, just because you’re not working in a full-time job at the moment.

That is ironic because the American Dream has always been to become so rich and powerful that you don’t have to work. If idleness is our dream condition, why do we call job-seekers to task for being unemployed?

Job interviewers have no way of knowing whether you won the lottery, sold a painting you found in your attic for a gazillion dollars or got rich on stock options at your last job.

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