How to Bounce Back After Redundancy
It seems that almost every week we hear news about more job losses as companies slash costs in order to survive in this harsh economy.
Although rarely good news, the silver lining to redundancy has to be that the stigma surrounding it has vanished. If your job has fallen victim to the financial crisis, you join around 2.5 million people currently unemployed in the UK (Office for National Statistics) and many are experienced, talented and skilled professionals.
There’s no doubt it can be a shock when faced with redundancy, but it could be an opportunity to re-evaluate your career path and make new choices. Once you’ve picked yourself back up, evaluated your options and you’re ready to bounce back and take on the job market, here are a few tips to help you move on and deal with those all important interview questions with confidence.
Prepare for your future now!
Redundancy has been confirmed and you may not exactly be over the moon about the decision, but you can take steps now to help your search for new employment. Use this time wisely to start planning. For instance, before you leave ask your line manager for a personal reference. If the company is undergoing big changes you may lose touch with your current line manager, especially if he or she is also moving on.
Tackling tricky interview questions
It’s in every employer’s interest that they recruit the best person for a role. For you, this could mean having to answer some potentially difficult questions about your redundancy. But if you prepare well, you should get through it fine. Here are some examples of questions you might get…
Why were you made redundant? Explain clearly why it happened. Was your company downsizing? Perhaps your whole department was made redundant because the company wanted to outsource certain business functions. Was the company losing business, having an impact on how many people they could employ?
Was it just your job that was cut? Yes, this is a tough question, but if this applies to your situation you need to be ready to explain why yours was the only redundancy. Be clear about what it was about your job in particular that was redundant and be sure to always link this to a skillset and not to your performance. For instance, the company no longer required the accountancy support supplied by your role.
Was your redundancy voluntary or compulsory? Although there is no need to highlight this on your CV, it’s a good idea to have an answer ready for interview, especially if it was voluntary. Did you want a change in career? Or maybe you wanted a break to focus on studying.
Did you have the opportunity to apply for another role in the organisation? Your interviewer may ask you about other job opportunities at your former organisation and whether or not you explored these. If you did apply for another role, why didn’t you get it? Or if you chose not to go down that road be very clear about your reasons. Perhaps the job description didn’t fit your skills or experience.
One final tip
It’s totally normal to feel nervous about bouncing back after redundancy but remember that honesty is key. Interviewers have the experience to see through false information and in our digital age, with so many companies and employees being well connected - news travels fast! So, our advice is to get out there, stay positive and focus on your strengths, and the skills and experience you have to offer your next employer!
Gill is a founding Director of Pure and has worked in recruitment since 1988, including eight years of specialist recruitment experience within an international specialist recruitment company and five years working within financial services recruitment in Sydney, Australia. Gill’s approach is to provide clients and candidates with the highest quality of service. She has a consultative style which has led to her building long-term relationships with both clients and candidates.