Raising redundancy at an interview

Raising redundancy at an interview

The elephant in the room: you were made redundant from your previous role. Here's how to tackle the conversation about it.

In a job interview your redundancy might appear to be the elephant in the room to you, but experts say your focus should be on what you have to offer that sets you apart from the crowd.

“In this economic environment you are no Robinson Crusoe if you have lost a job,” said Rob Davidson, founder and joint managing partner of Davidson Recruitment|

“So you will need to do a thorough preparation including working out what core attributes are required to do the job and analysing what it is in your [work] history that aligns with those core attributes,” he said.

Howard Searle, director of recruitment company Career Path Pty Ltd, said there was no real reason to bring up “the redundancy” during an interview.

“If your resume notes your redundancy then it is unnecessary to raise it further. However, be prepared to address the issue if it is mentioned,” he explained.

“If clarification surrounding your redundancy is required, explain with confidence that yes your position was made redundant however, you have a great deal of supporting material in the form of reference checks, attendance records or performance reviews that display further your value as an employee,” Searle said.

“If the firm making you redundant has also made other positions redundant it would be wise to mention this also.”

Expert resume writer and job interview coach Karalyn Brown says the correct term to use is retrenchment not redundancy and she agrees it is best to mention that you were one of a number of people retrenched – if this was the case.

“You should say something like, “I was retrenched along with a number of people in my department’,” says Brown.

Davidson advised candidates who did find themselves discussing their redundancy to “display” a thorough knowledge of the company they had worked for.

“Speak convincingly about your achievements in the job and your understanding of how the business and your business unit worked. You then need to explain why your retrenchment was an economic decision and not one based on your performance.”

Searle said it was extremely important interview candidates projected a positive attitude.

“Remember that redundancy indicates your job was made redundant, you weren’t. Do not personalise the issue.

“During interview be clear, be honest, and be confident,” he said.

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