The Questions That the Unemployment Interviewer Asks

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How to Prepare for Unemployment Interviews

Getting ready for an unemployment phone interview is important because the outcome can determine whether or not you qualify for benefits.

The unemployment office in your state will usually provide interview instructions when sending you a notification of your obligations.

You may even receive a list of questions ahead of time that you should prepare answers for. Most of the time, your unemployment interview will be scheduled for you.

In these cases, it is important that you are available at the scheduled time.

Completing the unemployment interview, when required, it a crucial part of obtaining benefits. If you are unavailable for some reason, it is important that you get in touch with the unemployment agency immediately.

Contact information should be provided on your interview notice. If neither you nor your employer responds to the interview request, note that the unemployment agency will simply make a determination based solely on the facts at hand.

Do not assign emotions or opinions to your answer

When you are interviewing, make sure you are eligible for unemployment benefits. Many problems arise when you start giving irrelevant information or repeating what you already said. It is advisable if you calm yourself and answer logically.

For example: When the interviewer asks about the cause of your unemployment, answer with facts and do not assign emotions or opinions to your answer.

The interviewer looks for signs of hostility towards your previous employer or for answers that don’t add up. Reasons that meet the unemployment standards vary across several states; intolerable work conditions and taking care of a sick family member are some of the accepted ones, but you have to provide proper documentation to be accepted.

It is advisable that you only give such details when the interviewer asks you. Answer short and to the point, so you come off as confident and show that you have nothing to hide.

Do not say negative things about previous employer

Expressing hostility towards your previous employer is the biggest mistake you can make during an unemployment interview. Even if you left due to toxic work conditions or because you didn’t see eye to eye with your previous manager, it is never okay to say negative things about your old workplace.

It is quite unprofessional and doesn’t give a good impression to your interviewer. After all, if you are saying negative things about your old employer, you could easily say the same about your current employer if things don’t go your way.

Do not use the term “fired”

You’re going to be asked a lot of questions about your work history and your most recent activity. For most of us, our current state of unemployment is simply a matter of the company running into its own financial difficulties and having had to “make adjustments” as they so often term it—also known as “staff reduction.”

But occasionally—and I, for one, had this experience—your vision of your responsibilities and that of your employer just don’t match, and you are terminated/fired/canned (pick your word).

Do not, in any discussions with unemployment folks, use the term “fired.”

Although that is, in fact, what happened, it implies some truly seriously bad act on your part. Rather, say, “We agreed that our respective visions of the job’s responsibilities differed and that a change had to be made.”

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