Friday, 1 February 2008

Dealing with Redundancy in Job Interviews

Large-scale redundancies have hit both local and national headlines again. Dealing with being made redundant in job interviews is not always easy, but here are some guidelines that may help.

Large-scale redundancies have hit both local and national headlines again as a number of major organisations have announced job cuts in order to reduce overheads. In today’s economic environment, this corporate downsizing is becoming increasingly common, making it more likely than ever before that you - or someone you know - will be affected by such cuts.
There were a total of 23,684 redundancies last year, a 2.3% increase on the previous year. In what can be seen as a worrying trend this year, jobs are being lost right across the spectrum of industry.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is to close part of its Irish operation with the loss of 65 jobs. The company will also sell two plants with a 480-strong workforce over the next two years. A global cost-cutting exercise to shed 10,000 jobs will mean hundreds of redundancies in Ireland's pharmaceutical flagship.
The town of Fermoy suffered a major blow when FCI Ireland announced it is closing its plant there with the loss of 240 jobs. Just before Christmas, the electronics firm Create Labs in West Dublin announced 230 redundancies .

In Cork, a question mark hangs over the future of 350 jobs at Motorola, the electronics and mobile phone company. People are also counting the cost of hundreds of job losses in Waterford, Bray, Macroom, Carlow and in parts of Donegal and Roscommon.
Being made redundant may now be a commonplace feature of working life but it still instills a cocktail of unpleasant feelings - a failure, not good at your job, sacked, fear, rejection, loss, humiliation, injustice. However, the stigma that used to be attached to being made redundant no longer exists either.

Speaking to HR Managers, they all say that redundancy does not impact on a candidate's employability. Many managers will have been made redundant themselves. So if you are interviewing after being made redundant, be prepared to be asked about the circumstances but answer confidently because you should have nothing to hide.

The trick is to maintain a positive attitude. A positive outlook is vital for your self-esteem and confidence and this will impress in interviews. It’s important to make the point that your job was made redundant, not you, and to tell the truth about the circumstances. Don’t be negative. The experience may have knocked your confidence for a time but you’ve used the opportunity to further your career. Dealing with being made redundant in job interviews is not always easy, but here are some guidelines that may help.


Informal surveys reveal that about 82.5 percent of those who are made redundant are angry about it. But if you walk into your next job interview with that cloud of anger hanging over you, most employers will detect it.
So, before going out on a job interview you must put that anger to bed. The only rule is: get rid of it through words, not through actions. Talking out the events and your feelings in great detail with your partner, a good friend, or a career counselor, can often work wonders. So, get it all out of your system. Then, set your face resolutely toward the future, rather than toward the past.


Often your friends and acquaintances are an untapped goldmine of helpful ideas about how to deal with this in a job interview. When you find a friend who has been through this, and successfully found another job thereafter, ask them how they dealt with their redundancy in a subsequent job interview.


If, in the job interview, the first thing you blurt out is, "I was made redundant", it’s obvious you thought that was the most important thing about you, and so will the employer.
The first thing you should blurt out is your skills, your experience, and your enthusiasm for this company where you are interviewing. Save discussion of your previous job, and the manner in which you left it, for later in the interview, after the employer has shown some interest in actually hiring you.


After the employer has demonstrated a keen interest in hiring you, volunteer the information about your redundancy, rather than waiting for it to be dragged out of you.
For example, “My job was made redundant because the estate agency no longer needed the extra post after they closed all their offices in Cork. That is why I’m looking for a similar position now.”


The purpose of a job interview is twofold: the employer decides if they want you, you decide if you want them. If an employer grills you, makes your redundancy the most important question in the interview, you've learned this isn't a comfortable place to be, and continue on with your job search.


Teck Beng said...

Is this written by Yusdi or Jessica?

J.H said...

that's written by me (Jessica), if you see the contributor is J.H, and that's me :-)