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How do I explain redundancy during a job interview?

Over the past few weeks, I’m sure you have noticed a lot of big layoffs happening across different industries. It is heart breaking reading some of the LinkedIn posts people are sharing about their experiences being made redundant and how much it can knock people.  

If you’re one of the many who have been made redundant over the past few months, it’s important to recognise and be aware that there really is no stigma attached to redundancy. It’s an unfortunate outcome that happens to most people in their lifetime. Redundancies are made because of the commercial health of the business you’re working for, not because of you personally.  You shouldn’t feel embarrassed about your redundancy or fear your career will be unable to ‘bounce back’. 

With this in mind, we wanted to help you address your redundancy in an interview.  

1. Be honest 

Your redundancy may go unnoticed if you had been in your past role for quite some time. But in the case that you weren’t in the role long or maybe the interviewer asks you why you’re looking for a new job, it’s important to be open and explain your situation. 

We recommend sharing how many people were made redundant and why the redundancy happened. It’s also a good idea to explain that you still gained great experience and skills in the role and give an example. 

“Since COVID19, my previous employer had to make a series of budget cuts. This resulted in 200 people in the company being made redundant. However, I’m proud of what I achieved in my previous position as a Digital Marketing Manager – for example, I built a new streamlined process in order to nurture customers which resulted in an increase of returning customers by of 30%” 

2. Highlight achievements in your role 

As we have already mentioned, just because you have been made redundant, doesn’t mean that you were bad at your job or that it was personal. Have a list of key achievements that you want to share to highlight your abilities and to highlight your suitability for the role you’re interviewing for.  

3. Be Positive 

Don’t blame or speak negatively about your previous employer. Speak fondly and positively about your experience and try your best to focus on the positives of the whole experience. Going through the redundancy may have made you realise how hungry you are for a new challenge or made you focus on your future career and what you want to achieve.   

4. Explain what you’ve been doing since your redundancy 

Employers love someone who is proactive. Maybe you have completed an online course within your field, or you took up a new hobby. Demonstrate to your potential employer that when faced with challenges, you make the most out of it and use it as an opportunity.  

5. Explain why you’re a good fit 

This may be an obvious one, but it’s super important that you showcase, with examples, why you are a good fit for this role. What skills and experiences have you gained, both in your past roles and since you were made redundant, that you could bring to this new role to help the organisation achieve its own objectives for this position? 

We recommend using the STAR method to tackles these competency questions. You can check this out in our ‘4 step interview prep guide’ here


We are really sorry to hear that you’ve been made redundant. We want to encourage you to back yourself and not let it define your career thus far. There are more exciting opportunities to come, we promise.  

Here at TalentHub we have lots of new jobs in marketing, sales, design, product, data and tech. Please feel free to reach out to us to have a chat to see how we can hopefully help you secure your next exciting job. Get in touch here!

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