How to justify your gap year?

The most terrifying question an interviewer can ask a gap year participant is why he or she
took the time off and how productive he or she was during that time. In retrospect, the
candidate may be asked if he or she would do it again and if they would recommend it to
a junior in the same position. The panel could pose the same question in several different ways.

When faced with such a question, it is critical to be well prepared and on point. The gap is
justified if someone studied for 40 hours a day and received a 99 or 98 percentile; however,
a score lower than this indicates danger. The interviewer can make you feel uncomfortable by
calling you stupid outright. One can demonstrate to the interviewer that the time was well
spent by pursuing some certification in addition to preparing for the CAT or in any other way to demonstrate that the time was used in multiple ways.

  • It was essential to communicate that choosing a gap year was deliberate.
  • You weren’t wasting your time by focusing just on CAT preparation.
  • The overall career strategy you’ve envisioned for yourself, as well as how an MBA and everything you’ve done thus far - including the gap year – contribute to that objective.
  • Tell the interview panel that you’ve improved your skills by taking certifications and online courses. * * * Make it quite evident that you did not have any spare time.
  • Obviously, you don’t want to say something like, “I’ve always been a poor/average student.” I didn’t think I’d be able to prepare for the CAT with a full-time job.
  • So, I decided to focus on CAT preparation and post-CAT interview preparation entirely." This response is humble and reflects negatively on your persona, as you should have realized by now.
  • There are many convincing, inevitable reasons why you could not have worked in a job. If this is the reason, make it very obvious. Be honest with the panelists.
  • If studying for the CAT is/was the only reason you decided to quit your job or not, look for one. Be as honest without philosophically dwelling on the inconsequentialities of a job and how it affects your life.

“Explain your Gap year.” is one of the most challenging questions to answer during Interviews because gaps years are mostly related to some health issues, and explaining those is painful sometimes.

But to answer the question, follow the following ways -

  • Give genuine reason for the void; never make up stories. People on the panel are smart enough to figure out fabricated information!
  • The lapse cannot be corrected because it occurred in the past and is beyond your control at this time, but you can compensate for it by performing exceptionally well in the interview.
  • Instead of stressing about the year’s gap, concentrate on doing well in the interview.
  • Recruiters are more interested in learning what you can provide them in the future and what sort of value you can bring to the company if they hire you!
  • Your history will become non-existent if you can sell yourself properly in the interview!