How to Prepare for the Unemployment Insurance Interview in Virginia

You will need to prepare for the unemployment insurance interview, often called a fact finding interview, with a deputy from the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) if your unemployment claim states that you have lost your job for any reason other than lack of available work. To conduct an unemployment phone interview, you will need to know when your interview will be, what questions you will be asked and what you will need to do to pass. It is important to know how to pass the unemployment insurance interview, because you will be denied benefits if you do not, even if your claim has been fully processed. Continue reading below to learn more about preparing for an unemployment insurance interview and the part both you and your employer play in determining your eligibility for benefits.

How Your Interview Will be Scheduled in Virginia

Your unemployment phone interview will be set up by the VEC after your completed unemployment claim has been submitted and your employer has returned the separation questionnaire sent to them by the VEC. An unemployment interview with employer will also be conducted in addition to the claimant interview and will be scheduled by the VEC. An employer may choose to accept the phone interview or send in an official written statement detailing the reasons for your employment separation. This option is available when the VEC calls an employer to schedule an interview and the employer asks for an alternative method for giving their statement. In contrast, unemployment interview with claimant statements can only be given over the phone directly to the deputy to make it easier to determine if the claimant is being truthful or not. Applicants can only get an allotment if they have lost their job through no fault of their own, so if you state that you quit or were fired in your unemployment claim a deputy must conduct an unemployment fact finding interview to determine if you are still eligible give your specific circumstances. The unemployment phone interview may take 15 minutes to an hour to complete, so be prepared to set aside an ample amount of time to complete it without interruptions.

Questions Asked During Unemployment Interview in Virginia

During the unemployment phone interview, you will be required to answer any and all questions directed to you by the deputy interviewing you. The questions asked during unemployment interview will be dependent on what you put on your unemployment claim. If you stated that you voluntarily or resigned from your job, it is your responsibility to show that there was a good reason for your decision. If you or your employer claims you were fired from your position, it is up to your employer to prove to the interviewing deputy that you were fired as a direct result of work-related misconduct or failure to perform.

The best way to prepare for your unemployment interview is to only answer the questions being asked and not try to elaborate or defend your actions. For example, if an interviewer asks you if you had any problems with your past employer you should simply answer “yes” or “no” and only give details if the deputy interviewer asks for them. For your unemployment phone interview, be prepared to answer both work and personal questions that may be related to the reasons for your work separations. Even if you are offended by question during your unemployment phone interview, remember that it is the deputy’s job to determine the facts about your separation so do not take it personally. It is important to stay calm and composed throughout the interview to eliminate suspicion and show you are confident in your answers. Download our comprehensive guide to receive more tips on preparing for the unemployment phone interview.

How to Pass the Unemployment Insurance Interview in Virginia

To pass your unemployment insurance interview and obtain unemployment benefits from the state of Virginia, you will need to be truthful with your interviewer. Even if you stretch the truth marginally during your unemployment phone interview, your entire statement can be discredited if the deputy discovered you exaggerated or lied during your interview. Do not worry about defending yourself during the claimant unemployment interview, as you will get a chance to dispute, explain or comment on your employer’s statements after both interviews have been completed.

Remember to not get defensive during your unemployment phone interview as you may regret the things you say in the heat of the moment. The truth is always the right path to take even if you feel it may work against you later on. If you are confident that you have a good reason for quitting, or can explain why you were let go, then be confident in your explanations. The deputy will acknowledge your willingness to cooperate during the interview and it will usually work in your favor. Finally, to properly prepare for the unemployment insurance interview, it is recommended to get your story straight and review the requirements the VEC has set for individuals to be eligible for unemployment benefits. As you explain why you left your job or were fired, remember that you must have lost your job through no fault of your own so be sure to explain how your situation fits that criteria. Learn more about this criteria by downloading our free and comprehensive guide today.


Virginia Employment Commission