Job search what?

In my grueling search for jobs, I applied to pretty much everything, other than factory work (screw factories). In one of the few offers of interviews, I had a gentleman ask me this unusual question over the phone. This question just didn't make much sense to me and caused a croaky breath slowly release from my throat as I thought over the correct way to answer. With just one changed word I would have completely understood and no confusion would have occured. Why "how" when "why" would have been perfect? I answered with a simple "I'm unemployed, so I can start immediately.". I'm glad I didn't work for him.