The children have started school and maybe you have decided that now is the time to return to work. Perhaps you have been at home with your children for a few years and become used to being a mum and doing “mum” activities with the children and this is part of your comfort zone. The thought of returning to work or even going to interviews therefore can be extremely nerve wracking!
Below are a few hints and tips that will help you build your confidence and to present yourself at your best when you attend a job interview:
- Take time to find out as much as you can about the company, their mission statement, objectives, what they do etc before the interview. Google the company, read the literature they have sent you and ask others what they know about the organisation. Being prepared and understanding what the company does will give you a head start in deciding if this is the right employer for you and also will show that you have done your homework.
- Go through the job description and make notes of all your relevant skills and experiences that you can talk about in the interview that match the post you are applying for. Remember, even if you have not been employed for a few years, you still have a multitude of skills from raising your family: e.g
– budgeting (sorting out the bills, balancing the household finances etc)
– prioritising (juggling all sorts of events and engagements around the children)
– project managing ( organising your child’s school placement, making the application, dealing with the paperwork, preparing your child for their first day etc)
– Organisation skills (your child’s party or christening for example)
The list goes on, be creative and you’ll be surprised how many skills you have developed in your role as a mum.
- Get a friend to go through a practise interview with you. Looking at the person specification will give you some idea of the questions the employer will ask you. Write a list of questions and get your friend to “interview” you. It may seem a little daunting but your mind will be getting prepared for the real event and you will find that as you have practised the interview situation, on the day, your mind will come up with answers more quickly and more fluently as a result.
- Think about any issues that the employer may have with regard to hours, childcare, flexibility etc and think about how you will deal with these if asked. This is important because your priorities and responsibilities have changed now that you are a mum. I remember fluffing an interview completely the first time I went to one after my son was born, when I was asked about deadlines and replied that I could come in early or work late to ensure an important deadline was met if necessary. Then had a light bulb moment, mid answer as I realised I could no longer do this as my childcare would not cover this!
- On the day, visualise yourself before the interview arriving, walking tall and confidently, sitting in a relaxed and confident manner and answering all the questions eloquently- really mentally rehearse this positive outcome before the interview. Then when you go to the interview, your mind will support you in doing this even if you are feeling nervous. Take a few nice deep breathes and act “as if “ you are confident. Think about how a confident person walks, talks, sits and do that yourself – it will give you an air of confidence.
- If you are unsure of a question, smile, take a deep breath and ask the interviewer to repeat the question or say something like “I’d just like to clarify what you are asking…. and then say what you are thinking they are asking. If you haven’t got it right, they will rephrase their question.
- At the end of the interview ensure you have a couple of questions to ask them about the company, post or duties. It shows that you are interested and have thought intelligently about the potential of working with them.
- And finally, if you really feel that this is all too much for you, then why not join us and some other mums like you, who are thinking about returning to work, in building your confidence in our fun and interactive workshop called “from Mum2Me” on 4th October 2012 in Ewell, Surrey. Great confidence building tips and support, image and styling plus refreshments and course handouts for only £25!
Take that first step and give me a call on 020 8395 5471 or 07932 637393 to book your place NOW!
Ask about individual sessions too!