5 Ways to Pass a Job Interview after Maternity Leave

Interviewing after maternity or paternity leave can be a daunting prospect. You might feel a bit rusty. Or you might feel a bit anxious at the thought they may reject you or stumble at their questions. But you know what? Interviews are there for you to shine and it’s a great opportunity to show some of the amazing achievements you accomplished since you’ve had your baby (even though you may not have thought of them yet).

Here I’m going to tell you the 5 ways to pass a job interview after maternity leave so you can face it with confidence.

1) Make time to do your research.

I know it can be easier said than done when you have kids but it will pay off. Topics you could research are: company history, department, who the interviewers are (you can search for this on LinkedIn or Google) and the role itself.

Doing your research will also show the interviewer that you’re keen and want the job.

2) Show off the skills you’ve learn’t during maternity leave.

Show off the skills you’ve learn’t during maternity leave. Being pregnant one day and then a mother the next is a huge learning curve but none-the-less, it’s a great asset because you acquire new skills that would be valued in a new job. So, when you’re quizzed on your maternity leave e.g. what did you learn whilst on maternity leave? You could say, ‘I’ve had to adapt to situations very quickly and I’ve learn’t to do this practically and in a calm manner.’ Or, you could simply list the skills that you’ve improved on e.g. stress management skills, multitasking, creativity and ability to think quickly on the spot.

You could also describe events that you’ve organised or courses that you’ve completed. This will show to the interviewer that you’ve kept up your drive and ambition.

3) Keep your finger on the pulse

I’ve hired women who were two years out of the industry but gladly hired them because they kept up-to-date with all the latest goings on with their career industry. You could do this by reading the latest news and meeting up with former colleagues to find out the latest goings on in that world.

4) Demonstrate confidence.

I’ll give you a little story. I did a degree in music and had to play my cello a lot for auditions etc. Inside I was absolutely petrified but I had a thought saying ‘I am going rock this audition.’ By having that thought inside me running over and over again, I walked in the room giving off an air of confidence. So, I didn’t feel it inside but having a positive affirmation running inside me, it helped to show the evaluators that I was ready to do something big. This is the same with interviews. If you reaffirm a positive message inside yourself that you can do this, then you will naturally come across as confidence.

5) Prepare dummy interview questions in advance.

This is in particular reference to competency based interviews (these usually start with, ‘have you ever…..’ or ‘can you tell us a situation when you’ve been in this…. And how did you resolve it?’) Interviewers don’t want to see what you did to resolve a problem but ‘how’ you did it. Go into detail but don’t waffle. By preparing questions in advance, you’ll be prepared to answer difficult ones at a drop of a hat.

So there you have it! My top 5 ways to pass a job interview following maternity leave. Don’t forget that you can do it and you have just as good a chance -if not more of a chance – to secure a job than someone who doesn’t have kids. Never give up your beliefs as I’m sure you are definitely worth hiring.

Published: February 7, 2019

Hi, I'm Louisa

Thanks for reading my article

The biggest thing I’ve learnt from having a career and being a mum is the ability to be strong enough to say, “this is the life I want” and not feel guilty for saying it. I know, it’s easier said than done right? But, I’ve been able to do this by organising my career in a way that doesn’t inflict on family life.

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