7 Steps for writing a perfect CV
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Interviewing after a career break can seem like a daunting experience, especially when you have kids to look after. I’ve conducted over 1000 face/face interviews during my career, and I'm very familiar with what works and what doesn't. So, if you’re feeling frustrated with rejection or are lacking confidence, here are my top interview techniques for mums!
Visualising confidence is a sure way of letting an employer know that you are a strong candidate. Believe me, I’ve interviewed candidates from all walks of life and nerves really show through. If you’re someone that has struggled with confidence in the past, I would visualise yourself being in a really confident situation. Keep telling yourself that “you got this” interview and you’re going to nail it. Visualising that scenario a minute or two before the interview really works wonders.
You can also dictate positive affirmations to yourself whilst travelling to the interview to build up that confidence in style!
According to Forbes magazine, the average interview lasts 40 minutes, therefore, your language and tone of voice can make or break an interview. Displaying yourself in a positive, confident way works really well with any potential employer. Being arrogant, borderline rude and displaying a negative/deflated persona can instantly trigger rejection.
Another fact to consider is that over 33% hiring managers decide whether to hire a candidate or not within the first 90 seconds. To check how you come across, video yourself conducting an interview in front of a mirror (a smartphone is perfect). That way, you can play back your “interview” and see if you need to tweak your language and overall persona.
Preparing in advance for an interview is key, especially when answering difficult questions. It’s important to be prepared for tough questions around your experience, career break etc because the employer wants to see whether you’re a good candidate.
The way to answer difficult questions - especially around career breaks - is by putting a positive, detailed spin on them. So for example, if someone asked you, “what did you do during your career break?” you could answer by saying, “I was on maternity leave for 1 year whereby not only did I become a new mother, but I improved my skills in multi-tasking, creativity and time management. I also organised events in my area…….,” and so on. Don’t be afraid to show-off any new skills you’ve learnt as this adds value to your application.
An interviewer will undoubtedly throw the table over to you at the end of the interview and ask whether you have any questions for them. You could ask questions around the future of the company, career growth, challenges, targets expected. Please avoid asking about salary. It’s a big turn off! If you don’t know the salary before the interview, ask the recruitment agent or HR representative to provide that for you.
The most important interview techniques for mums that I can recommend is a) be yourself and b) chase for feedback. Candidates need feedback so that they can use it for future interviews. You’re not going to grow as a candidate if you don’t have feedback.
As mentioned, remember to be yourself as the interviewer wants to see the “real you.” Don’t worry if you feel you’ve done a bad job and you haven’t displayed yourself in the way you would have liked. Learn from the experience and use it in a positive way for the next interview.
Published: July 2, 2019
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.Discover more