Help! Interview tomorrow after 6.5 years as SAHM...

(7 Posts)

I'm feeling so nervous it's unbelievable! I can do everything the job requires (I feel fairly confident as it's almost identical to the job I left when DS1 was born years ago), however I am so stressed about what to say when they ask me about the intervening years - how do I dress up the past 6.5 years and make them sound as positive as possible? Don't want to sound wishy-washy but trying to think of useful skills/ attributes that being a SAHM has taught me!! Right now all I can think is that it's taught me patience and endurance (for me it's been a real struggle mentally and emotionally even though I felt it was the right move for my family). I just know they'll ask me about the gap and need advice on how to answer that question!

MrsMargoLeadbetter Mon 12-Nov-12 21:44:30

Hello

Congrats on securing the interview, sounds like you are in with a good chance of getting the job. Just remember you are half way there if they are interviewing you, on paper you can get the job in their eyes - or why would they be interviewing you.

I haven't been in your situ, but I have interviewed lots of people in my time so I would say something like:

- "I took a career break to be at home with my family, which is now complete (even if it isn't!), so I am looking to carry on my career following my last role. Which is why I was so excited to see this role advertised, as I have the skills and experience your are looking for.

During my career break I kept my skills up-to-date with volunteering roles in the PTA* which required organisation, social skills, ICT skills and budgeting etc."

*Most parents could probably claim this, even if your help wasn't an offical role?

I wouldn't focus too much on what you have done in the past 6 years, if you can make some of SAHM experience tie to the corp world do, but if not just focus on what you did back them and how are you are ready to get back to it. etc.

Have you kept abreast of your industry? Can you demonstrate this by mentioning something current?

As somebody interviewing you I would want to know:

a) What you did before the break
b) why there was a break (assuming they don't know exactly why) and that it sounds plausible
c) how you will fit into a job/role nowadays (so a bit of the tying your gap skills to the corp role, how you talk about your previous role and how you come across).

I might be inclined to write some thoughts down about your last job to help you recall in the meeting. It is the thing I think they'll focus on, so if you can remember with clarity what you did, how you did it etc.

Not sure if that helps. A bit of a mixed bag of advice.

Best of luck. Try not to be too nervous. You'll be great.

Megan74 Mon 12-Nov-12 21:49:50

Good luck, how exciting. I wouldn't dwell to much on the last 6.5 years, I think at most they will ask you something vague. I would just put it in a positive light and concentrate more on your wish to work and how you are ready for the next phase on your life. Maybe pick 3 skills you feel they would be looking for which can be useful in this job. Negotiating skills, patience, prioritsing that type of thing.The exact skills will depend on what the job is. I would also refernce back to your previous role as you said you had done a similar role before. So if they say 'twolittlemonkeys, tell us what skills you have developed in the last few years at home' you can say whatever 3 skills best fit with the job and follow with 'and this of course accentuates the skills I developed in my previoius role X where I did Y'.

Thanks - for the application itself I had to focus in a fair bit of detail on my previous job so have refreshed my memory about what I did there and think I can recall pretty quickly what I did and can tie it into the typical kind of interview questions I might be asked. I will write down some notes and read over them several times before I go in, so that I have details fresh in my mind.

Thanks for the advice, will report back on how it goes. smile

MrsMargoLeadbetter Tue 13-Nov-12 18:51:37

How did it go???

Oops, sorry forgot to come back - the interview itself went well, I was satisfied with how I answered the questions, but I didn't manage to finish the test. sad Typically, they didn't ask about the gap at all!! At the end of the interview they told me they would make their decision that day and the successful applicant would be told on Wednesday and everyone else would hear within the next few days, so I guess I am in the latter group! Still, the interview practice was good (much-needed!) and I'm not feeling too bad about it as I did my best and wasn't as nervous in there as I was beforehand!

Thanks for asking, and for your helpful advice - I feel less nervous about applying for other jobs now that I've had an interview! smile

MrsMargoLeadbetter Tue 20-Nov-12 13:07:19

Oh well, their loss!

But great experience as you say. And great that it has given you the confidence to apply for other things/attend more interviews. Well done smile

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