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To actively mention my DD in an interview?

(37 Posts)
totellthetruth Thu 18-Dec-14 21:12:58

I am going for an interview with a humanitarian/development charity next week. They are almost definitely going to ask why I want to work for this charity. The honest answer is that when you become a parent, the humanitarian disasters in the world take on a new meaning, as you are hyper-aware that there are children as young as your own in truly awful situations. I think everyone feels this way? I know that many of my friends with kids say they can't bear to watch the news some nights. I could give them the usual spiel about how impressive their track record is and how well known their activities etc, but the truthful answer is the one I've set out above. Would it be weird/unprofessional/excessively emotional to say that? Would they think I was a bit bonkers or that it was an inappropriate response?

YoullLikeItNotaLot Thu 18-Dec-14 21:19:31

Inappropriate I'd say. Imagine if the panel don't have children? You're saying they can't understand.

Maybe mention it in a way that says "and as parent I make an instant comparison to my own children's lives" but do not say the honest answer is because when you become a parent, the humanitarian disasters in the world take on a new meaning though. That would be fairly offensive.

ohweeeell Thu 18-Dec-14 21:20:34

I think it's entirely appropriate and honest, YANBU

It will probably be a breath of fresh air from the usual track record chat and you can still keep it professional too, I think it's relevant if that's how you feel, as you say I think most parents feel this way.

Good luck!! flowers

WoodenGo Thu 18-Dec-14 21:21:10

I think you are BU to imply that people without children do not have the same response or are more insensitive to world disasters that those with.

museumum Thu 18-Dec-14 21:23:50

I would be wary of anything that suggests those without children don't understand / feel like parents do. You only know how you felt before, you can't speak for everyone, some people without children feel deeply for victims of humanitarian crises and some with children don't.
I recently sat on an interview panel where one woman mentioned her children and although she got the job, the rest of the panel did say it made them feel awkward.

ClashCityRocker Thu 18-Dec-14 21:25:50

It seems a good way to alienate the panel, if they don't have children.

I can't bear to watch the news some nights, and I don't have kids.

Muskey Thu 18-Dec-14 21:26:03

I wouldn't mention having a child. I would say something like when you get to a certain point in your life etc etc. despite the fact that people are not meant to discriminate against you because you have children the reality is something different. I was at an interview quite recently when the interviewer actually asked me if I had any children. I did say to the person interviewing me that he wasn't allowed to ask that question and then walked out of the interview.

YoullLikeItNotaLot Thu 18-Dec-14 21:29:11

Actually I think it is ok to mention your children in an interview. I did for the job I have now - I was explaining why I'd been part time and under-employed for a number of years but now felt ready to take on a senior full time role again.

I just think the Context the OP is suggesting is offensive.

JamSarnies Thu 18-Dec-14 21:31:41

I personally think this is the best response - it is genuine / from the heart. Perhaps you could then talk about the fact that because this particular organisation has a great track record in xyz is why you are interested in a role with them vs other humanitarian organisations. But your primary motive is as you suggest - to do something that makes a positive impact.

I went through a similar change in career after my first child, I had previously worked in marketing and couldn't face the thought of returning to work late nights, slogging over the details of advertising endlines or minor changes on a pack design - it just seemed a bit trivial. I was lucky enough to move into a role that was still a marketing role, but was focused on brands that have ambitions to create positive social impact. Still have the late nights and stress, but can justify it a bit more to myself! Good luck, hope the interview goes well!

UptheChimney Thu 18-Dec-14 21:31:46

The honest answer is that when you become a parent, the humanitarian disasters in the world take on a new meaning, as you are hyper-aware that there are children as young as your own in truly awful situations

Completely inappropriate. You come across as one of those smug types who thinks that because they've had a child they've become so much a better and more charitable person than those without children.

Which -- even just reading threads in this forum -- is so much BS it makes me want to throw up. There's a strong counter-argument to suggest that having children of your own makes most people more selfish.

BringYourOwnSnowman Thu 18-Dec-14 21:32:05

You're answering the question 'why do you want to work in humanitarian relief' not 'why do you want to work for our charity'

Agree it could irritate any non parents. Also, may cross the line between passionate about a cause and over emotional which can be seen as not rational

totellthetruth Thu 18-Dec-14 21:34:07

I honestly have no wish to be offensive, YoulLikeIt. That's partly why I've come on here to ask the question. I can obviously only speak from my own experience - perhaps other people were just more compassionate than I was before their DC were born.

ClashCityRocker Thu 18-Dec-14 21:34:21

Just to add to my earlier post, you could maybe change it to 'when I had my daughter, I found that I felt xyz'....

LurkingHusband Thu 18-Dec-14 21:35:47

It sounds a tad like that terrible intro to an opinion ...

"Speaking as a mother ..."

ClashCityRocker Thu 18-Dec-14 21:36:48

But saying that 'when you have children' comes across as, well, a bit patronising. Especially to all the non-parent humanitarian crisis workers - especially the people out their in the field helping, which may not be a lifestyle choice conductive to having children.

ClashCityRocker Thu 18-Dec-14 21:37:42

*there blush

Hairtodaygonetomorrow Thu 18-Dec-14 21:39:12

I would not say this, because although it is an answer to the question why do you want to work for A humanitarian/development charity, it is not an answer to the question of why you want to work for THIS particular charity.

Think of something else.

tigermoll Thu 18-Dec-14 21:40:44

I'd be careful with how you phrase this too - as previously mentioned, it sounds like 'people who aren't parents don't have proper feelings' and also sounds a bit....I don't know....kneejerk and emotive.

Surely there are other reasons you want to work for the charity? You feel your skills are suited to the role, you are passionate about working for an ethical employer, there are exciting places to go in the company, they (above other charities) have initiatives that you feel really have an impact, etc.

The charity sector is besieged by applicants who haven't thought much beyond 'wanting to do good' - that is something they regard as a starting point for all prospective employees, not an end in itself. They are also looking for people with a realistic grasp of what the role entails, not people who have an exclusively emotive view of the charity's work.

totellthetruth Thu 18-Dec-14 21:41:00

OK, thanks very much, all - I'll find something else to say in that case.

WooWooOwl Thu 18-Dec-14 21:41:43

I don't think there would be anything at all wrong with being honest. It doesn't really make much difference how you came to care about the work this charity does or it's beneficiaries, what matters is that you do genuinely care.

I'd try and look a bit further in to yourself to see if there are reasons other than your own child that make you want to work for this charity in particular, maybe something more specifically related to this charity rather than other similar charities.

Storytown Thu 18-Dec-14 21:42:06

I agree with you OP, I certainly did feel those things more since Dc were born but I wouldn't have understood that beforehand. I still thought I was aware and sensitive to the terrible things going on in the world and would have been most offended by anyone suggesting that I was less caring than them just because I didn't have children, so I don't think you can use it in your interview. Sorry.

Mammanat222 Thu 18-Dec-14 21:44:50

Makes it kind of sound like you didn't give a shit about any humanitarian disasters pre kids... confused

MaudantWit Thu 18-Dec-14 21:46:04

Completely inappropriate. You come across as one of those smug types who thinks that because they've had a child they've become so much a better and more charitable person than those without children.

This, precisely.

Think of another way to get your point across.

MmeLindor Thu 18-Dec-14 21:46:08

I would be very wary of 'as a parent, I think...' statements, as it infers that those who don't yet have children don't have the same clarity of vision, or insight into what needs to be done.

MmeLindor Thu 18-Dec-14 21:50:43

XP with everyone else.

I do think that charities probably get a lot of applications from people who make impassioned speeches, and you'd stand out better by concentrating on facts.

Why this particular charity, do they do something different?

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