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To ask for help?! (job interview)

(17 Posts)
KraggleLego Mon 27-Jul-15 13:09:06

I have been a stay at home mum for the past 13 years!, I have 4 children two of whom have autism. I am now in a position where it is possible for me to work and trust me I want to so badly!

My problem is that obviously I haven't worked in 13 years, the last place I worked has shut down and moved to the other side of the country, I highly doubt anyone would even remember me so no help with references. I was an admin asistant

I applied for job as a travel adviser and one as sales advisor (call centers), both with huge companies and I have a telephone interview for both.

My problem is with no bloody experience how on earth do I convince these people to give me chance, I want this so badly. Can anyone please give me any advice on how to sell myself.

Spartans Mon 27-Jul-15 13:16:27

I had a telephone interview for a call centre job. Have a pencil and paper ready to make quick notes. Mine read things out and I had to recall some detail from what they had said.

Just make sure you speak clearly and listen. Just be yourself and answer as honestly as you can.

You at not have had actual employed experience. But it's sounds like you have a lot of experience that could be transferred.

I got told I gave the best response in an interview. I was asked 'how are you with constructive criticism?' I answered 'I have a 5 year old so have had lots of practice and take it my stride and try to improve'

Nothing to with my employed life, but the man interviewing loved it.

Good luck

OllyBJolly Mon 27-Jul-15 13:24:53

I'll start by saying "women returners' are much in demand for these kinds of roles. More mature, used to paying bills and balancing budgets (so can empathise with customers) and less likely to land one on the boss at the nights out. Also less likely to turn up to work in a hangover with yesterday's clothes...

The general rule on references (not for financial roles) is five years worth of references. If there are no work references, then character references should suffice. These should not be a relative, but someone of some professional standing who has known you for that time.

Telephone interview will probably look for basic competencies for the role, and telephone skills. Probable competencies will be customer focus, results driven, quality orientation, attention to detail. Think of some situations where you have used these skills. The answers don't have to be work based, but best if they are work situations.

Tell me how you meet and exceed expectations
Give me an example of a time when you achieved an important goal
Talk me through how you check your work meets set standards
Give me an example of a task you have had to complete where accuracy is essential.

Telephone skills is just about speaking clearly - remember to speak slowly, listen, and breathe!

Have a glass of water and pen and paper handy to scribble any notes and remember to smile on the phone- it does make a difference.

Best of luck!

KraggleLego Mon 27-Jul-15 13:41:37

Thank you so much for the advice, I am very nervous. I've applied for a billion jobs and this is the first sniff I've had. I'm trying to arrange the interviews for when DH is at home and can control the children grin

AliceAlice1979 Mon 27-Jul-15 13:59:48

olly has given you some good questions. It's really important to think about scenarios you can use to illustrate any examples you get asked for. Lots of interviews these days are scenarios 'tell me about a time when you....' So to answer you need to think of scenarios where you say dealt with a stroppy customer, or managed your own attention to detail. Your explez don't have to come from work, they can be say from coordinating other activities. Scenarios bed to be a situation, what you did to manage the situation and the outcome and or any learnings. You need to balance up to answer with your work experience from ages ago. Have confidence. You can do this.

AliceAlice1979 Mon 27-Jul-15 14:02:44

A use my typos and lack of grammar Im on my phone at work, trying to be discrete

lostincumbria Mon 27-Jul-15 14:11:35

Great advice from Olly and Ally. I'd also add as a to make sure you can explain why you did/do something. Good luck!

SylvanianCaliphate Mon 27-Jul-15 14:13:05

Check out glass doors for any inside tips.

Spydra Mon 27-Jul-15 14:20:53

Echoing what the others have said, a good way to respond to the "tell me a time when" competency questions is with STAR - Situation, Task, Action, Result.

So for a simple example - A time when you achieved a goal.

S - Our company were pitching for a new contract.
T - I wanted to make sure my presentation and pitch was bang on.
A - I practiced and rehearsed, and reviewed with colleagues and my manager before the pitch.
R - It went wonderfully and we got the contract!

It helps to have notes in a phone interview - you can write out a few of these for different situations, and then you won't be struggling to think of answers under pressure.

KraggleLego Mon 27-Jul-15 14:28:50

Some fantastic suggestions here, I am writing everything down and practising your suggestions as we speak. The last job interview I had, I just walked in the manager took one look said "well do you want the job or not?.. start Monday" grin
Everything is so different now, I have never had to do so many assessments in my life

Fatmomma99 Mon 27-Jul-15 16:50:26

Agree with what others have said, but do be careful not to heavy breathe down the phone. Also, def don't eat or drink while you're on the phone.

Also do things like listen very hard and confirm what you've heard "so you're asking...." etc (not with every question, or it'll be annoying) but if the job is telephone-based then having a good telephone manner and being a good listener will be good.

Good luck. Do let us know how you got on.

8angle Mon 27-Jul-15 17:02:35

Hi OP,
Firstly, pause to gather your thoughts before answering a question and really listen to the question that is asked - I know that sounds trite but so many people are so nervous they start answering a question they think they have heard, without really hearing the actual question.

In terms of experience, try to think of 5 or 6 issues you have had to overcome in the recent past - with children or a renovation project or a broken boiler! Just an instance where a situation has arisen that had to be dealt with - you want to know:
1. what the situation was
2. why it was a problem
3. what you did to overcome / resolve it
4. How things ended up - and most importantly what you learnt / what you would do differently.

It is really good to have thought about these things before and have the ideas in your head almost as short stories, so you can recount any particular bits relevant to questions, whilst sounding fluent and considered.

Finally you have brought up 4 children, both of these jobs will be a walk in the park in comparison, so have no fear. Also to get to the interview stage they should have already decided you being competent, this is more about personality, temperament and fit.

Good luck and congratulations on the interviews!

KraggleLego Thu 30-Jul-15 11:44:16

I just thought I would update anyone who was interested, on Tuesday I had my phone interview and It went really well. I was told id passed straight away, then she dropped the bombshell. "oh they are having a recruitment day tomorrow can you go".

I went with some juggling, I was convinced I had messed it up. The interview was very long and nothing I have ever hear of before (speed interviewing?!?)
Only to get an email today telling me I was successful!.

So dependant on my criminal check I should have a job! grin
Thank you all so much for your advice, you absolutely helped me to get through this flowers to you all.

Fatmomma99 Thu 30-Jul-15 11:46:23

Hey. Congrats. flowers to you I think.

Well done!

Hope you enjoy the job.

AliceAlice1979 Thu 30-Jul-15 11:54:46

Wooo hoo thanks for updateing us. Do tell us more about the speed interview!

KraggleLego Thu 30-Jul-15 12:42:05

Well basically I was sat in a room alone, while 1 interviewer came in and asked me some questions (examples of working in a team etc)
Then after 5 minutes she would leave then the next person came in and asked me something else and so on.
There were 5 different people in total and it managed to take 2 hours!
It was ever so bizarre and nothing I have ever heard of before

AliceAlice1979 Thu 30-Jul-15 13:09:00

I'm I've heard of that recently. Speed interviewing (invented by Thoes who met their o/h speed dateing?) annoying but at least it worked smile

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