It can feel daunting to return to work after a career break. You will need to refresh your CV as well as getting to grips with the industry again. Your interview skills may also feel a bit rusty after a break in your career. It’s important to brush up on these skills and land the job you want. Here are the top interview tips for returning to work.
It’s easy to fall out of the loop in terms of industry news or process updates when you’re not working. However, you can really stand out to your employers if you do your research to show you’ve stayed on top of it, even if you haven’t.
Familiarising yourself with the industry again is actually not as difficult as you may think. The first step is to sign up to newsletters or blogs related to your job and the industry. This means that you can gain knowledge on a daily basis and be kept up to date. You could also follow employers or well-known bodies or people in the field on social media.
It’s important to research the field when it comes to any interview. You will be able to answer questions as well as demonstrating your passion for the field. Conducting your research will show your dedication to getting back to work.
Unfortunately, CVs will not be relevant forever. You will need to update it all of the time. It’s essential to tailor it to every job that you apply for. This is especially relevant if you are returning to work after a career break.
You could start to refresh your CV by adjusting the font and layout. This will help you to brush up on your skills and previous experiences while you do it. Next, add your most recent job experiences as well as any courses or volunteer work you may have taken up during the break.
Shave down your CV by removing any irrelevant information. This will leave space for you to explain the reasons for the gap in your employment. Here is our guide on how to master this.
Like any job interview, first impressions are very important. While it can be hard to come back into the working world, it’s essential to be confident. Preparing for any interview is important, but especially if you have been on a career break. Brush up on potential questions, but also the basics.
Be sure of where the interview will be held, how long it will take to get there and what you need to bring. Some things to consider bringing are a copy of your CV, a pen and notepad and examples of work if possible.
If you are running late due to traffic etc, let the employer know. Contact them directly if you can, but phone the company reception if not.
What you want to know about them
The main idea of an interview is for the employer to find out if you’re the right fit for their company. However, you will also have the opportunity to find out more about them. Remember, an interview is a two-way conversation.
Feel free to ask them questions about company culture, working environment, team dynamics and beyond. Career prospects, the position itself and the responsibilities you will be required to undertake are also potential questions.
Prepare at least three questions for the employers in advance. This will show that you are interested in and committed to the role, as well as demonstrating that you are a great thinker. Just be sure to keep it relevant.