Acing the Job Interview

Job interviews can be nerve-wrecking, particularly if you've been away from the professional sphere for some time to tend to your baby. In fact, job interviews can be pretty tough on new mothers who are looking into going back to work, so here are a few tips on how to ace your job interviews and increase your chance of getting hired.

Prepare yourself for the interview

This covers everything from your appearance to your understanding of the job being offered and background of the company you're applying to. Plan your answers to the questions that you expect you will be asked and practice answering them in front of a mirror or with someone else. Repeat your best responses until they become natural; this way when you go in for your interview you'll exude confidence and won't be caught off guard.

Don't mention the baby

A recent study revealed that employers were less likely to hire job applicants who were known to be mothers than other female applicants, and were even likely to offer them lower salaries. This is due to a general fear that mothers will be unable to dedicate themselves to the job whilst also juggling family demands. So the next time you go to an interview, avoid mentioning your baby and focus on keeping things professional. If you are asked whether you have children, try to bring the conversation back to your professional abilities and limit the information you give about your family situation.

Build on your resume

While discussing your abilities during the interview, briefly touch upon courses, certification and actual work experience mentioned in your resume and elaborate on them, but don't directly refer to your resume to avoid sounding as if you've memorized it and are reading it off by rote. Subtlety is paramount in this case.

Highlight your strengths

Know what you're good at and stress these skills during the interview, making sure to relate them to the job that you're applying for. Each strength should offer value to your potential employer, so elaborate on how you've used this strength in a previous situation that demonstrates your capabilities in handling the position you're being interviewed for.

Be clear where you want to go.

One common question that often comes up during interviews is: "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Prepare an answer that is specific and that reflects your future career goals. Make sure that your answer indicates that you understand the nature of the business you're applying for and that you've got the ambition and dedication to see your objectives through.  

Ask questions

Don't just take anything that's offered to you; a good interviewer will respect your desire to assess the organization in terms of whether or not it is right for your own requirements. Ask whether there are opportunities for growth in the company and whether it offers the work conditions that you are looking for.