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Women returners, consider these top tips for nailing a job interview

Women returners, consider these top tips for nailing a job interview

 September 05, 2023

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Job interviews are daunting enough. After a career break, they may seem like an insurmountable barrier between you and your dream employer. 

Depending on the length of career break, it can be quite a while since the last job interview.

The work landscape, particularly after the pandemic, has certainly changed in many ways. And as a job candidate, you have changed also. You may feel out of touch with your own industry, from the lingo and the culture to the latest trends and technologies. Even the application and interview process might be different. Or, you might simply be out of practice.

But there's no reason however why you shouldn't ace your job interview after a career break.

Interviews for women returners shouldn't be a barrier or an insurmountable challenge. Job interviews provide an important opportunity to showcase skills and experiences gained both before, and during, your career break, and to explain why you're uniquely placed to add value to the company.

Yet, even the most perfect job candidate might fall at the interview hurdle. Why? Because of a lack of comfort and confidence can certainly set in post a career break. Therefore, it's important to build positive confidence from thorough preparation before, good performance during, and appropriate follow-up after, the job interview.

Don't let a job interview stop you from returning to work.

Follow these useful job interview tips that are specifically tailored for women returners.

Update your resume

Take the time to update your resume with your most recent skills, experiences, and accomplishments. Highlight any relevant projects or activities you engaged in during your career break, such as volunteering or freelancing.

Research the company

Before your job interview, thoroughly research the company. Understand its mission, values, culture, and recent news or projects. Plus be aware of the volume and type of jobs the company is currently recruiting for. All of this should enable you to tailor your answers and demonstrate your interest in the organization.

Refresh your industry knowledge

Refresh your knowledge about the industry and any recent developments that may have occurred during your career break. Stay updated on trends, technologies, and best practices. This will help you feel more confident and relevant during the interview.

Seek support from your network

Reach out to professional networks, former colleagues, or mentors for advice and support about the job interview process. They may be able to provide insights, recommend job opportunities, or even serve as references. Networking can also help you regain confidence and connect with like-minded professionals across industry.

Practice interview questions

Prepare for the job interview by practicing common interview questions and formulating thoughtful responses. Anticipate questions about your career break, and be prepared to explain how you kept your skills current during that time.

Ask pertinent questions

Prepare a list of thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer. This shows your interest in the role and the company. Questions about the team dynamics, company culture, and growth opportunities are often well-received.

.womenreturners job interview tips

Showcase transferable skills

In your job interview, emphasize the transferable skills you acquired during your career break. These skills can include time management, problem-solving, leadership, communication, and adaptability. Discuss how you can apply these skills to the position you're interviewing for. 

Address the career break

When discussing your career break, approach it with confidence and positivity. Explain why you took the career break and highlight any valuable experiences or skills you gained during that time. Emphasize your enthusiasm to re-enter the workforce and contribute to the company's success.

Dress appropriately

Dress professionally for the interview and in a manner that aligns with the company culture. Dressing well and respectfully can boost your confidence and leave a positive impression on the interviewer.

Follow up with a thank-you

After the job interview, send a thank-you note to express your gratitude for the opportunity and to reiterate your interest in the position. It's a small gesture that can certainly leave a lasting positive impression.

Secure a job interview with a prime employer for women returners 

Now you're ready for that job interview. But how do you find the best employers for women returners? 

Where Women Work showcases prime employers offering the right jobs with the right support for women returners. Many of these employers offer programs, mentoring, and resources for women returners. All of these employers believe career breaks and non-linear career paths can add value to the company. 

Apply for jobs with these prime employers.

If you get an interview offer, remember - returning to work after a career break is an achievement in itself.

Be confident in your skills, abilities, and experiences, and approach the interview with a positive mindset.

Good luck!


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.


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