With preparation and the right mindset, you can successfully sail through interviews!

Sailing through Interviews – after a career break

Meenakshi is perhaps the most conscientious indePenn member I have met thus far. She meticulously followed ever step of the indePenn ABCD process (Assess, Bolster Confidence, Build Competency, Develop a plan), to complete her learning journey.  The next step was to attend the interview. She said she wanted “Interview Preparation & Coaching

indePenn's ABCD Process of Learning!
As her interview coach, we told her that there were multiple parts to the preparation. Here are some tips that we shared.

Be prepared to elaborate on every line of your résumé

Have multiple anecdotes about every line of your résumé. If you have worked on SAP Materials Management, you should be able to explain some of the problems you faced and how those were solved. If you say you have expertise in Visual Basic, you should be prepared to write code to solve a problem that the interviewer presents. If you now want to become a cloud engineer, you should be able to talk at length about the projects that you have done during your learning program and share code you have submitted to Github.

List the top twenty questions that you are likely to be asked

For a woman returning to work after a long break, there will be questions on the subject and questions about her career break (Meenakshi listed questions meticulously – in two columns).

Prepare multiple answers for the questions you have listed

As we all know, one interviewer may ask a question in a certain way and a second interviewer on the panel may ask the same question but worded slightly differently. It would not do to repeat the answer.

So, we asked Meenakshi to write three answers to each question. She thought I had gone crazy – I could see it on her face – even with the uneven lighting in our virtual meeting – “three answers for the same question? But I have only one answer”. We explained that she could illustrate the same answer with different stories or anecdotes to explain the answer.

Here’s a sample

Q: You have been on a break for a little over 5 years now. Could you tell us why?

Meenakshi”s Ans 1: My husband was offered a project overseas and I quit to go abroad with him.

Q: You didn’t think your career was important?

Meenakshi”s Ans 2: It’s a personal choice. I opted to take some time to experience living in a different country and culture.

Q: How can we be sure you won’t do this again?

Meenakshi”s Ans 3: We have decided not to take assignments anywhere else for at least another 3 years.

These questions are all around Meenakshi’s break. When you prepare questions & answers in this fashion, it is easier to keep your cool and not feel defensive about choices that you have made. You are less likely to feel upset or harassed by such questions. Interviewers are looking to see how even tempered you are and how confident you are about the choices you have made in your life.

Want to ace your interview?

Anticipating questions and scripting answers with the right words and being able to deliver them confidently enhances the impression you make on the interviewers.

indePenn helps women on a career break returning to work, to upskill themselves and prepare to present themselves as confident professionals.

Visit us at indePenn.com and Sign Up – we’ll handhold you through the process of getting back to work.

#CareerBreak #ReturnToWorkforce #InterviewTips #ProfessionalDevelopment #JobSeeker #ReenteringTheWorkforce #SkillsDevelopment #Networking #ConfidenceBuilding #CareerAdvice

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