In the UK, although discrimination is illegal against any job applicant based on age, sex, race or religion (not sure how a that would work with a Muslim applying to be Arch Bishop), one would be foolish to believe that this doesn’t happen. Of-course there won’t be any proof of this until mind readers are invented, but we know that women of ‘child-bearing age’ are not as attractive to employers as their male counterparts.
Interviews can be daunting, especially when you’re returning to work after a few years of being a full-time mom. There are some things that just shouldn’t be said at an interview, and then there are some things that women should not say at an interview.
This may be true, but when asked ‘tell me about yourself’, remember to relate this to your skills for the job as best you can.
You may have lost confidence in your working self being home with the kids for the past 5 years, but you need to sound confident.
I know that when you’re busy running a household and taking care of kids, it’s hard to imagine that you ever did anything else, let alone remember what it was you did! Yes, they can see your CV, but you should know your CV inside out and be able to talk about what you did in previous roles.
For anyone just leaving work to go on maternity leave or leaving to take care of kids, I’d strongly advise you to print off your job spec or CV and make some notes on it as to what you do, why and how – whilst it’s fresh in your mind. Keep it in a folder that you can access when you need to prepare for a job interview.
It’s not good to burst into tears at an interview regardless of your hormone levels. No-one wants to employ an emotional wreck.
You may have been on SMP (Statutory Maternity Pay) barely making ends meet, but unless the company has told you otherwise, you won’t be getting a refund for your journey.
Working from home and flexible working is more common now than it used to be, but asking about working from home and flexi working may imply that you have issues with child-care.
By law in the UK, a fridge should be provided for breastmilk if you’re expressing, but it’s probably best to ask this once you’ve bagged the job.
Some companies will allow you paid days off (not affecting annual leave) if you need to deal with sick kids. This is not compulsory and most companies won’t have this in place. It’s not a good idea to ask about this as it will be presumed that you’re planning on taking some extra time off. Read more about your rights on time-off-for-dependants.
Not a good reason as to why you want the job. Please don’t say this no matter how true to you it may be.
You’ve just noticed your 2-year-olds bogies and tomato-stained finger prints on your nicely ironed shirt. Cover it up with your hands, or a jacket, or your folder…but whatever you do, don’t swear. You’ve come this far – don’t put your foot in it!
There is no excuse for a phone ringing in an interview. Even if you think it’s about your kids, the interview won’t last long, but will almost certainly be over much sooner if you do take a call during it.
This will surely end your interview rather quickly. No company, especially smaller ones, wants the inconvenience and expense of recruiting again in a few short months.
This shows lack of interest. If you were interested in the job you would have done some research and known what the company does and what you can offer the company.
Make sure you’ve prepared a list of well thought out questions to ask at the end of the interview. This shows that you’re interested in the job, and will help you gage if this company is the right fit for you.
Please don’t ask the interviewer this question – no matter how dishy he may be. You’re better off asking no questions than asking this one. Focus! If you want this job you need to stop imagining what the interviewer would look like topless on a beach. Keep the interview official.
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