Ten Tips for Return-to-Work Interviewees

  1. Do your research

    Review the company website; taking a good look around will give you an idea of the mission and philosophies of the company you're targeting.

  2. Ask for information

    How will the interview be structured? Is it competency-based? The more you know, the better you will be able to prepare.

  3. Do a reconnaissance

    Visit the company ahead of time and loiter out the front for a while. Knowing where the interview will take place will save you the stress of finding it on the day; and you'll be able to get a good look at the people with whom you might be working.

  4. Plan what to wear

    Plan your attire armed with the knowledge of the company dress code gained from your reconnaissance. Even the most casual workplaces require you to make an effort for the interview, but you might get away with a less formal outfit.

  5. Practice at home

    If it's been a while since you've been to an interview, try some practice questions at home. Ask a friend to participate and, even better, get some professional help via interview coaching.

  6. Plan your answers

    Think about the information that you want to convey to the employer. What are the skills you want to highlight? Note that employers are not just interested in what you've done, but in you explaining when and how you did it. If you say 'I have great leadership skills', they'll ask you for an example of the last time you utilised those skills.

  7. Deal with the parenting gap

    If you've been out of the workforce for a few years, it's important to think about the things you’ve been doing in work-speak. Chances are you've been volunteering in some capacity. Stick to how your skills will benefit the job for which you're applying.

  8. Don’t talk about your family circumstances

    You are being interviewed to see if your skills and experience match the advertised job. Nothing else.

  9. An interview is based on two things

    Firstly to see how well-suited you are to the role based on your experience; and secondly to see how well you might fit within the culture of the organisation. Be yourself.

  10. Remember that the interview…

    …is also a chance for you to gauge whether or not you actually want to work for the organisation in that role. You're actually interviewing them as well! Keeping that in mind may help with confidence.