If you've been looking after children full-time and are out of the whole paid-work world, the interview part of getting a new job can be the most butterfly-inducing.
But there's a knack to interviews that you can learn like any other skill - the key thing is doing the legwork beforehand.
Preparing for an interview
- Find out as much as you can about the company you're applying to, put together a list of potential questions that might come up and think about issues you'd like to discuss during the interview.
- Be relaxed - try not to approach your interview with a 'do or die' mentality you'll perform better.
- Write a list of the questions you think they might ask and prepare some answers.
- Work up some concrete examples of things you've achieved.
The interview process
Demonstrate that you're reliable, willing to learn and will work hard. This isn't about how the job will suit you but what the employer wants.
Prove that you're the right person for the position; show how your previous experience will help you do this job .
If you can't think of any answer straight away, take a sip of water and think clearly. Do not be afraid to ask for clarification. Do not be afraid to say you don't know something.
Make eye contact and speak to the interviewer, not your feet.
Come across as friendly, approachable, and able to listen, giving the impression you can take direction well.
Wait about 15-30 seconds before answering any question, even if you know the exact answer you want to give.
Make sure you are answering their question, not the question you wished they had asked.
If they ask about your weaknesses, cite something you used to feel you needed more development to accomplish. That way you'll be highlighting your commitment to improving your own performance.
How to calm pre-interview nerves
Visualise yourself giving killer answers to their questions. Get yourself into a place where you feel good about what you can offer. The visualising thing really works.
Practise with a friend the first two minutes of the encounter, the bit where you sit in the reception area and they come out to get you and make small talk.