Qerja, 5 years ago
One of those mornings, you wake up and get an email or a call. You’ve scored an interview, your first in a long time. It’s a chance for you to come out of your career hiatus, right? You will definitely and should be excited. But then, sometimes, uncertainty creeps up; you’ve been out of the game for a while and your confidence might not be up there. A long period of unemployment gap could also rouse speculations concerning your previous employment, your career ambition, or your ability to get employed.
A little nervous? Don’t be. Here are some tips to follow before you step into the interview room.
1. Practice Your Interview Skill
It might have been a while. So, time to brush up on your basic conversational and self-presentation skill. Get your friends or family members to be your practice partner. If it helps, scour career and professional websites for tips and guides.
2. Here Comes the Expected Question
When the inevitable question about your previous employment surfaces, it’s best to weave the explanation in detail: Were they downsizing? Was it voluntary and why? If you were let go, prepare a good explanation.
3. Present Your Present Self
Moving on from the explanation, highlight the experience and skills that you acquired from your time with your previous employer. Emphasize the activities you’re involved with in your gap period, whether they’re the courses and certifications that you took, freelance jobs, or volunteer work. It shows that you weren’t being idle and are capable of self-improvement and self-discipline. Tie them all up and relate them to the position that you’re currently applying for: how can they be applicable to the company?
4. No Man Left Behind
The industry is constantly on the move and so should you. Show potential employers that you’re familiar with the industry and you constantly keep tabs on the latest. Zoom in particularly on the status, performance, and future of the company interviewing you.
It’s perfectly normal to worry or feel a little self-conscious after long away period. You have to remind yourself that you have it in you; “it” being your ability to cinch an interview, provided that you did not slack off during your unemployment. If so, it should be like riding a bike: It might not be smooth right away, but you’re still able to move forward and that’s the only thing that matters.
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