Bringing Baggage To The Job Interview

Nobody’s perfect. But nobody wants to hear about your problems and baggage either. Especially in the job interview. Some people’s lives begin to sound like a Soap Opera because there have been so many extenuating circumstances. The following is some advice to handle those tricky situations when interviewing that may be difficult to talk about let alone explain.

Returning To The Workforce After An Extended Absence.

1. Be able to explain why you have decided that now is the time for you to return to the work force – why now?

Have a convincing statement about your goals or intentions of staying in the work force after being away for a period of time – this is best done by scripting and practicing your answer so that you feel confident saying it in the interview.

2. Make sure that you are up-to-date on changes that have occurred in your field in your absence.

This may entail taking a brush up class or course. It is important that you be able to show that you can “hit the ground running,” particularly with so many candidates to choose from in this economy.

3. Do some research, using the internet to discover what is required in the type of position you are seeking.

Job postings are “wish lists” that employers put together in hopes of finding the perfect candidate. Use these postings to see what employers are seeking and make sure that your resume and your interview answers address the employer’s “wishes.”

4. Focus on your strengths – the skills that you have used in the past.

Think of five skills that you consider you do “best.” If your strengths are in sync with the employer’s wish list, emphasize your ability and past experiences using those skills to show that you have “been there and done that” and can do it again.

5. Send a follow up letter (or email) after the interview to remind the interviewer what you would bring to the position and to address any concerns that you may have picked up on during the interview.

Changing Careers And Have No Or Little Experience At The New Career.

1. When you change careers the focus will be on the “softer” skills – referred to as “transferable” or “portable” skills.

These skills include communication skills, ability to work with a diversity of people, ability to plan and organize, time management, etc.

2. Each candidate is unique. What makes you unique?

Think about your personality and your personal traits. One of the things that the interviewer is looking for is “someone to fit in” – who is likeable – who will work well with the other team members.

Personal traits could be the tie breaker between two equally qualified people. Think of at least five personal traits that make you unique – friendly, flexible, quick learner, reliable, responsible, easy to get along with.

About the author:
Carole Martin, America's #1 Interview Coach has specialized in the subject of "Interviewing" for the past 15 and has coached and interviewed thousands of job seekers. She has produced a free practice interview at The Job Interview Coaching Center - Ask for a FREE Interview Analysis for more personalized interview coaching at her web site, The Interview Coach.
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