What Have You Been Doing Since Your Last Job?

Tips for answering interview questions when you have an employment gap

Returning to the workforce after being a stay-at-home mother is not easy especially when you have to explain what you have been up to. Most employers understand that raising children can be challenging, but you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing too many details regarding your personal life. So, how should you do it? Here are some tips and tricks.

  1. Do not over-share

Lack of proper preparation might make you give more information than necessary. Does someone who has no idea about raising kids what to hear about your nanny issues? I bet she or he wouldn’t. Whatever it is that kept you out of the workforce, give the information sparingly.

  1. Offer some explanation

While you do not want to divulge too much information, not giving any will not do you any good either. Simply find the right balance. A simple explanation such as, “I took time off to take care of my child” is sufficient. While at it, note that there is a difference between explaining and justifying. Remember that you are not here to prove anything or convince the hiring manager that your decision was the best.

  1. Emphasize why the ideal time is now

The hiring manager may want to know if you are focused on giving your all to the company. So, be concise and do not try to justify your decision. Merely let the hiring manager understand that you are done with time off. All you want is to get back to the grind.

  1. Highlight your new skills

Sadly, changing diapers is not exactly a skill that the firm wants unless it’s a school or a daycare facility. So, focus on the certifications, conferences and classes you attended. Soft skills such as critical observation, problem solving and communication are also vital.