SALES JOBS, SALES CAREER, CAREER PATH & CAREER PLANNING
Interview Tips For Those Re-Entering The Workforce
You may be re-entering the workforce after raising a family, studying, travelling, caring for someone, or following an illness. These are all good reasons for taking a break from work.
The golden rule for those re-entering the workforce is – whatever you do – do not be apologetic for your break in employment! A negative tone will adversely affect how you present yourself in the interview. Remember you need to keep your tone positive and enthusiastic.
Even if you have been out of the professional work force for some time, there is usually something you have done during that time which relates to the sales job you have applied for. You need to sell the skills, professional accomplishments, and experience that you have gained outside of the professional work force.
For example you may have maintained or even added to your skill set by engaging in the following work-related activities:
Remaining active in professional associations
Studying part time
Been an active member of committees, e.g. your children’s school committee
Even if you haven’t engaged in these work-related activities, you need to be creative and think about other transferable skills and experience you have gained. Even the mundane can translate to valuable assets in the professional sales environment:
Raising two children –the interpersonal skills, time management, tenacity and patience involved in raising children are all relevant sales skills
Helping out at the school canteen – this can involve such skills as teamwork, communication skills and multi-tasking, which are all sales related skills
Managing a household budget – numeracy skills and familiarity with dealing with budgets are important business skills
Once you have identified your skill set, you need to be able to communicate them to your interviewer and not leave anything up to their imagination. That is, you need to translate these skills into benefits for your potential employer.
For example - you did not just raise a family, you multi-tasked and dealt with competing demands, all the while utilizing exceptional interpersonal skills – but remember to provide specific evidence and examples to illustrate your answers.
Neither you nor your employer should view your time away from the professional workforce as a disadvantage. Take the time to consider the skills you bring to sales, drawing upon both your previous work history and the activities you have engaged in while on your break.