Selling your parenting skills in a job interview

job interview Photo Credit: Harry Wedzinga via Compfight cc

When applying for a job it’s easy to simply focus on the in-work strengths you’ve accrued through training and experience. But what about parenthood? Don’t forget that in your role as a mum and dad you will have developed vital skills that can be easily translated to the workplace and could attract a would-be employer. Here’s how you can sell those in an interview:

Multi-tasking

Juggling a mammoth to-do list, a constantly ringing phone and troublesome technology may be a headache for many employees but for a parent? You juggle your child’s daily routine alongside yours all the time so all that will be a doddle. On a daily basis you supervise activities at the same time as running your own life so explain in your interview how you manage to keep your children occupied while also having one eye on cooking the tea, reading a book or watching the television. Many people need to learn how to multitask effectively, you’re already well ahead of the game.

Time keeping

Getting things done on time is part of everyone’s job but, as a parent, you’ll be used to keeping a close eye on the clock. The kids need to be delivered to school or nursery on time and tea must on the table at the right moment. Your interviewer should know that running to time is second nature for you.

Budgeting

As a parent you’ll be used to ensuring there is enough in the coffers to cover childcare as well as clothes, food and toys for your little one. That’s all on top of the outgoings everyone else has to pay out too. If you’re bidding for a job that involves financial responsibility explain how your smartly run home budget is able to provide for your child. You’ll be acutely aware of the value of money and why it’s vitally important not to overspend. Your work as a parent may have been unpaid but it’s certainly not a ‘gap’ in your CV and definitely makes you a financially savvy candidate.

Keeping your cool

Even the child with the sweetest smile will sometimes have ‘a moment’. All parents learn to keep their cool under trying circumstances and dealing with tantrums will come in handy when tackling difficult clients or colleagues. Explain how parenting makes you a cool, calm and efficient person in and out of work.

Always learning

As your child grows up you’ll always be learning and discovering ways to help their development. An open mind and a keen eye on how to improve are vital in the workplace too – explain how you’ve diversified your home life to suit your circumstances since becoming a parent and how that means you can be flexible whatever arrives in the office. Haven’t previously considered that to be a strength? Click here and just take a look at how many jobs want someone who can be flexible and fulfil a number of duties – these days it is nearly all.

* This is a collaborative post. *

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6 Comments

  1. February 24, 2015 / 9:59 pm

    Parenting skills allow you to do any job amazingly – being a Mum is the hardest job ever! x
    Donna recently posted…Teksta Newborn PuppyMy Profile

  2. tiggerific1973
    February 25, 2015 / 11:37 pm

    I have always utilised my ‘other’ skills as a parent/care giver/general dogsbody on my CV 🙂

  3. Frances Heaton
    February 26, 2015 / 7:50 am

    When you have been away from the workplace caring for children, it’s easy to devalue the skills which are so necessary when bring up a young family. Budgeting, multitasking, chauffeuring are all done without thinking about the skills, patience and effort needed.

    Interesting topic.

  4. Gillian Lomas
    February 26, 2015 / 9:23 pm

    This is really helpful for me, reminds me i’m not ‘just a mum’ but still have good skills to offer. I worked for 15 years in a good but high pressure job but left as I developed PND after having my 2nd son. I am now at a point where I am looking at returning to work but after a 4 year break I am very anxious about my knowledge/skills.

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