Tuesday, 19 May 2015

12 Tips for Women Returners from Mumsnet Workfest

For those of you who were not able to join us at the inspiring Mumsnet Workfest event last Saturday, these are some advice highlights from the keynote panel for women returners.

Clarify your boundaries

1. When you return to work, be clear about where the line in the sand is for you to make it work. Sara Bennison, Marketing Director, Barclays

Make work, work for you

2. Disentangle being present [in the office] from being effective. Sara Bennison, Marketing Director, Barclays

3. Be clear about your red lines and explain how you will still do your job. Work out what are the things you need to do, to do it differently. Jo Swinson, former MP and Business and Equalities Minister

4. Success at work is about productivity, not bums on seats. Karen Blackett, CEO MediaComUK

Network & target employers

5. Your network counts, it really is [often] who you know, not what you know. Sara Bennison, Marketing Director, Barclays

6. Make a personal connection when you're applying to a company [to avoid sending your CV into the wilderness]. Shami Chakrabarti, Director Liberty

7. It's a better use of your time to send 3 well-researched letters to a company [than scattergun job applications]. Jo Swinson, former MP and Business and Equalities Minister


8. Pick the bits that matter to you [at home & work] and drop or delegate the others. Gaby Hinsliff, Journalist & author of Half a Wife

Be yourself

9. Be authentic in what you do. Authenticity is the key to success. Karen Blackett, CEO MediaComUK

Be confident

10. Having a child is the most difficult and important thing you do. If you can look after a child you can do anything. Shami Chakrabarti, Director Liberty

11. It does come back, it is still there in your brain. It will be fine, it will come flooding back to you. Jo Swinson, former MP and Business and Equalities Minister

Get support

12. Ask for help from other mums to make it work. Find cheerleaders in your organisation to help you with flexibility. Karen Blackett, CEO MediaComUK

If you're London-based & regret missing our Workfest session on kick-starting your return to work, do look at the other return-to-work events we have coming up this month: wrpn.womenreturners.com/events/ 

Posted by Katerina

Friday, 15 May 2015

How to Shine in Telephone Interviews

One of the innovations in recruitment practice in recent years is the increasing use of telephone interviews. In addition to their use in standard job recruitment, many of the return to work programmes we support use them as part of the screening process when deciding who to invite for face-to-face interviews or to selective returner events. This is the case for the Bloomberg Returner Circle which we launched last week as well as for many of the corporate returnship programmes. 

If you've not had an interview for many years, the process may seem daunting, particularly if a telephone interview is a totally new experience for you. We are often asked for advice about how to handle them; in particular, the lack of personal contact can be seen as a barrier. Although telephone interviews throw up different challenges from the traditional format, with the right preparation and approach, you will be able to put yourself across well.

What's different about a telephone interview?
  • Lack of visual clues: clearly, you are not able to see your interviewer (or vice versa). This means you'll miss out on the normal conversational cues about whether you have the interviewer's interest or are answering in the way they expect. Similarly, the interviewer won't have any visual cues about your engagement or enthusiasm for the role. This means you have to use other methods to ensure a good understanding.
  • Length and format: telephone interviews are commonly shorter than traditional interviews and the interviewer is often working from a set of highly structured questions, with less introductory 'small talk' so it may be harder to build rapport.
  • Nature of interviewer: as the telephone interview is part of an initial suitability screen, the interviewer could be a recruitment generalist who might not have detailed knowledge of the company or the role for which you are applying.
Preparation is key

As with all interviews, your preparation will be vital and all the advice we give in our other posts is relevant (see links below). In addition, you can do the following:
  • Ask in advance about the interview format, length, types of questions and what the interviewer will be assessing (for example this might be a CV-based check on your match with the profile, an assessment of your motivations, or an competency-based interview).
  • Think about your answers to common interview questions and make some notes, but don't write out a script as you will sound wooden if you read from it, rather than speaking naturally.
  • Make arrangements to ensure that you will be uninterrupted (especially by children!)
  • Give yourself time just before the interview to prepare mentally and physically. Have a pen & paper and a copy of your CV and cover letter in front of you to refer to. 
  • Dress in business wear if it helps you to feel confident that you will project the right image.
During the interview ...
  • Behave as you would in a face-to-face interview, with the same degree of formality. 
  • Don't worry about silence, the interviewer is probably writing.
  • You can check on your performance by asking if you have answered the question fully or if more detail is needed.
  • Smile - you'll sound more enthusiastic and confident.
  • Speak clearly and not too quickly.
  • Sit up straight or speak standing up if this allows you to talk with more power and energy
... and make this your opportunity to stand out

To show your enthusiasm and commitment in a limited time:
  • Provide clear, succinct and focused responses to the questions you are asked. Avoid rambling!  
  • Keep your voice upbeat and fully of energy.
  • Project yourself as the professional person you would like to be seen as, after all, you can't be judged any other way!
After the interview
  • Make notes on what you discussed.
  • Do send a thank you email as you would for any other interview.
Other useful posts:

Posted by Katerina

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Bloomberg & Women Returners launch Bloomberg Returner Circle

We are excited to announce a new UK initiative for returning professionals.
We are partnering with Bloomberg, the leading financial information and trading platform provider, to launch the first Bloomberg Returner Circle. This is an innovative London-based programme to support and engage talented individuals with experience in financial services who have taken an extended career break. Bloomberg is committed to developing a more diverse workforce and recognises both the value of this experienced group and the challenges you can encounter in restarting your careers in suitable corporate roles.
Note: The closing date for applications is 27th May 2015

What is a Returner Circle?
The Bloomberg Returner Circle is a two-day event to provide support, information and an initial exploration of opportunities at Bloomberg. Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about Bloomberg through speaker sessions and networking with current employees. You will participate in coaching workshops from Women Returners to develop your self-marketing and interview skills and will benefit from networking with a like-minded peer group of returning professionals. Through a range of activities and discussions, there will be the opportunity to potentially match your career goals, experience and skills with relevant financial products roles.

Where and when is the Returner Circle?

The Returner Circle will take place on 17th-18th June 2015 at Bloomberg's London offices.

Who should apply?

The Returner Circle is targeted at returning professionals with specialised experience in financial services. Bloomberg is looking for expertise across one or more financial asset classes, ideally gained through working in a front office environment. Successful applicants are likely to have had a career break of 18 months to 10 years and will be motivated to return to a permanent role in financial services.

For more information & to apply

Visit the Bloomberg Returner Circle page on our website to find out more about the initiative, the participant requirements and how to apply for the Returner Circle: 
NB Don't forget to clearly shown on your CV & in your cover letter that you meet the career break criteria.

To find out more about Bloomberg visit: jobs.bloomberg.com/content/about/