Interview Etiquette: How To Explain Your Family Responsibilities

Dear Classy Career Girl, 

I wanted to get your advice on something. I am in management and I’m actually looking to take a step back from the responsibility and hours involved to devote more time to my family and outside interests.  I’m concerned about trying to “explain” this in the interview process. 

Any suggestions? 

Thanks, Classy Working Mom

Interview Etiquette for Working Moms

Dear Classy Working Mom,
Thanks for your question! Since I am not yet a mom, I went on a search for fabulous working moms that are doing it all with a blog on the side. Here are their answers below.  Good luck in the interview!!
Our first working mom interview etiquette answer is from the Working Mom Journal:
I am assuming that since you have made the decision to reduce your responsibilities and maybe even work part-time, you have gone through the process of considering your financial security, career growth and outlook, etc. We’ve all had the stay-at-home fantasy and sometime it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
Be sure to know what you are up against, the culture of your company and if they do allow part-time or if bringing it up will ruffle some feathers.Who is going to take on your responsibilities and how much responsibilities are you willing to let go? These are all questions you need to figure out before going in.
But anyways, let’s talk about the interview process. One way to approach this situation is to create a list of what you hope to achieve with this interview and then map out questions that you need answered to achieve them. Don’t be shy about what you are about to say, as you are not going to be the first nor the last working mom to do this.
Treat this as a job interview, go in with all your strengths and how much you have accomplished, let them know how serious you take your job, family and everything you are involved with. The last thing you need is having them thing that you are dropping the ball on something because you are lazy and can’t manage your time effectively. Make them see the big picture of your life and that you will love to free up some responsibilities to pick up some extra family time and activities you are passionate about. Most managers understand that a happy employee is an engaged employee, and I bet they will be willing to meet you halfway.
Be open to alternatives. Your boss may propose that you work from home, or propose that you take a temporary break, whatever he/she proposes, be willing to consider.

[Related Post: How Successful Working Moms Balance Their Work and Life]

Our second answer is from Mom Corps NYC (thanks to Jill at Glamamom.com).
This is a tricky thing to do well in an interview process, but it’s really important to be upfront and honest about where you stand. What I have seen work well is describing the various stages or seasons of a career – that you are currently at a moment where some other pieces of your life are demanding more of your time, but that you are committed to your career and want to position yourself for success in the role that you take on. Make sure you convey that you are ambitious, hard working and “hungry” for the position, but that you are making a choice to move into a position that gives you more control over your out-of-work time than your old role.
The interviewer will be most focused on two questions: 1) Will you really be committed to the job with your family “distractions”? 2) Will you feel over-qualified for the position? Go into the interviewer knowing that these will be their concerns, and address them head on. Good luck!
A very special thank you to our contributors today!

Readers-What is your interview etiquette advice for Classy Working Mom?

Note: Post written in association with workingmums.co.uk, a website that can provide the assistance you need when trying to kickstart a career; with job advice from top employers and a discussion forum for support and coaching.

Hi, I'm Anna!

I’ll help you create a career strategy and plan so you can finally have a job or business you love that supports the life you really want.

Learn More

You might also like…

30 Low-Cost or Free Marketing Ideas

30 Low-Cost or Free Marketing Ideas

30 Low-Cost or Free Marketing Ideas   Have you ever created a great offer and gotten so excited to sell it, but then have no idea how to market it? I know I have! When you have a product sometimes it can be overwhelming to figure out how to get the word out about...

$2K in 2 Weeks Business Challenge

$2K in 2 Weeks Business Challenge

The "Make $2K in 2 Weeks" Business Challenge   In today’s podcast episode, I’m giving you a peek inside of a recent training I did in my CLASS coaching membership. CLASS is where I coach women to help them find a job or business they love that supports the life...

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Networking

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Networking

LinkedIn Profile Optimization for Networking Most people could be utilizing LinkedIn SO MUCH MORE! If you have only just made sure your LinkedIn profile looks good and that is all, there are many career and business opportunities just waiting for you! We'll cover...

90 Day Planner