A positive attitude can take you a long way.
As a Mum that faced the transition back into the workforce, Kathy shares from her personal experiences and expertise as an employment placement professional. When you have kids, you are the boss at home, the idea of going back to work brings so many challenges and changes to the lives of these women.
We interviewed Kathy to get some insider tips for being ready to enter the job market, and to learn more about what she will be sharing at the event on 30 June.
Q: Share your expertise – describe what you offer to people attending on the day and why you are good at what you do?
A: I love people, helping people and have a real passion for sharing knowledge. Having the skills before going to the interview stage could the difference between getting a job and not getting a job. I have been working in the employment space for about six years and one of the most common thing I come across is the question: “Why am I not getting to the interview stage”, and in most cased there are some fundamental errors in their resume. The next stage is being successful in the interview and this is what I will be focusing on at this event.
Q: How will you be able to help women – what skills will they learn from you
A: Some of the key tips for interview techniques are around understanding what you have control over, and what you can’t control, and being prepared. For example the weather could be bad, or your kids might be sick. I get people to start thinking about these things early, and start to create some plans on how they might manage these things. By being prepared you can reduce a lot of the stress associated with interviews.
One of the things you can control is your presentation – be professional, have your resume organised and printed out, do your research, practice some questions that may be asked, and have a positive attitude.
Q: Share a personal story – how have your skills helped someone in your professional career (an example)
A: This story relates to having a positive attitude, which is something I really focus on when working with clients in their preparation for interviews. It is those first six seconds when you make your first impression.
My client, let’s call her Jane, was on her was to an interview and had just entered in the lift to go to Level 14 to meet her potential employer. She was dressed very professionally in her black pants and white shirt.
As the doors were about to close, a guy came running through with 4 cups of coffee on one of those cardboard trays. As he turned around in the lift, one of the cups went flying and splashed coffee everywhere. It was really hot coffee and her white blouse was now a blurry brown. Naturally, he was so apologetic and trying to give his credit card details so she could buy a new shirt, but she was saying “not to worry, I will clean it up. I have an interview shortly but it won’t be a problem”, and assured him that she would be able to sort it out.
She went to the bathroom to clean herself up, the best she could, and then promptly went to the interview. The person who was to conduct the interview walked into the room, and you guessed it, it was the guy who had thrown coffee all over her. He gave her the job instantly. Jane was a bit taken aback and surprised: “Aren’t you even going to interview me?” she said. His reply was: “With that great attitude, you can do anything”.
A positive attitude can take you a long way. By being prepared, doing your research and being early – you can ensure you have the best chance possible to remove any of the unnecessary stresses that interviews can bring, and help you keep focused with your positive attitude.
Q: What led you to share these as your top 5 tips?
A: My Top 5 Tips are the things that I find to be most common with the clients I work with, ladies, men, and all ages. These are the things that most people don’t think about.
TOP 5 TIPS
- Do your homework (research). Make sure you know about the company, this is usually one of the first questions that you get asked at an interview – what do you know about the company?
- Be well presented – you have done your research and know the type of staff standards that are set, you know how they dress. Dress appropriately so that you fit in and feel more comfortable
- Eye contact – this shows confidence and that you are listening to what they are saying, and that you are interested
- Speak clearly and make sure you understand the questions. If you are not sure, don’t be afraid to ask them to clarify what they are asking
- Punctuality is critical – be prepared and be on time (or be early is the preference).
Q: What inspires you? And why do you want to be involved in this event?
A: I hear these same comments so often from women who are looking to re-enter the workforce: “I can’t do anything”, “I don’t have any skills”, “there are no jobs that I am suited for”. Women who have been out of work for a while, do not have confidence, they feel disconnected, the competition is too much to even think about, and they get really stressed about the mere thought of going to an interview.
I want to be part of this event to help women gain the skills that they need and to be confident in that next step of applying for work. A few simple strategies can make a world of difference.
- An interview with Kathy Barlow (prepared by Ruth O’Dwyer)
- JSW (Jobs South West)
- Speaker at our project: Re-energising Women to Re-enter the Workforce
- Presentation Topic: Interview Techniques
- Event: 30 June 2016 @ Bunbury CCI, 15 Stirling Street, Bunbury, Western Australia
Want to learn more?
Register your interest to attend our event on 17 Feb 2016: Re Energising Women To Re-Enter The Workforce
Check out our full list of speakers for this event