Return to work interview tips 

Ready to go back to work?

Returning to work after a career break can often feel like a daunting experience. Not only do you have to get back to grips with your industry and role, you also have to refresh your CV writing and interview skills.

We spoke to Deloitte, the largest professional services network in the world, to find out how to nail your interview after a career break:


Do your research

If you’ve been out of work for a long time, you may feel out of the loop when it comes to industry news or process updates – all of which are vital to know about if you want to stand out to recruiters.

Luckily, getting yourself up to speed may not be as difficult as you think.

Firstly, make sure you’re signed up to industry newsletters or blogs. Not only does this ensure you’re updated on the most recent events, it also means you can gain knowledge on a daily basis, in an easy-to-digest form.

Following employers in your field on social media is another key way to ensuring you’re in the know.

Lastly, as with any interview, never overlook your research. With this information, you’ll be able to answer any questions that come up, and also demonstrate your passion and dedication to getting back into work.

How to: Research a company before you apply

How to: Start work after your gap year


Get a (kind of) new CV

CVs don’t last forever. They’re also never complete.

This means you should always be updating, adding to it, and tailoring it to every job you apply for; and this is even more important for those who are returning to work after a career break.

Not only is it essential to brush up on your knowledge of your previous experience and expertise, it’s also key to refresh your CV in accordance with the current year.

This could include giving it a new font and layout, adding your most recent experience (including any courses or volunteer work you did during your break), removing any now irrelevant information, or (briefly) explaining the reasons for your gap.

Once you’ve refreshed your CV accordingly, make sure you actually know it. Refreshing your memory on what makes you a great fit for the role is key.

Career break CV template

Five ways to tell if you need a new CV


Never underestimate the importance of a first impression

Whilst it can feel daunting to re-enter the world of work after time away, it’s important to arrive at an interview with confidence.

In addition to preparing for any questions that may come up – it’s equally vital to cover the basics. These include; figuring out where the interview is taking place, how you’ll get there, what time you’ll need to leave, and what you need to bring.

Once you’ve planned your route (ensuring you leave extra time, just in case), make sure you have a copy of your CV, a pen and notepad, and examples of your work to hand.

And if you’re running late due to mitigating circumstances, let the interviewer know ASAP, or pass on a message via other points of contact you may have.

How to: Prepare for an interview

Four things to take to a job interview


Figure out what you want to know about them

An interview is a two-way conversation.

Whilst they’re used to find out if a candidate is a good fit for the role, they’re also the perfect opportunity for you to find out more about the employer.

This can be done by asking questions about everything from their company culture, working environment, and team dynamic, to your career prospects, the position itself, and the responsibilities you’ll take on.

So before every interview you have, prepare at least three questions to help you gain more perspective. This not only demonstrates your level of interest and commitment to the role, but also shows wider thinking (a great skill) about the field you will be working in.

Just make sure any questions you ask are relevant to the role, team, company, and the industry you’ll be working in.

Questions to ask at the end of a job interview

Five questions you should never ask at an interview


Final thoughts

The interview is your one and only opportunity to prove your suitability to employers, so use it demonstrate your lasting commitment to your industry – and also to ensure the role you’re applying for is right for you.

And no matter what your situation, never apologise for your gap. Speaking positively about your time away is a great way to demonstrate confidence in your ability to re-enter the workforce.

After all, whether it was due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. an ill relative or redundancy), or it was a planned gap – you’ll have gained a number of transferable skills (from commitment to self-motivation) to help you stand out to employers.

What to do when you have a long career history


Why work for Deloitte?

Deloitte is the largest professional services network in the world, and one of the ‘big four’ firms (alongside PwC, Ernst & Young and KPMG).

As one of the most respected companies worldwide, they pride themselves in their ability to build talent, drive performance, and move together towards a strategic goal. At Deloitte, part-time isn’t seen as part commitment; value is measured through the impact you make, not hours spent behind a desk.

And with a number of roles available in their return to work programme throughout 2019, now’s the perfect time to get your foot (back) in the door.

Here are a few reasons to consider Deloitte’s return to work programme:

  • They have opportunities nationwide
  • They offer roles in everything from auditing and consulting, to financial advisory, internal, and tax services
  • They provide both part-time and full-time opportunities
  • You’ll be able to work alongside industry leaders
  • You’ll benefit from training and coaching delivered by professionals
  • You could be selected for a career opportunity at Deloitte the end of your scheme



Ready to get back to work? View all Deloitte return to work programmes now.



Deloitte is the largest professional services network in the world, providing auditing, consulting, financial advisory, tax advice and much more – to businesses in 150 countries across the globe.



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