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How to Overcome Brain Fog at Interview

As well as experiencing perimenopause and menopause symptoms in midlife, many women face the additional challenge of returning to work after a career break. Even with many years of experience, lack of up-to-date networks and recent experience can really dent professional confidence.

Fortunately, Women Returners are on hand to offer support. They are a purpose-led consulting, coaching and network organisation who work with individuals, organisations, and the Government to enable professionals to return to work after a long career break. They run the free Women Returners Professional Network with 8,000+ members and provide Government-funded employability coaching and job skills training programmes.

Women Returners work with many women through perimenopause and menopause. Symptoms, age, and length of career break are no longer a barrier to returning to professional work. Some women have career breaks as long as 30 years, yet return to work at senior levels with great success. Needless to say, there are still challenges, but they can be overcome.

Menopause brain fog can feel like one such challenge, especially during a job interview, but there are several techniques to help to overcome this and demonstrate what a great candidate you are.

Preparation is key

Before an interview, take the time to prepare and build confidence.

  • Write down 3 or 4 points that you want to mention, including:
    • Key strengths
    • Specific examples of behaviour
    • Evidence of competencies
    • Career headlines and professional experience.
  • Write down important interview details that could slip your mind, including the company name, job title and interviewer’s name.
  • Formulate short, succinct statements which are easy to remember.
  • Practise and role play the interview so that it feels more familiar.

Holistic preparation and self care

Before an interview, set yourself up for success with whatever tools work for you:

During the interview

  • If your mind goes blank, ask for the question to be repeated, or for more clarification if needed.
  • Don’t panic if you pause. A pause feels longer to you than to those listening. Simply make it clear you’re thinking about how best to answer.
  • Use notes if needed.

Many candidates encounter brain fog during an interview, regardless of age or gender. Interviewers will not be fazed if you need a moment to regroup.

For further interview techniques, take a look at the Women Returners website.

About Women Returners

Women Returners is a purpose-led consulting, coaching and network organisation founded in 2014 with the mission of removing the ‘Career Break Penalty’ by making extended career breaks a normal part of a 40 to 50 year career.

We are experts in enabling the return to fulfilling work of experienced professionals, mainly women but also men, after an extended career break. We work with individuals, organisations and public bodies.

Our management and coaching teams have been working with the returner community for many years, both before and after their return to the workforce. We have the unique combination of an in-depth understanding of the return-to-work journey and returner programme success factors, a practical commercial perspective, and psychology-based returner coaching expertise.

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