A career break, also known as a sabbatical or a career hiatus, refers to a period of time during which an individual temporarily leaves their job or career to focus on other pursuits or take a break from their professional responsibilities. Career breaks can vary in duration, from a few months to several years, and they are typically taken for various reasons, such as personal development, travel, family responsibilities, education, or simply to recharge and reduce burnout.
People may take career breaks for a variety of reasons, including:
Career breaks are increasingly recognized as valuable experiences that can contribute to personal growth, skill development, and overall well-being. However, they can also come with challenges, such as financial considerations and potential gaps in a resume. Therefore, individuals often plan and prepare for career breaks to ensure a smooth transition back to the workforce when they decide to return to their careers
When interviewing a candidate who has a career break on their resume, it's important for HR professionals to ask thoughtful and sensitive questions that help them understand the reasons behind the break and assess the candidate's readiness to return to the workforce. Here are some questions you can consider asking:
This open-ended question allows the candidate to provide context for their break. It may be due to personal reasons, health, family, education, or other factors.
This question helps you understand how the candidate utilized their time during the break. They may have pursued further education, volunteered, worked on personal projects, or gained new skills.
Encourage the candidate to highlight any skills, experiences, or personal growth they gained during the break that could be relevant to the position they are applying for.
This question assesses the candidate's commitment to rejoining the workforce and whether they have taken any steps to update their skills, knowledge, or qualifications.
Encourage the candidate to discuss how they plan to present their career break in a positive light and address any concerns about employment gaps.
References can help validate the candidate's qualifications and work history, even if there's a career break.
This question helps determine the candidate's self-awareness regarding areas where they may need additional training or support.
Understanding the candidate's coping mechanisms and work-life balance strategies can provide insight into how they may handle challenges in the future.
This behavioral question allows the candidate to provide an example of their adaptability and readiness to return to work.
This question helps assess the candidate's motivation and alignment with the position they are applying for.
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