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05 Jan 2020

Flexible Working toolkit: How to Ensure Interview Practices Support Returners

Interview practices can unfairly disadvantage parents and carers looking to return to work. This is the second instalment of the four-part Flexible Working toolkit. The first instalment, What is Flexible Working, is available here. 


The Caring, Working, Living project, delivered by GMCVO, have developed a toolkit combining learnings from two key reports and feedback from the project Panel. The Panel – made up of parents and carers (Returners), employers and employment support agencies – discussed what they saw as key barriers before, during and after interviews that could deter parents and carers from returning to paid work. Returners reported barriers such as being invited to interview at short notice, (creating complications for arranging alternative care), and being asked questions focussing on recent paid experience which they did not have.


Employers are encouraged to download the checklist and consider how they may be able to adapt their existing interview practices to better support Returners. Some small adjustments can have a real impact on reducing anxiety and allow Returners to better showcase their skills and experiences. In other instances, there may be some existing practices that prevent Returners from being able to attend an interview in the first place.


The checklist also includes Gold Standard recommendations for employers wanting to go that extra step further in ensuring practices support Returners. One of these recommendations is highlighted in a case study about GMCVO’s inclusive interview practice which can be read here.


In response to employer requests, an accompanying 'Prompt Card' has been designed to assist hiring panels prior to interviews. This card reminds interviewers of unconscious bias and considerations that should be made when it comes to interviewing parents, carers or former carers.


Download below: