Many people dream of being self-employed. The freedom to set their own schedule and become their own boss are a few pluses. But many who venture out on their own realize that they are more suited to the structured 9-to-5 work environment. That's not a bad thing, but convincing employers that you are willing to come back to be part of a team can be challenging.
The biggest concern of the interviewer will be that the self-employed person will not want to do what is expected and instead do it his own way, says Carole Martin, The Interview Coach (www.interviewcoach.com).
Pretend one of the questions asked in an interview is: "Why would you want this job after running your own company?"
A few good answers:
• "While being self-employed has been very rewarding for me, I can truthfully say that I have missed the affiliation. I have missed the team spirit and working with others. I never realized how much of my life was tied up working with others to get through projects."
"I like the stability of working for a company versus being unsure if one week will be as successful as another."
• "I like working on larger scale projects than I have been able to do on my own. I want to get back and be part of a bigger picture and work collaboratively, which is how I work best."
Jay Scherer, a partner with the executive coaching and corporate outplacement firm Scherer, Schneider, Paulick, LLC agrees with Martin.
"If the job seeker mentions that they are looking for a position now because they miss the team interaction and being part of a team, it shows the employer you are focused on the company, not your personal goals," says Scherer.
Martin says it's important to address how your self-employment has broadened your view of the business world.
Most of all, be up front and honest, says Marni Hockenberg of The Hiring Experts (www.thehiringexperts.com).
"If the interviewee is a good candidate, it should not hinder their ability to secure employment within a company," says Hockenberg.