“Tell me about a time you….”
As a career switcher, you may be nervous about getting asked direct questions in an interview about experiences you haven’t had. However, knowing that an interviewer will likely address any obvious gaps in your background, the best thing you can do is prepare in advance.
Essentially, hiring managers want to feel confident that the person they hire will be able to handle the role. So the first step in convincing them that you are qualified is first being convinced yourself. Confidence breeds confidence, so believing in your own abilities may be the most important part of convincing others.
Next, identify the experience gaps that you perceive may be addressed and map out your strategy for responding. For example, it might be that you’ve not worked with outside customers before, or maybe you’ve done similar work, but in a different industry. Perhaps you haven’t scaled projects to the size the new employer is expecting or you’re missing a specific technical qualification.
While your strategy will vary based on the specific circumstance, you can start here:
In addition to what you share in the interview, how you talk about these experiences is just as important. When responding to questions that highlight potential gaps you have as a career switcher:
Lastly, remember that you’ve made it this far. A busy hiring manager wouldn’t waste her time speaking with you if she didn’t feel like you had something substantial to offer. While you may have a learning curve ahead of you, trust in your abilities and envision yourself in the role at the 6 month point when you’ll be wondering what you were so worried about.
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