Career change is not just moving from one job to another, but is actually a bigger shift than this because making a change is not only just applying your knowledge or skills in a new area or filling the gaps needed, but it also needs a major thought process, search and plan before jumping into this.
Once you have figured out what career to choose, it's time to take action and the first step towards success is landing a job interview in this process. You will face some tough questions during the interview, as the employers want concrete reasons for opting for a career change. Now your job is to fulfill the criteria that the employer is looking for and encourage him to see things your way.
# Top 10 Interview Questions For Career Changers
1. Why do you want to change career?
This is mostly the first question asked in an interview. Give strong reasons that can convince the interviewer. For example, you can say that I have been in my current field for years. During my career in this particular domain, I have accomplished every thing that a professional would wish. Having achieved every thing and realizing that there is nothing left, my intrinsic quality prompted me to go for a challenging field where I can test my abilities. After deep research, introspection, confirming if I really hold the skills needed for this new profession, and finally getting an affirmative nod from within,I decided to go for a career change.
2. What do you know about this job?
The interviewer wants to know whether or not you have some knowledge of the job profile. Research on the type of roles you are expected to perform, responsibilities, and processes entailed. This will create an impression that you have studied the job thoroughly, and are ready to take the role.
3. Is there anything common in your current role and one that you are currently seeking?
The reason for this question is to ascertain whether you will need training on certain areas or the entire aspect of the job. If the recruiter finds a few things common between your previous and current role, he will not deploy a person to supervise you for you can do that tasks on your own. So talk about daily target, report drafting, sorting inward and outbound parcels, shooting emails, disseminating official notices, etc.
4. What makes you qualified for this role?
The interviewer here wants to know whether or not you are competent enough to handle this job. Specify any training courses you have done for this profession. Take the opportunity to explain how your skills could be beneficial for the new role, and also mention your key competencies like your communication skills, problem solving techniques, ability to adapt new things quickly, etc.
5. What makes you think you could succeed in this profession?
The interviewer here is looking for your definition of success and wants to know whether you are aware of the hurdles to be successful in this competitive profession. You can say that I have skills, talent, confidence and integrity to produce best outputs. I always maintain a positive attitude and work habits and have strong work ethics, which are the basis of a successful professional.
6. What assurance can you give that this change in career wouldn't be just a passing phase?
The interviewer might need a commitment here, as you are a career changer, who is switching to another career after investing precious time in pursuing a degree or doing a job in completely different field. Assure him by saying that after learning about this profession, and taking suggestions from my friends, relatives, and mentor, whether I am capable to pursue this career or not, and going through deep thought process, I came to the conclusion that I really want to work and excel in this particular area.
7. Why should we take the risk of hiring you?
Employers consider that hiring someone who doesn't have the industry background and a career changer is a big risk. Tell him that you possess skills and interests that best fits the job role. Give him example of transferable skills that you possess. Tell him that your are a quick learner, confident, sincere, punctual, team player, with good communication and listening skills, etc. Cite these with examples of your previous job like - having excellent leadership qualities, I successfully managed a small team of five persons for recruiter training purposes. Giving examples makes the employer feel that the candidate has accomplished something in the last job using his/her skills or talents.
8. How do you feel about to start fresh again?
The interviewer wants to know if you are comfortable in taking orders from seniors who are younger to you. Tell him that in fact, I am excited as this will give me an opportunity to learn nitty-gritty of the job from scratch. Since I am team-player and have the ability to gel with people, I don't mind taking orders from juniors. After all, to reach the top, you have to start from the bottom and also every experienced person was a fresher at the beginning of his/her career.
9. How will you cope with a drop in salary?
The interviewer wants to know how committed and serious you will be to work in this profession, in spite of a drop in salary. You can answer him by saying that though nobody expects a drop in pay and the reason you are willing to go for it is that you have saved a good money having worked for years. Also, as you are confident about progressing in this new field, your salary will go high.
10. How long do you expect to stay with our organization if you are hired?
Recruiters don't want people who leave the organization after a few months of working. Explain him that after reaching mid of your career and having completed half the working years, you are no longer young to go on job hopping. And since you have chosen a new career, there is not enough time left for you to gain experience and jump the ship either. You want to work with a company where I can work for long since stability is my major concern.
There are chances that the recruiters might ask different questions than the above-mentioned. But you can at least get a hang on what could be asked during the career change interview. After reading them, you may even find it easier to answer, and get help in preparing for other questions the recruiters may have for you.
Author Bio :
Harmion Morris is a career adviser by profession. She is always eager to share her knowledge and experiences on various topics related to myriads of professions through her blog ECG: Expert Career Guidance and also contributor to BSR : Resume Samples.