When looking for a new job, you may determine that you’re also ready to completely change careers or industries. That decision may come after you’ve outgrown your current field, or you find you’re simply burned out from the industry and feeling you’re no longer doing what you love. No matter how you arrive at this decision, your preparation for interviews will be slightly different as you’ll need to convince recruiters and hiring managers to give you a chance, despite your lack of industry experience.
However, doing this and impressing is no easy task. After all, you may not have all the required skills that more typical candidates who’ve been in the industry possess. “You’re not going to meet every requirement listed on a job description and that’s okay,” according to CNBC. The publication spoke with Barry Drexler, an interview expert, who said it’s important not to showcase too much insecurity when interviewing for positions where you might not have all the requirements. “Don’t volunteer insecurities,” says Drexler. “There’s no reason to volunteer what you haven’t done unless they ask.”
Here are some tips to nail an interview for a position in which you don’t have much industry experience or all the required skills:
Do your research. Hiring managers want to get to know candidates more, but they also want to see that candidates have a working knowledge of the position they’re applying for. Therefore, speak to people you may know if they’re in a similar field. Go online to the hiring company’s website to learn as much as you can about the firm’s history, its mission and strategy. Doing your homework shows that you’re engaged and willing to go above and beyond to succeed.
Clearly communicate the value you can bring to the role (despite not having all the required experience). For example, let’s say the hiring manager asks about a specific skill or capability. According to Drexler in his interview with CNBC, you should do three things to answer the question successfully: “Explain what you do know about the skill, give examples of similar skills that you possess and express that you’re willing to learn.”
By clearly communicating your worth in the interview and backing up your response with concrete examples and a willingness to learn, you’ll surely impress the hiring manager.
Prepare to answer the inevitable question: Why are you making the career switch now? You may want to actually say it out loud to a friend or family member for feedback. The key is to focus less on discussing your dissatisfaction with your current role, and more on how your prospective role will make better use of your skills and talents.
In sum, it’s crucial that you determine first what new industry you’d like to enter in order to be happier at work. Once you have, it’s important to do your research, communicate clearly and effectively, and prepare to answer questions about why you’re looking to switch industries. By following these tips, you’ll impress in your interviews and have a much easier time of landing a new job in a different industry.