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Changing Careers or Industries

by: Michael R. Neece, CEO Interview Mastery

Most people change their career or industry several times during their working life. This is normal and healthy. However, when you're on the cusp of changing you must have a well structured response to the interviewer concern that you don't have previous experience in this new field or industry. The following article gives you an effective response strategy for answering the interviewer's comment, "I'm concerned that you don't have any previous experience in this field (or industry)."

The strategy is to focus on what you do have rather than what you don't have. Here is a powerful response strategy with an example. Use this framework to write down your own specific response so you can handle this difficult situation comfortably.

“I'm concerned with your lack of experience (or education) in this industry (or this career).

Your Response
First: Say the following.
“That's a good concern. I'd like to share with you some additional information about that.”

Second: Say the following.
“From my previous experience, industry research and informational interviews, I've learned that to be successful in this career (or this industry) requires the following:

Third: List your qualities (or strengths) that you want to highlight. Interview Mastery gives you a list of strengths in the “What are your strengths?” module and in the download section of Interview Mastery's online subscription under Quick Reference Guides. Below is an example of the qualities you could mention.

“A Passionate attention to detail, persistence &; unwavering focus on results, staying current on industry dynamics and professional certifications, as well as the flexibility and intellectual agility to respond to constant change.”

Fourth: You ask a question. “I can give you specific examples where I've demonstrated each of these talents. Which of these qualities would you like me to elaborate upon?”

Best of luck on your next interview. It is the most important moment in your search for a better position.