Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. – Andre Gide. We often carry the notion that a career change could be too risky as it brings you back to the basics from a high point of your career. However, it is also one of the most exciting things that challenge you to explore yourself and achieve career fulfillment with the right choice.
Millennials are made to believe that a great career is when you stick to one job and keep performing excellently. However, it might not work for everybody. We are fortunate to be in better times when technology is booming, and many careers have caught people's interest. It is great to move ahead if you aren't happy with what you do. Needless to say, the beginning is the toughest as you have to wade through a line of interviews, display your skills, and be prepared for a shift. While getting through an interview takes you closer to your dream career, what are some tips you can follow to turn a career change interview in your favor?
Tips To Turn an Interview In Your Favor
Utilize Your Communication Skills
An interview requires you to sell yourself in the best way you can. Consider yourself as a prop that needs a perfect promotion. You must have assessed yourself well enough to give examples of your achievements and excellence at work. Practical examples really help your interviewer connect to you. Throw some light on how you are a team person and care about your customers through instances.
Communication is an art that has a bigger role in such interviews. Since you would have no relevant experience in the new job that you can speak of, share any related exposure you would have had. Speak about your interest in pursuing the career and the associated internships, if at all. Speak about your skills that stand out, how you solve problems at the workplace, and future-proof your career path. All such information and examples help convince your employer to take you in for the passion you carry.
Drive Through Innovation and Relevance
It is tough for the employer to simply believe you if you do not have any supporting examples. The job is new, and you may not have any countable experience to display but paint a picture of everything you have pursued to crack the interview. Bring your internship certificates, sample work, or at least lay out the plan you think you have on moving up the ladder. Let's understand this with the help of an example.
You have a finance background and want to diversify and transition to content writing. Have you taken any mini projects? Do you have a collection of self-created content that can serve as your creative samples? Sharing it all makes your employer see the motivation within you. And everyone knows that a driven employee is better than an experienced employee. The idea is to display a layout of what you know and your passion for going beyond. If you are applying for a professor's job, be prepared to learn the skills of a professor, learn a few concepts for the academic level you wish to teach, and so on. If you wish to be a photographer, display your portfolio of photos and videos.
Having no new job experience could put you in a bind during an interview when tougher questions are asked. However, be confident in your skills and be a good boss to yourself. For example, to the question, "Why should we hire you as a banker when your experience has been of a software engineer?", say, "My experience as an engineer required me to be proficient in calculation and working on a budget. Using those skills, I can bridge the gaps and learn more on the job to eventually become better at it."
You need to shine through the interview by providing practical answers. It isn't always about the job technicality; it is about how far you are willing to go to find a solution and recover when your career gets derailed.
Make It About You
When confronted with the question of leaving your current job, do not share any negative points about your employer or colleagues. This question is asked to test you and so, be well prepared with a perfect reply. Having a grudge for lack of opportunities or talking about a bad work culture will only place judgment back on you, so be humble as you think about replying to this.
Talk about your unwavering passion for your new job and how your current employer has been supportive of you. Some of the replies for this question of career change interviews could be, "I am here as I feel this job has a better growth prospect for me," or, "I felt the need to move on after a happy three years at my current job," or, "I wanted to diversify as I felt my strength is doing this and I wish to explore more here.".
When you give an optimistic reply to this question and make it about your interest and learning, the employer understands that you have a bigger motivation.
There could be ample reasons for you to think about a career change. However, you have to be tactful in your presentation during a career change interview to work in your favor. Your experience does prepare you for new opportunities, but your passion and flexibility are the ones that take you a notch higher on your career graph. Keeping all this in mind, walk the talk in your interview and gracefully take the plunge.
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