Ways to gear up for that career-switch interview

CONFIDENCE STARTS WITHIN: A potential employer may be ready to take a chance on you, but may hold back if he senses your uncertainty. Having confidence in yourself is crucial in presenting yourself.


    Jun 07, 2016

    Ways to gear up for that career-switch interview

    YOU have hit the right notes in selling your skills and readiness for a career change and landed an interview.

    To successfully present yourself during a career-change interview, you need to be convinced as to why you want the switch in the first place.

    You will certainly be asked this weighted question: why do you want to switch careers?

    Being able to demonstrate the value you bring to the organisation will ring true only if you have thought about how you can meet the company's specific needs. Here is a guide on how to achieve this.


    With your years of experience, you can bring value to an organisation. But do you believe in yourself?

    Sometimes a potential employer is ready to take a chance on you, but may hold back if he senses your uncertainty.

    Confidence starts with yourself: address any misgivings and take on a positive mindset.

    The way you present yourself is enhanced if you are able to align your background, skills and abilities with what the organisation requires.


    It is rare that any candidate will meet 100 per cent of the requirements for a position. In fact, it is a common belief that if you have only 60 per cent of the requirements, you should still apply for the role.

    So be mentally comfortable with not being the perfect fit.

    Show the hiring manager how you will apply your knowledge, skills and abilities for the position.

    Do not be apologetic about the gaps. Rather, discuss with the hiring manager how you plan to fill in those blanks.

    It may mean taking a course online or at a school or tapping into SkillsFuture courses.

    If you are open about seeking help from industry experts, your employer may be willing to link you up with people with whom you could consult, or even sign you up for a course.


    The crucial issue is what you are bringing to the table. Analyse the work you have done and the skills acquired.

    Pen down the requirements of the role that you are interviewing for, and your knowledge, skills and abilities that match these requirements.

    You may have done this to some degree previously. But jotting down these points takes it one step further.

    Based on the top three strategic priorities of the organisation - which you should be aware of after doing research on the company - what other ways can your role contribute to the company's top goals?

    Again, make a list of your knowledge, skills and abilities that align with the company's needs.

    Set out scenarios: write two or three vignettes that incorporate the value you bring.

    For instance, jot down the snapshots of how you have adapted well to change.

    If the role you are interviewing for is one in which you can do a mock-up of what you are suggesting, do it. Otherwise, have samples of your work ready to show why you are the best person for the job.


    Get the company's brochures, annual reports and any other public documents and read them thoroughly.

    Check Twitter or Instagram feeds about the company, its Facebook pages, and sites such as GlassDoor to get clued in on the chatter about the company.

    These give a sense of the tone of the company along which you could align yourself.

    As for your delivery: practise, practise, practise. Use the selfie function of your phone or a webcam to record a video of yourself explaining your contributions of the various roles.

    This article was contributed by Right Management, the global career experts within United States-listed HR consulting firm, ManpowerGroup.