You asked, our expert answered.
We give lots of advice here at TopInterview, but we know that dedicated job seekers like you often have questions of their own. Because of this, our career expert, Amanda Augustine, took on some of your burning questions in our first Facebook Live Q&A. Read on for part three of our summary of Augustine's responses, or click here for parts one and two of our recap.
1. “I'm trying to change careers, but I don't have any experience in the new field. How can I sell my old experience?”
This is an issue common for professionals changing careers. The magic phrase to tackling the challenge is this: transferable skills. These are skills, typically soft, that are not exclusive to a single industry: working with clients, conflict resolution, management, etc.
Leading up to your official interview, try using your network to get an informational interview with someone in the company or field you're now interested in. They will be able to give you insight into what skills are necessary for success, and you can determine if you have something transferable in your history.
While in the interview, don't shy away from your unconventional background: “It's not exactly the same, but we did something similar and I think our approach can apply here too.” It can even be a selling point because you provide a fresh perspective.
2. “What are some good questions to ask to show that I'm interested in the job?”
It's definitely smart to use your own questions to demonstrate your interest in the job. Most of all, you should always tie in your interest and qualifications. Asking about the company's culture, for example, shows you care about the environment, while asking about industry trends can show that you are educated and engaged in the field. If you like, you can also take some notes during the interview to ask questions based on your conversation.
3. “I was laid off because the company went through a financial hardship. How do I talk about that in an interview?”
This is an unfortunate situation, but there is an upside: It wasn't your fault. That means you don't have to worry about defending yourself. You don't need to bring this up yourself — in fact, you shouldn't. If the interviewer does ask about it, explain what happened, but don't dwell on it: “Unfortunately, there were financial issues within the company and they had to let people go — and I was one of them.” Always come back to the future, especially your future within the organization, by talking about your enthusiasm to contribute to a new place.
Thank you for joining us for TopInterview's first live chat! If you have more questions, you can browse our blog of interview advice or check out or parts one and two of our recap. If you're ready to take your interview preparation to the next level, consider working with one of TopInterview's professional interview coaches. Learn more here.