What’s The Best Way For Me To Get More Experience In Your Field Without Taking Major Steps Backward In My Current Career?

When this question comes up during the course of an interview, there might be a variety of motivating factors. For some, this question will be about whether they can afford to move to another field where they have less experience, and they need to know that the opportunities make it worthwhile. For others, they may be insecure about opportunities in one field but also unsure about whether it is the field or the economy generally. This question gives them the chance to see how things are in your field, so use it to do that.

Points to Emphasize

As you work through your answer, try to hit these major areas of concern so that you give as current and honest a picture of your field as possible.

  • Identify any relevant experience they have already disclosed and talk about how it relates to your career field.

  • Run through training and educational programs that they might enroll in to acquire skills before leaving their current position.

  • Discuss what, if any, experience would be needed before they arrived at a level in your field that is equivalent to their level of progress in their current field.

  • Know your career path, and share it by using the latest estimates and figures to discuss how long this might take for the average candidate in the field.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

These missteps can confuse the answer in a variety of ways, but thinking through your answer and having a clear plan help a lot.

  • Don’t disclose personal anecdotes or details. Focus on the facts of the current market and the expectations employers have.

  • Avoid editorializing about the interviewer’s experience. Focus instead on how it might be mapped to the new career field.

  • Steer around sweeping generalizations by using an example or two to show how your estimates work out in the marketplace.

  • Remember you are a resource, and don’t forget to tie in specific references to relevant certifications or educational accomplishments the candidate will need to achieve.

Sample Answer

Something like this will hit the right information without getting too long to be clear.

Well, it would depend on how motivated you are to pursue a degree while you hold your current job. Someone in my field with your experience, especially your supervisory experience, could expect to find themselves in a position with your level of responsibility and salary immediately upon graduation, provided they graduated with an MBA. A lot of your skills transfer, and you work in a related field.

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