I’ve Heard That People In Your Field Have Characteristics Such As _______________________. How Important Are Those Characteristics?

This question most frequently comes from potential employees who are making an industry shift within their career. Often, they are looking to ascertain growth potential and see if adequate training is provided within the parameters of the job.

The candidate asking this question has been doing their research, so acknowledge their tenacity in going above and beyond what is needed. This type of applicant wants to work with the company and is more likely to stay with their position for the long haul, if given the right opportunities and training.

Points to Emphasize

It is best to focus on the quality of on-the-job training the position provides. Especially when you are dealing with millennials trying to make a name for themselves within their career, it is imperative that they feel supported. Employees work better when they feel they have the tools in place to succeed. The correct answer to this question will place emphasis on the quality of schooling, education, and follow-through povided.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

It can be easy to forget that a variety of backgrounds can add to the overall quality of the workplace for all employees. Keep that in mind, and:

· Don’t tip toe around the details. If a certain characteristic is needed, voice that need, but provide options for growth within the industry if they are there.

· Don’t discount past experience. There are many traits that transfer across industries, yet are valued and even described in different ways. Work to find common ground.

· Avoid shutting the candidate down with a statement such as, “Oh, those are really important!” Instead, focus on the transfer of skills to build confidence and continuity.

Sample Answers

Again, always stay positive. Good sample answers could include:

Yes, those traits are very important in this industry, but we offer a plethora of opportunities for advancement and growth. Tell me a bit more about your past experience and let’s see where your strengths match with our needs.

Training is of vital importance within this industry. We value your past experience and feel you can learn and grow with XYZ Company. That said, we will provide ongoing education and always welcome your questions and ideas as you learn the ropes within our company.

Remember that you are interviewing for a position that is static, yet the people applying are not. Growth and opportunity should always be welcomed, regardless of industry or position.

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