When you walk into a room for a professional interview, you as the interviewer will lead the conversation and attempt to gain a better understanding of your prospective employee. However, the last few minutes of the interview are often reserved for the interviewee’s questions. He or she may ask, “What aspects of my background do you feel would be the most helpful in making the transition to your career field” With this question, the prospective employee wants to see if the position is a good fit. He or she wants to figure out what skills and experience will be most applicable to the company. Use this as an opportunity to prepare a worker for what is to come.
Points to Emphasize
If you are the hiring manager of a company, you are responsible for finding excellent workers. Your answer to this question will help the prospective employee analyze his or her skill set and whether or not the position is a good fit.
- Mention possible future projects or tasks.
- Focus on the best parts of his or her resume.
- Highlight what the employee can bring to the company and industry.
- Concentrate on the interviewee’s possible professional trajectory.
As you reply, try to be confident and show enthusiasm for the industry.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
There is not a wrong way to respond to this question, but there are still tones and details you want to stay away from. Keep these tips in mind as you build a reply:
- Avoid being discouraging or pointing out gaps in experience.
- Do not give vague replies that fail to address the question.
- Avoid overly general responses that can apply to anyone.
- Do not downplay any of the interviewee’s skills or abilities.
Be direct as opposed to evasive in your answer. Even if the prospective employee is under qualified, you don’t want to be negative or pessimistic.
Here is an example of a good answer to the question regarding what elements of the interviewee’s background would be the most helpful:
Your background in editing and publishing will be invaluable to the advertising realm. Our projects are very detail and deadline oriented. You really need to take stock of every word and image and think of all possible reactions to the campaign. Additionally, if you can’t make a deadline, it can kill a project. With your experience, I think you will take the pressure in stride.
Remember, you also want the employee to be drawn to the position. Assuring him or her that success is possible is a good step in that direction.