When you walk into a room for a professional interview, you as the hiring manager should be prepared to steer the conversation and evaluate the prospective employee’s merit as a candidate. However, the last few minutes are traditionally reserved for the interviewee’s questions. For example, he or she may ask, “What aspects of my background do you feel would be the biggest obstacles to someone making the transition to your career field” Especially if you think the candidate is a good fit, your answer should be honest and to the point. The interviewee is trying to see if the position would be an ideal match and if he or she is capable of excelling. Take this as an opportunity to prepare a prospective employee for the position’s demands.
Points to Emphasize
Because you are the hiring manager, you must be on the look out for the best and most productive workers. With your response, you are giving a candidate information that will help him or her understand what to expect.
- Focus on the knowledge required to advance in the field.
- Mention expected projects or tasks.
- Concentrate on the skills needed to succeed in the position.
- Highlight how the candidate might overcome professional obstacles.
Be as positive and optimistic as possible. You want to attract good employees with the promise of success and potential professional advancement.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Even if you feel that the prospective employee is under qualified, you don’t want to be discouraging. Keep these tips in mind as you construct a response:
- Avoid being pessimistic about the candidate’s career in the industry or company.
- Do not dance around or evade the question.
- Avoid understating the candidate’s talents or experience.
- Do not speak badly of other industries or positions.
Try to be direct without being abrasive. Maintain the same level of professionalism you would expect from your superiors.
Here is an example of a good answer to the question regarding the candidate’s biggest obstacles:
You are coming from book publishing into the world of news and journalism. Though I am confident you can meet deadlines and work with others, I think your biggest obstacles will be adapting to a new way of writing and the relatively quick turn around of idea to print. Sentence structures are different, which leads to a different editing style and you may have only a few hours to write a polished article before the news is old.
Remember the interviewee asked about the obstacles, so be honest. However, come from the mindset of trying to help a fellow professional.