When you walk into a room for a professional interview, you as the hiring manager are expected to lead the discussion with a range of questions. However, the last few moments are usually reserved for the interviewee’s questions. For example, you may be asked, “What skills needed in your career field do you think someone in my current career might be lacking and might need to develop” When people switch between careers, it can be daunting and seeking professional advice is helpful. The prospective candidate wants to know what it takes to succeed so he or she can advance career-wise. Think of this as an opportunity to help a fellow professional with some quality insight.
Points to Emphasize
As the hiring manager for a company, you want to find candidates that will go above and beyond. To do this, you want to excite prospective employees about the job and industry.
- Mention how candidates might develop their skill sets.
- Focus on the common skills among leading industry professionals.
- Highlight the interviewee’s likely career trajectories.
- Concentrate on what you look for in a quality employee.
When you answer the questions, be both confident and positive. Especially if you think you’ve found the right employee, you don’t want to discourage him or her from pursuing a career with the company.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
There is no wrong response to the question, but there are still are few things you want to stay away from. Keep these tips in mind as you form a reply:
- Avoid talking in a discouraging or pessimistic tone.
- Do not downplay the interviewee’s existing experience or expertise.
- Avoid giving an answer that can apply to any prospective employee.
- Do not speak negatively about other industries or jobs.
Try to directly answer the question and don’t spend an abundant amount of time responding. Instead, remain focused on drawing in a quality candidate.
Here is an example of a good answer to the question regarding the development of important industry skills:
When transitioning from research chemistry to a university environment, you will need to focus on your ability to break concepts down and explain them to others. As a professor, you will be dealing with students who must learn the basics. I’ve noticed teaching what has become professional intuition can be very challenging for scientists who become teachers.
Remember, the prospective employee did ask about potential obstacles, so be truthful. However, don’t make the transition seem too difficult or overwhelming. You still want to attract talented individuals to the position.