As a hiring manager, it is your job to answer each applicant's questions honestly. You expect that honesty from them, so make sure you give the same courtesy. Potential employees who are asking detailed questions are very interested in improving themselves to the point where they can be proficient within their new, chosen industry. This question does not mean that the candidate is shying away from work, they are simply ascertaining whether or not the position will work mutually well for them and the company.
Points to Emphasize
If travel or intense training is required, give them the details up front. Additionally, if tests or credentials are necessary, give guidance towards educational or tutoring outlets that can provide some assistance.
· Training is expected, but it is often temporary. If this is the case, focus on the length and firmly state end periods.
· State travel percentages firmly and mention areas. If overnights are required, give them examples of hotel accommodations and reimbursement for travel expenses.
· If the applicant is taking a cut in pay to enter a new industry, focus on growth potential and give examples of forward movement with projected dates.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
This can be a loaded question, so think through answers thoroughly and avoid:
· Making promises you can't keep. Don't give timelines you can't stick to, for instance.
· Downplaying past experience. The skills learned in other industries can easily transfer. Focus on those so that required training does not seem so overwhelming.
· Telling the candidate they are overqualified, or encouraging them to stay where they are. There is a reason they want to change industries, take that into account.
It is no surprise that great answers come from a place of forward thinking. Examples could include:
Travel will be required, but we believe strongly in working with you to meet the needs of your family. Current ratios are set at 40 percent travel time, but only half of that will require an overnight stay.
Yes, additional education will be required, but we will support you through the process. You will have one year to complete all of the necessary classes and take required certification tests. Your background shows strong organizational skills, so this will most likely be an easy task for you!
Companies are learning that a new work force can bring new ideas, so a switch between industries is not new. Prepare yourself and you will be able to answer in full confidence!