How to Explain a Career Change in a Job Interview

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Many amongst us find ourselves to be unfulfilled by our careers at some point in our lives and it’s not surprising that we do. If you think about it, we are called to make career decisions at a very young age when we barely know ourselves. It’s inevitable that some people will stop enjoying the same things out of life at a certain point and our jobs could well be one of those things.

Those of us who have experienced this change of heart know that changing careers is a decision that’s not to be made with a light heart. You’re not changing a purse, you’re changing lives and the decision to do so should be made with the maturity that we often put aside in favour of being spontaneous. It’s not that you shouldn’t change your career if you truly want to change your career, it’s simply that you need to be realistic about your expectations. It might take some time and it might be a little difficult to achieve, but if you are persistent enough and don’t lose heart, you will succeed. To help you out we’ve put together a guide that will help you with explaining your career change in a job interview.

1. Be prepared

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I’m sure that you are well aware that hiring managers usually opt for candidates who have some sort of relevant work experience. That’s simply because employees with experience will be easier to train and they will be less likely to make a mess. However, hiring managers are well aware that even candidates with great credentials can make a mess of things, so don’t think that they’ll throw out your application just because you come from a different industry and have no relevant work experience. Hiring managers always look for other things as well, so if your resume and your cover letter manage to speak to them you’ll be called in for an interview.

It’s important, however, to be prepared to address the issue of your career change in your job interview. It will definitely come up and so you need to be able to address it boldly without a trace of hesitation. Explain to the hiring manager why you want to change careers, but don’t tell them that your old job was making you sad or bored. Keep it positive by focusing on this new challenge.

2. Focus on your transferable skills

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I’m certain that you know how to explain your desire for changing careers but what you should really focus on are your transferable skills. As heart-breaking or inspiring your story might be, the interview is all about what you can do for the employer so make sure that you focus on those skills that are relevant in your target career as well. Remember that lots of soft skills are essential in many careers across industries and you need to point that out to the hiring manager.

3. Make a case for your willingness to commit to your new career


Your transferable skills can help you with getting the job, employers are always interested in hiring employees who adapt easily and are flexible and this is why they will often take the risk of hiring someone from across industries.

But in order to really nail the interview you need to remind them that you are more than willing to commit to your new career. Chances are that you are going to be lacking some hard skills, however if you are truly passionate about your new career, then I’m certain you won’t think twice before signing on a course or seminar. Let your potential employer know that you are serious about this opportunity by explaining to them that you want to further your education and you want to become a valuable asset of their team.

You shouldn’t be intimidated by your career change, you should simply be honest about your passion for your new career. Remember that transferable skills are having their moment and that potential employers are looking for employees who are creative and flexible, so you just might be what they are looking for.