How to Prepare for a Career Change Interview, from Career Change Guide Section III – Interviewing

Mike Schoettle, author of Career Change Guide, wants to help you make a successful career change at any age. These are Mike Schoettle’s recommended actions from Section 3 of his career change book. One of the things he teaches you in this section is how to prepare for a career change interview. Interviewing for a company when changing career has it its own set of challenges, which he prepares you for. Learn from Mike how to prepare for a career change interview, and more.

Interviews with potential employers are the most important activities for joining the right organization.

How to Prepare for a Career Change Interview
Career Change Guide Preview: Recommended Actions following Chapter 9 – Interview Preparation

Do your homework on the organization before your first interview.

  1. Try to talk to someone who has knowledge of the group you would be joining.
  2. Go online to the organization’s website and Google, LinkedIn, Indeed, Glass Door, or other websites.

Develop a list of questions that will enable you to get a good sense of the job and people there. Ask about:

  1. The job responsibilities, deliverables, and issues.
  2. How the job relates to other positions in the organization.
  3. Recent history of the organization and the job.
  4. Your interviewers’ feelings about working there.

Prepare for likely questions you may be asked, such as:

  1. Your relevant experience for the job.
  2. Reasons for job and career changes.
  3. Challenges you have faced and how you handled them.

Update what you have learned about the compensation range for someone with your capabilities and experience.

Recommended Actions following Chapter 10 – The Classic Job Interview

Prepare for the interview by learning all you can about:

  1. The organization and its people.
  2. The role of those whom you will be meeting.
  3. The compensation level or range.
  4. Prepare a list of questions to ask.
  5. Prepare answers to questions you might be asked.

Call the office of the interviewer a day or two before the Interview and confirm:

  1. The time and place of the interview.
  2. The names and titles of those you will meet.
  3. The logistics for parking and where to meet.
  4. The organization’s dress code.

Prior to the interview:

  1. Learn about the organization and people there.
  2. Compare your qualifications with the job’s.
  3. Prepare a list of questions.
  4. Review answers to questions you might be asked.

In the interview:

  1. Focus on the interviewer’s questions.
  2. Keep your answers short and factual.
  3. Get a sense of the peoples’ values and culture.
  4. Refer to your list and ask about something on it.
  5. Find out the compensation level set for the job.
  6. Express interest in the job and joining the organization.

After the interview:

  1. Ask yourself what you have learned and how you feel about:
    1. The people, job, and organization?
    2. What you think the next steps are, if any.
  2. Write or email the interviewer thanking him/her.
  3. If you have not heard from the employer after a week, call your contact and ask where your candidacy stands.
How to prepare for a career change interview, from Career Change Guide, a Career Change book by Michael Schoettle
How to prepare for a career change interview, from Career Change Guide, a career change book by Michael Schoettle

Recommended Actions following Chapter 11 – Other Interview Situations

For each meeting:

  1. Consider how you can best prepare yourself given the context and format of each meeting.
  2. As with any interview, learn as much as you can beforehand about who you will be meeting, the organization and job.
  3. Present yourself in the context of the job.
  4. Follow up appropriately.

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