Nail The Interview. Land The Job. How to Discuss Transferable Skills

Interviews are nerve racking! But what if you take a different approach? What if you accept the fact you were INVITED to INTERVIEW? Own IT!

Last week’s installment of our Transferable Skills series described how to place your transferable skills on your resume. Click here for a refresher 

Today we will discuss how to explain your transferable skills in the interview.

The easiest way to explain how to discuss transferable skills in the interview is to share an example.

Here’s my story of using my transferable skills to land career transition job…

I left my career in higher education to pursue the aspect of my job I seemed to gravitate towards, helping professionals with their job search. When I was counseling adult students, who were furthering their education, most were doing so to switch careers. I found myself showing how a degree could pair with their current skills in transitioning to the next step in their career.

Fast forward to my interview with a career center located in Southern California.

There are three aspects to a great interview, prep, transferable skills, and connection.

  1. Prep – I prepared for my interview by comparing my current resume with the job description. Afterall, my resume got me the interview and is the one piece of information the interviewee had on me. Here I found aspects I matched, and I found aspects where I needed work. More on that later.
  2. Transferable Skills – I mentioned that I helped potential students identify their skills, but there were areas I knew I would need to paint the picture for my future employer. One example, my new position required me to fill out an IEP (Individual Employment Plan). I looked up what the term meant and realized I did this with my students in the initial intake. I practiced explaining this connection confidently.
  3. Connection – Practicing for your interview helps build your confidence. You want to practice C.A.R. explanations for two reasons.

One, providing specific explanations shows you understand the question and can see how to apply the same successful tactic to your new position.

Two, you will have less nerves and be able to focus on making your interview a conversation versus a timid game of “yes” and “no” answers.

Click here  for a sample of C.A.R. Statements.

Back to my interview. In the interview I answered questions and worked on showing how I was the best fit for the position. I was asked how I thought I would do with clients in person considering my pervious position was over the phone.

I responded, “I am able to build trust and get people to connect with me over the phone. We discuss personal subjects and I think if I can do this with someone who has never seen my face, I can certainly do it in person.”

I was able to highlight the most important aspect of the future position which was building trust with your client, and I answered the question.

Remember, when you step into your next interview why you are there. On paper you match the description. What can you do in the interview to show you are the person for the job?

Until next Tuesday…

Comment Below: Do you struggle explaining your transferable skills in an interview? Share the skill, your current position, and the career transition you want to pursue in the comments section. I will respond with how you can leverage this skill in your next interview.


For more information watch my recorded live stream episode 3 Tips to Execute a Successful Job Search in 2020 appearance with host Mary Fain Brandt where we explored these topics in detail.


Until next Tuesday…

Comment Below:

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