One of the things that I want to accomplish in an interview it to convince the employeer that taking a risk on me would be worth it.

It is a risk because I do not have any direct experience in the particular field. This is because the first 5 years of my career have been in aeronautical engineering (B.S in Mechanical Engineering) and working on my MBA.

As managers what would make you take the risk of highering somebody without experience with my background?

What are skills and personality traits that cover the lack of experience?


martinUK's picture

Hi Josh,

the first thing to do is to get out of the mindset that taking you on is a risk.

Secondly, look through past emails, projects worked on etc and make a list of the skills you have had to use in a work setting (have good strong examples which indicate how skills you have used have led to positive results).

Skills are what employers look for, direct experience is really helpful for many roles, but if you are smart about the jobs you go for, they will be less of a factor.

Transferable skills are what it is all about.

Good luck.


Mark's picture
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Totally depends upon the field you're going into. And it is...?

Managers think about risk as the opposite of skill alignment with the job. Put differently, perfect alignment and fit is the elimination of risk (at least in hiring, though some managers think it goes further than that, and it doesn't), or, perfect alignment is 100% risk mitigation.

So, a smart manager wouldn't know how to answer your question without knowing what field you were interested in, to allow us to determine alignment (based solely, it appears, on your degree, which is not as enlightening as your actual job). Alignment to be a sales representative would be drastically different from, say, a technical analyst.

Let me know and I'll chime in...


martinUK's picture

Hi Josh,

Mark has basically said what I was trying to get across; be smart about the jobs you go for and focus on demonstrating how the skills you have and can exemplify are needed for job you apply for.


jdg's picture

Mark and Martin,

Thanks for taking some time to help me think through this. Your comments have been good and have helped me to think about it in a different way.

The answer to your question Mark about what "it is", is that I don't really know. Well I know what general things I am really interested in getting involved in, but in what industries I don't really know.

For instance, as an engineer type I really enjoy problem solving (but not number crunching). One of my goals in what I want to do in my career is to solve business problems with innovative solutions. These are the reasons I like the business development and corporate strategy sides to a business. I have also really enjoyed the market analysis graduate classes I have taken, and as an engineer I believe that I will be able to handle all of the technical stuff (databases and numbers) but don't want to only be in the analysis side but in the side that comes up with the solutions and direction.

As far as the particular industry I don't really know. Is that side extremely important, or can I look for a job in a more open ended approach? Is there a way to get a good understanding of industries before working in them?

My business mentor is the president of a large PR firm in Atlanta and he has been putting me in front of different executives from different industries (so far construction, and setting up one with consulting and real estate development). This has been my primary mode of learning about different industries.

Does that explain my focus enough? Do I need to focus it even more?

Again, thanks for your help.