Question: I’m a human resources director who left a large financial company to run the HR department at a small firm of 150 employees. It’s been a great experience, but I’ve recently been “merged” out of a job. The feedback I’m getting is that while I have the necessary skills and personality, interviewers don’t think I have enough experience handling larger groups. In prior positions, I had responsibility for thousands of employees. How do I convey that I can handle this concern without raising the issue myself? Interviewers have never mentioned this concern in our meetings – only in their feedback to the headhunter I’m working with.
– Susan, New York City
Susan: Why wouldn’t you want to raise this issue yourself? Since you believe it’s a barrier to landing offers, please start addressing it in your next interview. Explain your experience with larger groups by saying something like, “While my most recent position was with a small employer, I have extensive experience overseeing larger groups. For instance …” then give examples. Your situation is similar to how disabled candidates are taught to job hunt. No interviewer would risk asking about a disability face to face, but they’ll typically disregard the candidate because of it. So disabled candidates start by saying, “I’m sure you’re wondering whether I can handle this job given my disability. I want to assure you that I can, and here’s why …” Addressing interviewer concerns up front is the only way to eliminate them before they eliminate you from consideration.How to Address Concerns in a Job Interview by Granted Contributor