Tough Interview Questions: Are You Sure You Want an Entry Level Position? |

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This is a question it’s often asked of older workers who are considering a career change in order to do work that they like.

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I’ve got a good tough interview question! I summarized it with the headline for this 1 and it says, “are you sure you want an entry-level position?”

Here's the real scenario. Someone is “an older worker.”

“Are you sure you willing to start a position just to get your foot in the door?”

I am going to take a further. You’re 40, 45, 50! Older than that! Would you be willing to go entry-level here?

So, this is 1 of those dilemmas for firms because they get the idea that career progression means being you start at 20; you work your Way up the ranks and they don't understand that people actually want to do things that they want to and not just be a dumb drone sitting in the corner somewhere.

So, how do you respond to an imbecile like this who wants to know whether you're sure that you be open to an entry-level position?

The answer is really very simple but you have to act. You have to treat this as theater and you have to be personally persuasive. You have to look ask them square in the eye and change your tone of voice and speak a little bit more slowly. Then, say something to the effect of, “You know, sometimes you have to take a professional step back in order to move your career forward. So, joining you in an entry-level role basically is going to help me learn. What I'm looking for is a chance-- a chance to interact with customers, retailers, suppliers (whoever the user population would be) and basically learn the product over the course of time. What I'm looking for is a chance. Yes, I am willing to take an entry-level position just to get my foot in the door so that, in this way, I can start building my credentials, have people trust me and be able to do the kind of work I enjoy.”.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1100 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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