If a prospective employer makes this a priority then I would recommend politely ending the meeting and looking elsewhere…just sayin…
I think “Industry Experience” is important but very over weighted in the hiring process. The world continues to evolve with new technology, new markets, so why do we continue to insist on rigid requirements in the face of so much fluidity?
I say, look for core traits that will survive much like core values for a company. I know I have re-invented myself, god knows how many times, and had to learn new industries. I have been able to do this because of my core skill set that applies… regardless of the marketplace.
If I am looking for a seasoned salesperson, should I care if they know software companies or should I care that they know how to interact and sell to senior executives? Do I care if someone knows something about compliance software or do I care that someone understands how to sell a SaaS solution to a complex buyer?
I think I made my point, but I am constantly amazed at the continued effort to tightly define every job description so it’s almost impossible to fill! We don’t live in that world anymore guys…wake up!
There is a shortage of versatile professionals out there and the world needs these folks from what I can tell so make this a strength not a weakness.