How to Nail the Job Interview When You Don’t 100% Qualify


After spending years down a specific career path, it can be somewhat difficult to swap jobs later on, especially if they are not related. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not possible, because you can bring along your acquired skill set and apply it to any field that you wish.

If you’ve stumbled upon the perfect job, and while reading the job qualification requirements you notice that you don’t meet them fully, you don’t have to give up just yet. If after submitting your application you manage to secure an interview, it’s very likely that the hiring managers or recruiter are well aware that you don’t tick every box, but they have seen something on your resume that has warranted a meeting. Don’t let this chance go to waste by following the following steps.

Previous experience and skills can fill in the blanks

You should use the job description provided as a guide for your interview preparation. If one of the criteria was experience in training or teaching, and you don’t have any real expertise in that field, but, you help coach your son’s local sports team every week, you can use that experience to explain how you understand the training process for people who are learning new skills. They may not even ask, but having every base covered will make your interview flow as smoothly as possible.

Take the initiative on learning

Just because you are not an expert at every skill that they are asking for doesn’t mean that you can’t be in the future. While it’s unlikely that you’ll be proficient enough for their requirements before the interview date, being proactive and telling them about how you’re learning a new skill yourself should be enough to impress them. Don’t lie about it though, as they may ask some basic questions as part of their small talk and it would be really embarrassing if you knew absolutely nothing, having just said you recently started.

Show them you aren’t afraid of a challenge

If you’ve dealt with a skill gap before, regardless of how minor it was, you should mention it. You could talk about the time that you took on more responsibility at work, way ahead of the usual progression, and that you had no experience for doing it initially.

If you’re fairly early in your current career, you could find that you have a lot to talk about, as every aspect of your job will be a new challenge in some way or another. Every tasking outside your initial training can be considered as working outside your skill set for the task, so use all of these to your advantage, regardless of whether you think they were easy or not.

The main thing to get across is that you’re capable of performing any task that’s needed and that you will put your all into it. Interviewers are looking for people who will not only perform the recruited position well, but people who are adaptable and willing to go the extra mile to get the work completed.
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