By Lia, Everyday Interview Tips
Job experience isn’t everything…..but it sure helps. There is no denying that employers care about job experience, but they also care about your ability and attitude to learning. If this wasn’t the case then no graduate would ever be able to find a role. So how do you look like you have the right attitude and some basic job experience too?
How to Make it Look Like You’re Experienced
Ask Brilliant Questions
It’s not your background, it’s your questions. If you’re at an interview, and you ask a brilliant question (such as a question about the future of the company’s product in order to match the capabilities of a competitor’s product) you show a knowledge and depth that few other applicants have.
You may have experience in your past that you didn’t think was relevant. For example, you may not have experience with a computer program listed on the job description, but you might have experience with a similar or related computer program that will make it easier to learn the new program. There are always little examples of experience you may not have considered. Perhaps you have some organised some fundraising work with your college alumni which you could use to show that you have organisational skills and aren’t afraid to ask for money. Or even if you have created your own blog as a hobby, this can show that you have proficient writing skills and an ability to pick up new technology quickly.
While there is a fine line between confident and arrogant, be confident in yourself and people will have no need to doubt your abilities. If they ask you if know something you don’t know, confidently tell them you are confident you can learn it quickly and would be happy to do so in your own time. If they ask you about relevant experience that you don’t have, say no but confidently share with them other experience that you believe relate to the topic.
Prove Claims not Cliches
You can appear more experienced by providing examples that back up your claims. No employer wants to hear a long line of cliches like – I am a hard worker or I know I can do the job. They want proof that those claims are true. Prove it with examples. from your past. They don’t have to specifically relate to the job description, they need to be examples of the skills you claim to have. They may be college experiences, experiences from participation in sports, volunteer work etc…..
Highlight Your Soft Skills
Sometimes you just can’t control the level of experience you have in the short term. In this case, make sure you highlight your best of skills. Start by looking up the key soft skills employers look for in your chosen job field. Eg: Market Researchers must have negotiation and listening skills while the best IT people have communication, empathy, teamwork and negotiation skills. Make sure you know what soft skills your field most desires and show you have them.
Overcoming experience can be a challenge, especially if the interviewer thinks experience is very important. But if you follow the above tips, experience won’t be the only factor that matters.