When you are seeking a job, you may find your number one enemy is experience. The truth is when employees brandish the “experience factor,” they are subtly asking you to overcome any silent objections they have about you. You can learn how to compensate for a “lack of experience” factor in an interview by planning to address this issue before you arrive. Whether you meet with the HR director or the departmental manager, you can get a leg up by handling this challenge with finesse.
Tip #1 – Internships
Internships count for experience. If you have ever interned at a company discuss the benefits of the internship. Discuss how you have gained self-esteem, self-confidence and have developed your problem-solving skills. Even though your experience may not be a complete match with the hiring company, show that you have other experiences you can pull from that will lend you an upper hand if hired.
Tip #2 – Student Organizations
Student organizations like DECA hold weight with employers. Talk about tasks you performed working in or legislating in student organizations. Subjects to talk about are time management, student relations and efficiency skills. These skills can be easily translated into a career choice.
Tip #3 – Life Experience
Assure the interviewer that the resume only lists some of your experiences; through your life skills though, you have many more to offer. Discuss what life has taught you like determination, establishing your ethics and troubleshooting. Explain how you can use your life skills in your job every day.
Tip #4 – Personal Discipline
All employees want to hire someone who displays discipline. Extensive military service, playing semi-professional sports, modeling or extreme weight loss are examples of your personal discipline. Discuss what goals you are currently working toward and how successful you have been at them.
Tip #5 – Hobbies
Share your interest in special hobbies like gold mining, rock climbing or deep-sea diving. Even stamp collecting shows the employer that you are a well-rounded individual with healthy interests outside of work. Be careful though. Do not get carried away by giving a diatribe of your hobby history. Keep the information you give relevant to the problem of experience. Discuss how what you have learned through hobbies may assist you in your new career. For example, your ability to sort through hundreds of embroidery threads has taught you the value of organization before and during a project.
There will be some employers that insist on hiring someone who has “experience,” but most reasonable hiring managers will listen to what you have to say. Offer smart alternatives to overcome the experience question.