You Don't Have Enough Experience
Oftentimes, when searching for a career or an entry-level position, you may find yourself in a catch-22 situation. The position may be entry-level but may still require a certain amount of years of experience. You may be wondering and asking yourself, how am I supposed to get experience, when the entry-level positions themselves require experience.
This catch-22 is a common conundrum that many candidates find themselves in. The employer may find that you don’t have enough experience, while themselves being a perfect role to gain that experience. This conundrum, while frustrating and common, is one that is solvable.
How to Approach Your Lack of Experience
Employers are looking to fill roles with candidates who have a thorough understanding of the corporate world and whom are capable of completing the tasks assigned to them. At the end of the day, they simply need hardworking, motivated, and committed individuals.
When you are asked about your lack of experience, never apologize for it. Rather, explain the circumstances. If you are a recent graduate, explain how you have been in college for the better part of the last four-years and describe the skills you gained there.
If you have not been working and were not a college student, simply explain what you were doing but fill it in with skills. Describe how you gained real-world, actionable skills and qualifications which make you the best candidate. Talk directly and earnestly with the hiring manager about what you have been doing and how that is a perfectly transferrable skill.
How to Compensate for Your Lack of Experience
Inevitably, an interviewer is going to state that you don’t have enough experience. You should prepare and be prepared for this. If and when this occurs, you need to have your elevator pitch ready. This means, you should be ready to discuss why your lack of experience is actually a positive and how your current skills can help the employer meet the needs they have.
Do Your Homework
One of the best ways to show an interviewer that you’re a serious contender for the role and are a candidate that they should consider, is to do your homework before the interview. This means you should research the position within the company but look to see what other companies are doing as well.
With the research you’ve completed, bring that information to your interview. When the time comes for you to ask the interviewer questions, bring up some facts and information on what their competition is doing and inquire if that would be a good policy to enact. Make it seem like you already work there and are discussing these items with your colleague.
In addition to doing your homework, you want to be confident in how you approach the interview. You don’t want to be seen as someone who is unsure of themselves or their capabilities. Walking in with confidence, and having reviewed common interview questions, will give you the boost you need.
When it comes to confidence, be sure to review the job description and the needs of the role. This will allow you to better answer the interviewer’s questions and to be more sure of what is needed.
Above all else, you should show a sense of willingness. The interviewer will be acutely aware of your experience, or lack thereof, and will be more willing to give you a chance if you can show that you are willing to put in the time and effort to learn.
You should make it abundantly clear that you are willing to make up for a lack of experience with a willingness to learn and work hard. If the interviewer asks about your lack of experience, you can acknowledge it and let them know that, “although you lack previous experience, you are fully committed in putting in the time and effort it takes to learn the systems and processes to accomplish the tasks assigned to you.”