How to overcome lack of experience in a job interview

 
Peter Botting
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No experience can feel like a vicious circle

Not having any experience feels like a Catch-22. A vicious hopeless circle. You can't get a job because you have no experience, but you have no experience because you can’t get a job.

This is true whether you are straight out of university, or are changing career to a new industry. Either way, you lack experience and this can feel like a huge disadvantage.

A lack of experience will usually come up in a job interview - but instead of making excuses, use this as an opportunity to make an exciting start, and to differentiate yourself. Very often an outsider brings fresh eyes and ideas that are not limited by "experience" of what does or doesn't work.

Here are a few ideas on how to compensate for lack of experience:

Network

Show you are enthusiastic and excited to meet new people in the trade by networking. Get to know people in the industry and gain a greater understanding of the processes and practises of the place. Do this through networking events and a strong social media presence. You may not have relevant experience but you will build networks that may include mentors, employers and knowledge spots.

Show off your skills

Skills go beyond formal education and qualifications which are just tick-box pieces of paper. Having the right skills can set you apart from the rest. In a job interview, focus on your knowledge of social media, your ability to sell, your confidence when giving a presentation, or whatever other technical or soft skill you have that will make you the best person for the job.

Research

Gain an understanding of the industry by doing extensive research of the company and the industry as a whole. Research new trends or challenges, the leaders in the market, the new strategies, what is working and what is not. Show you are enthusiastic and passionate about your new chosen career.

Personal branding

Developing a strong and unique personal brand is not an easy task, but it could separate you from the rest and clinch the job. A strong personal brand is a trait that can be transferred between jobs and careers. A reputation for getting things done is transferable to any field.

Experience and skills are important and can be won and taught. But without the right attitude, they are worth nothing.

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