How to Interview for a Position That You Might Feel Underqualified For

 

Well-dressed female manager sitting at a desk opposite mature man the office.  She holding  and reading his a  job application form .

 

You applied for a position that’s slightly out of your reach and surprise…you landed an interview. Congratulations! Now it’s up to you to convince the hiring manager you have what it takes to get the job done. Are you up for the challenge? If you are, here are 4 quick tips to help you ace the interview:

Tip #1: Get the inside scoop from an industry veteran.

If you’re interviewing for a position that you don’t have a lot of experience in then you’ll need to learn all you can about it from someone who’s worked in the field. Use LinkedIn to search for someone in your circle of contacts who is willing to connect with you via email or for a quick phone call.

Before you call or email, make sure you’re asking pointed questions about any areas where you have gaps in knowledge, whether it’s certain industry jargon or trends in the field. You should also ask “what am I missing?” in case there are issues you didn’t inquire about, but that are important to know walking into an interview.

Tip #2: Connect with an existing employee.

In addition to reaching out to someone who works in the field, try to connect with someone who works at the company you’re interviewing with. If you know someone who’s already employed there, ask them for the inside scoop on getting hired. Perhaps company management places a lot of emphasis on volunteerism and philanthropy, or green initiatives. Whatever the case, if you have experience in these areas, it’s just another opportunity to promote why you’re a great fit during the interview.

Tip #3: Focus on your accomplishments.

Keep in mind, accomplishments trump experience. So if you’re short a couple of years of experience, but know you have what it takes to do the job, explain why. For instance, during the interview, make sure you highlight the huge increase in sales you spearheaded, or the cost cutting initiative that saved the company thousands. If you have clear-cut, tangible examples of the results you’ve delivered, it will often make up for lack of experience.

Tip #4: Tout what makes you special.

If you aren’t the classic candidate and are slightly underqualified – but still got an interview – the hiring manager clearly saw something special in your cover letter or resume. For instance, you may have spent the first few years of your career in a different field, which is why you don’t have as many years at the table as other candidates. But that experience may provide you with fresh insight or a more diverse perspective.

Interviewing for a role you’re not quite qualified for can be a stressful experience. But if you put in the work on the front end to learn from industry veterans and focus on what makes you unique, then it’s a risk worth taking…one that can pay off in the end.

Do you need more help finding out about great job opportunities in Kansas City? Call Morgan Hunter! As one of the leading Kansas City employment agencies, we can help you in every aspect of your job search – from uncovering great job opportunities to acing your next interview.

Give us a call if you’d like expert help with your job search.