How to Ace An Interview When You Don’t Have Work Experience

If you are just entering the workforce, or going back to work after being out of the field, you may find your lack of recent experience to be a huge barrier between you and the job you want.

If you are interviewing without having much work experience, remember the experience that you do have. Use your life experience to fill in the gaps.

Everyone has life experience prior his or her first job. It may only be 17 years of life experience, but you did learn quite a bit in that time. I will use my 9-year-old daughter, Keylie, as an example.

Let’s say Keylie was interviewing for a job at a local YMCA. The position would require her to fold towels, check members into the gym, answer customer questions, and manage the cash register.

During her interview she is asked, “Why do you think you would be a good fit for this position?”

This question may frighten many novice interviewees, but there is a way to use this question to set yourself apart from the competition.

For our example, Keylie was prepared. She went into her interview determined to communicate her top qualities, and how those qualities fit into the position she was interviewing for.

She tells the interviewer:

“I believe I am a good fit for this position for the following reason. Recently I was recognized as one of two people from my second grade class with a Good Citizen Award. This award recognizes people who have exemplified, throughout the year, the schools five key character traits: Respect, dignity, honesty, responsibility, and teamwork. I know that all of these personal qualities are important for a person to be successful in working the front counter at the YMCA. These traits are a part of me every day, just as they were a part of me throughout the entire school year. The YMCA can expect the same if you choose to hire me.”

In this example, Keylie doesn’t have any work experience. The only thing she can rely on is the knowledge and experience she has gained in school. With proper planning, Keylie is able to answer the question in a way that conveys confidence, trustworthiness, and reliability.

What about you? What life experience can you discuss that will cover the gaps in your work experience?

In our upcoming book, The Interview Rule Book, we cover the proven TopScore Top5® system to help prepare you to answer these types of questions. Using this system, you’ll learn how to brainstorm ways to present yourself in the most professional, capable way possible.

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