Stepping into an interview with no experience can sometimes feel like a daunting task, but there are steps you can take to prepare yourself. We all have to start somewhere, so there will always be a time when we’re hoping to ace a job interview, despite having no practical experience in the role. Whether you’ve just finished education or you’re looking to take on a brand new challenge, the following tips will help you make the perfect first impression.
If you have no experience, but you’re hungry for the chance to show off what you can do, then tell your interviewer that. Be honest about what you’d like to do, and tell them why the role interests you.
Don’t try to pretend that you have experience if you don’t - you can bet that your interviewer will see right through that! Instead, come clean about the new areas you’d like to master, express your interest in training and talk about your willingness to learn.
If an interviewer has chosen to see you, they’ll already know that you don’t have hands on experience in the role in question. Don’t let this detract from your confidence when you get into the interview room. Tell them why you deserve the chance, and make sure they understand what you could do - given the opportunity.
Switch the focus
Instead of talking about what you haven’t done, switch the focus of your interviewers’ questions to talk about what you have done. Even if you have no experience in a typical working environment, you’ll definitely have experience from real life scenarios that you could apply to most interview questions.
For instance, if an interviewer asks about your motivation, tell them about your proudest achievement in your personal life. This could be anything from organising a family event to running a charity race. Talk passionately about what you achieved and how you did it, to give the interviewer insight into what motivates you. Let them see your enthusiasm, and you’ll soon get them thinking about how well you might work with their team.
Do your research
Interviewers are often faced with too many candidates who know little about the role in question, not to mention the company they’re hoping to work for. So, it’s always a good idea to spend as much time as possible researching the company, to arrive prepared, confident and ready to impress.
If you don’t have years of experience to back up your answers, this prior research becomes even more important. By learning as much as you can about the company, you’ll be able to speak knowledgeably about how the company operates, and your interviewer will definitely notice that you’ve put the work in. This research may even help you to establish a link between yourself and the company, enabling you to talk about your own passions and why these interests make you the perfect candidate for the job.
Remember, real world experience is just as important as good old fashioned work experience, so think of some anecdotes and personal stories that link you to the company, and get ready to show your interviewer why you’re the candidate they should be considering.
A lack of experience shouldn’t hold you back from applying to any entry-level job. Whilst experience certainly helps you stand out from the crowd, there are many jobs where such experience isn’t necessary. Look out for jobs that provide training, and are open to candidates searching for their first role in that industry.
If you’re accepted for an interview, do your research and speak confidently about what makes you the best person for the job. Don’t focus on what you haven’t done, instead think about the experiences that you do have, and the lessons you’ve learnt that you could apply to your new role. Think of your interview as a golden opportunity to tell the company why they should employ you, and don’t be afraid to show off your skills.
This article was written by Check-a-Salary, a platform dedicated to providing insight on earnings for every position in the UK,