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How To Answer An Interview Question With No Experience

Have you recently secured your first job interview but are panicking you won’t have enough work experience to answer the questions?

Fear not! Here are some suggestions to help you impress the interviewer and overcome the lack of experience obstacle. This is a problem many face when attempting to land their first professional job.

Be honest

What you don’t want to do is lie. By pretending you have the experience that you don’t have, you’re putting your job chances at great risk. It will be fairly obvious to the hiring manager if you are talking about past work experience you do not have or have no knowledge of. This will cause them to question your integrity and your ruin your chances of getting the job. Whereas if you were honest, the interviewer is more likely to value this over answers that are completely made up.

Sometimes experienced candidates ‘expand the truth’ when explaining their job title or salary expectations in an interview. But saying you have the experience that you don’t is completely unprofessional and risky when it comes to providing references.

Transferable experience/skills

Think back to a situation where you had to perform well under pressure or faced a challenging task and the final outcome was a success. When explaining this in an interview, you will need to emphasise the fact that the skills you gained throughout university or past employment (which may not be relevant to the job role) are transferable into your potential new role. Expand on how you excel when working within groups due to your exceptional communication skills. You will also need to state an example of when this happened to really back up your point.

Prepare answers beforehand

Preparation is key! Preparing potential answers beforehand will allow you to enter the interview room feeling confident and ready to tackle those tricky questions. This is particularly useful if you have limited work experience. Having an answer along with an example in mind you will be more likely to impress the interviewer. Rather than trying to think of an example on the spot which runs the risk of not being able to answer the question at all!

What makes you STAND OUT?

If you’re lacking experience you need to think about what makes you a STAND OUT candidate? Having something extra can make the hiring manager favour you over someone else with more experience. Therefore if you demonstrate in the interview you are eager, motivated and driven to start this new career path, it can be looked upon very favourably by the hiring manager.

Find more advice on how to stand out from other job seekers here

 

Top Tip – Enter the interview with a clear career direction. Focus on your career path and why you think this job is best suited for you. If you go into the interview uncertain and hesitant towards the role the interviewer may start to doubt your commitment towards your potential new career.

 

2 Comments

  1. Caitlin Henry

    I am currently waiting to have my first job interview for a shoe company and I have no work experience at all, I am stuck on how to answer the “Give an example of a time that you set a goal to achieve and how did you succeed in achieving this”, could I please get some help with this ASAP as the interview is on Monday 5/6/2021, please help me!!!!!!

    1. Caitlin Henry

      sorry i meant the 5/7/2021 not 5/6/2021. sorry

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