“So, tell us what you did at your last job…” Many candidates are thrown off by this question, often stumbling to find the right words to explain their job history. However, being prepared to discuss your employment experience is one of the most crucial things you can do for interview success. If you feel you’re lacking employment experience, here are some ways to approach this question.
Highlight Industry Experience
Many candidates mistakenly dismiss experience that isn’t directly related to the job in which they’re applying. It’s important not to underestimate the experience you have that’s connected to the industry, even if it seems indirect on the surface. For example, if you’re applying to a property management role, a past job as an assistant to a manager would be considered relevant. Connecting past exposure to the industry will help you showcase your transferable skills and demonstrate you know what to expect in the respective field.
Don’t Forget About Non-Employment Experience
Remember, skills and expertise aren’t just limited to formal employment experience. During your interview, you can draw from all areas of your life in which you’ve demonstrated professionalism. This may include any side jobs, passion projects or volunteering in which you’ve taken on special responsibilities or leadership roles. Drawing from non-employment experience can even enrich your interview, showing you’re a well-rounded candidate with a multifaceted background.
Demonstrate a Willingness to Learn
Most employers do not expect candidates to have every qualification required for a job. In fact, many companies will provide on-the-job training to get new employees up to speed and acclimated to the protocols of their workplace. Demonstrating a willingness to learn will show the employer you’re motivated to undergo training and pick up the professional skills necessary to excel in the position.
When answering any question related to your experience, try to avoid overthinking your answer too much. Being honest and authentic in your response will ultimately be the best way to promote your assets as a candidate, and show why you’re a fit for the job.
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