Shoot for the moon and you will reach for the stars. In the ever-evolving job market today, it is more important than ever before to challenge yourself and go out of your comfort zone. In many instances, you may find yourself applying for a job that may seem like a “stretch” or “out of your league”. Here are 4 ways that can help you rise to the occasion!
1. Focus on transferable skills and being adaptable
Study the job description carefully. Write down the list of skills and qualifications that they are looking for. Compare this list to your resume and make linkages wherever possible. This will form as an excellent base for talking points during your interview.
More often than not, there are a lot of transferable skills that you possess than what is immediately obvious. Managerial experience and sales skills can be demonstrated in a variety of ways and you shouldn’t be shy in speaking up for yourself.
2. Turn negatives into positives
Reassess the narrative that you are telling yourself. Before you try to convince a prospective employer, you must first convince yourself. If you are telling yourself that you are unqualified, your employers will definitely see through your insecurities after a few tough questions during the interview.
Know that you bring your unique skills, strengths and experiences to the table. Your differences will be a plus depends on how you frame your mindset. If you are coming from a different industry, or are less experienced and younger, know that you possess different skills that can be equally valuable to the company. A younger candidate may have more social media awareness and tech savvy and someone from a different industry can offer a differing viewpoint in discussions to help achieve the best solution to a problem.
3. Do an informational interview with an insider beforehand
Even if you lack exact experience or hard skills, genuine interest, passion and knowledge of the industry can help overcome superficial shortcomings. Employers always steer toward motivated individuals who demonstrate genuine interest in the industry.
Before your interview, reach out to your contacts (friends of friends, Linkedin etc.) to see if you can speak to anyone already in the industry to learn more about what they do and their thoughts. Speaking to an insider is the best way to quickly assess the nature of work that you are hoping to transition into.
In addition, read up on the recent industry trends and any important changes in the field. Look at news articles, industry journals, competitors’ websites and interviews of C-suite management in your field. You want to know the latest and the greatest and you can pivot off this during the interview to show your knowledge and ask good questions.
4. Show humility and commitment to the success of the company
It is difficult to draw the line between humility and confidence. During the interview, you need to be confident to show that you can do the job (focus on #1). No one will believe in you if you don't believe in yourself.
At the same time, employers want to know that you are not blindly confident and that you would be willing to learn on the job and be a team player. Make this clear during your interview so that your employers know that you are someone who recognizes their own strengths and weaknesses and are more than willing to learn and improve, especially in a new environment or more senior role as compared to your previous position. Demonstrate to your prospective employer instances where you have acquired new skills in a short timeframe, or adapted to a new position or challenging situation. Above all, show that you really really want the job and are willing to do the necessary groundwork to make it work, and to help the company succeed.
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