One of the most difficult things you will have to do in your career is kick it off. Even if the current job market starts to understand how wrong it is to think that young professional people without actual working experience have no experience.
The world in which we are living does not easily understand the potential of a young graduate student. Truth is that there will never be so much motivation in someone’s career than during the first years.
To tell the truth, we have been absolutely amazed by the potential revealed once you give that chance to a young professional without experience.
Young graduates can do miracles once you give them the opportunity. However, the reality is still not perfect and young people with no experience continue to struggle to access the job market and get started with their career.
Having no work experience or going for your first job interview, what should you do to ace it and how should you prepare for it?
We will share with you our no experience interview tips:
1. Start as early as possible to search for a job
The job market is highly competitive and even more for the job entry level during the graduation season. Start looking for a position during your senior year. As this will be your first experience interviewing for a job position.
It will be beneficial for yourself to get on as many interviews as possible. In this way you avoid tough competition once everyone graduates. Get some time to train, practice, learn and even choose the job you really want to do.
2. Every working experience from volunteer to internship should be updated on your CV as real working experience
Yes, why should you already make the hiring manager feel that your profile is junior.
By mentioning those words on your CV you already tell the hiring manager that you have a junior profile and you are not yet confident about your capabilities. Every volunteer experience or internship experience has taught you something, and let us be honest, you worked. Some internships are even more thoughtful as learning experiences as some other experience we can think about, because you end up being the go to person for many departments in the company.
The only difference between volunteer work, internship and real work experience is the salary. We don't see any added value in telling the hiring manager you did not get paid or got only a little money for the job you have done. So start by giving your experience real value.
3. The only thing that is junior is your self confidence, be sure of yourself
Often, young graduates are making their profile junior on their own by remembering the hiring manager about the lack of experience or apologizing by their behavior for being there in the job interview. Students, young professionals, it is time to change your mindset, because you are the most valuable asset a company can have in their employees skills set. Young professionals tend to dare to communicate very well, to be highly skilled with computers and to find their way out even in highly complex company structures.
The problem is that young professionals are not yet aware of their valuable skills set.
During the job interview, keep in mind that the job you will be doing for the company will be important and that anything you don’t know today you will learn it tomorrow.
4. Read the job description and learn related skills online
Today our world has incredible ressources online for a very affordable price. When you apply to a job and you have no experience in this domain, complete your knowledge online, there are web sites like Udemy.com, Fiverr, Moodle even just using YouTube. Show the job interviewer that even though you may not have direct relative experience in the domain you are applying, you are already working on it and you sign up for class online.
5. Connect with people who are doing the job you want to do
Thanks to social professional platforms such as LinkedIn, meeting people who have the knowledge you need to acquire is easy.
Try to connect with few of them in the field related with your job application and ask them few questions like:
How is a day to day in the position?
What are the challenges you encounter?
What are your main stakeholders?
What support do you need or tools you use?
What are the areas you like about your job and the area you don't like?
Embrace the responses and ensure you relate to them in your job interview. A job interview is nothing more but convincing the hiring manager that you are the right fit for the position.
By already showing that you understand the day to day life in that position with its challenges and all that goes with it, you are already halfway there.
6. Prepare to answer the “no experience questions”
We have summarized 3 questions that you may have to experience if you are in your first job interview or if you have no experience and the hiring manager is not yet comfortable with your “no experience.
“What have you done that shows initiative and willingness to work?
Eventually in these types of questions, you need to demonstrate that you are someone who anticipates, prevents and finds solutions. Pick up a situation in your years of internship, volunteer work, where you had to proactively work on implementing a solution. Reactive situation vs proactive situation is what differentiate motivation from non.
“What type of job are you looking for?” or “What are you looking for in your first job?”
In this question, you need to be open, to show that your willingness to learn and kick off your career is what matters to you. As a young graduate demonstrating your motivation and telling yourself that you only want a company that will give you a chance to learn, grow and develop your knowledge and skills are a good way to approach this type of first job interview question or no experience question.
“What jobs have you held and what did you learn from it?”
Here put forward any experience you have had so far. The people you are today have been shaped also by those types of experiences. Tell what you have learned and what you gain out of those experiences. How you got them is very personal. You can get personal here, feel free to tell an anecdote from which you have learned how to collaborate or how you have been impressed by the efficiency of working in a team or the importance of communication.
What you need to remember is that everything you prepare before your job interview will need to work in the direction of making the hiring manager understand that:
You understand the realities of a job you have never done
You have relevant skills applied in other contexts that could help you be successful in this job
You have the right amount of enthusiasm for the work and a willingness to take the rough with the smooth that comes with every job
You have prepared for your first job interview like you would prepare for any job interview.
Preparing for your first job interview includes making research on the company, studying the job description and highlighting a few keywords you will use in your job interview.
Whether this is your first job interview or you are familiar with the job interview process, going to a job interview is stressful, the more you prepare for it and the more you will feel relaxed about answering the hiring manager questions. Everyone has an immense potential, job interviews are about showing it, so don’t be humble and talk confidently about yourself and everything you have already accomplished in your life.
For more on this topic, watch our video:
If you want support for your preparation, reach out to The Ambitious. Check our other blogs for more about job interviews.