Q: I’m going for a job in my own company – and, between you and me, I should get it. I’ve got the best experience and the best record in the company. But I’m a bit shy on the ‘piece of paper’ front. I’ve got a degree but a few of my rivals have got Master’s and a host of other qualifications. To be honest, I was working too hard to get those kinds of qualifications. How do I play this in the interview? (OL, email).
A: OL, you’ve got to accept your profile exactly as it is – you’re not going to acquire a Master’s in the next three weeks, writes Deirdre May, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers, Limerick.
A candidate needs to know what they are bringing to the table, so your focus should be on quantifying your achievements. What is this ‘best record’ you speak of? Write down five bullet points – e.g. led a building project, overhauled the company’s marketing, recruited new staff who shot the lights out.
Approach the interview as if you have been told that your qualifications might be an issue – but that the panel can be persuaded otherwise. Then work on persuading them, not by shining the light on what you don’t have, but on what you do.
If you’re the best person, prove it. Have facts and figures at the ready to bolster your case. Avoid trying to give them chapter and verse on every single thing you’ve done in the company and, instead, emphasise the very best achievements you have to your name. That’s your MA or MSc, use it.
In the following video, Career Coach Liam Horan gives further insight on how to sell your professional experience in a job interview.