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Dealing with Difficult Situations at Interviews

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Lacking Experience

Gwen had a formidable obstacle to overcome as well: she had little professional experience in her area of interest.

A recent graduate from college, Gwen majored in english literature and political science. But now, she wanted to break into marketing.

Gwen was confident that she could learn the job quickly and contribute creative ideas. Her friends envied her ability to anticipate and ride trends.

As a child, Gwen used to make up commercials and present them to her family in the living room. She was sure that she had raw, untapped talent on which she could capitalize.

Still, she would have to convince the marketing manager that her inexperience as compared with other candidates was trivial.

This task seemed impossible, as Gwen did not have a portfolio to share or raw numbers to reveal her success. But she did have abilities, and she began to focus on describing these.

Transferable Skills Personal Qualities
Writing Creative
Editing Self-starter
Organization Team Player
Team Leader Excellent Communicator
Event Planning Attentive to Detail
Networking Perseverant
  Fast Learner

Making a list of her transferable skills and personal qualities, Gwen referenced things that she had accomplished in school and through part-time jobs.

Reflecting on the tangible things that she could offer an employer, Gwen realized that she could excel if given an opportunity. Still, competitors for positions probably had many of these skills and qualities as well. But what was she going to do? Pretend to act out a commercial, the way she had in her living room dozens of times?

Perhaps the idea was not farfetched. During an interview she could request an audition, in which the employer could test her and her competitors' abilities. She could demonstrate her creative potential in a tangible way.

Instead of dwelling on her history, Gwen strategically encouraged the employer to dwell on her future.

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Dealing with Difficult Situations at Interviews
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