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Toughest interview question: when you really don't have the experience

We all know the ABCs of good interviewing techniques.  You know, the "arrive 5-19 minutes early", the "have questions prepared that will show you have researched the company and the position", etc.

But, what do you do when you are asked if you have specific experience doing something and you don't?  You have two choices:

A.) You can fib 


B.) You can answer honestly: you really don't have that specific experience but have been in many situations when you had to quickly learn something to get the job done.  

I recommend B.  Fibbing will always be discovered and could produce repercussions you don't want.  Being honest about your lack of experience in a particular situation will not only show sincerity but will also demonstrate how you would act in a new situation.  Things change so quickly that the ability to learn something new is a critical skill to have.

One of my clients was recently interviewing for a quality assurance position at a video gaming firm but had no tangible experience with the systems they used. When he was asked about his technical experience, he answered that although he had no direct experience with it, his strong analytical skills helped him figure out how to use other related systems.  He was also able to give 2 concrete examples of when this had happened to him.   He was sure that learning their system would be no problem.  And it wasn't...




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