How to Succeed at an Interview that Doesn't Match Your Resume

John Krautzel
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Job candidates often find it disappointing when they're offered a job interview for a position that does not match their resume. However, all interviews give job seekers a chance to sell themselves and might lead to more fruitful opportunities down the road. Eliminate the negative feelings that stem from landing interviews that don't match your skills or qualifications, and take advantage of the opportunity to meet employers and discuss your strengths and abilities.

Be Bold

In some instances, the employer might point out specific skills or job requirements that are lacking on your professional resume, which you'll likely find frustrating. If faced with this scenario, begin highlighting additional skills and accomplishments that are not included on your application materials. For example, discuss how you work well in teams, provide scenarios of how you have secured new clients or offer your unique approach to troubleshooting. Be bold when answering job interview questions to show that you are confident in your skills and qualifications.

Highlight Transferable Skills

If you barely meet the requirements for the job, make sure your responses to common job interview questions showcase your transferable skills. Provide examples that show you're an effective communicator, leader and team player. If you have experience that relates to the position, describe it in more detail. For example, if the job is for an accountant assistant and you never held this position, describe how you helped manage the company budget and allocated funds to ensure maximum profitability in a specific department in a previous position. Craft your responses so they give you a chance to sing your own praises, even if your professional resume doesn't reflect the information.

Impress Employers

Many times, employers seek candidates who can professionally represent the company. Put your professionalism on display by showing up to the job interview dressed for success. Wear your best interview attire, and avoid wearing large, bold accessories that can distract interviewers. Sweep your hair out of your eyes so you can confidently make eye contact during the job interview. Your body language also speaks volumes, so pay attention to your posture, and avoid folding your arms or crossing your fingers during the job interview. Offer a firm handshake, speak slowly and articulately and listen intently to the interview questions to ensure you're providing appropriate responses.

It might seem pointless to accept an interview for a position that does not match the qualifications outlined on your resume, but that's certainly not the case. Make the most of the job interview by highlighting the positive aspects of your career thus far. Present yourself professionally, focus on your transferable skills, and show employers that you're a dedicated, hard worker who would make a great asset to any team.

Photo Courtesy of lorena rojos at


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