asks: When I go for interviews I’m always being told that I don’t have enough
experience for the post despite the fact that I’ve reached the interview stage
on the basis of my CV. How can I show future employers that I do have the
knowledge they want?
Peter Lewis, consultant at Chiumento
Consulting Group writes:
There could be a number of reasons for encountering this
dilemma of getting to interview then being told that you do not have enough
As you imply,
the objective of the CV is to obtain an interview and yours has been successful
in obtaining a fair number. It seems churlish of them to tell you that this
clearly (I hope) outlined experience is not sufficient for the job.
that is not the whole story. The CV also sets the agenda for the interview, and
yours may be raising questions which dwell on negatives, so ensure that your CV
is achievement-orientated, pointing out how you have delivered in areas
specific to the position for which you have applied. Conversely, you may be
“overselling” yourself on your CV, so that, while it gets you the interview you
are not matching the expectations it arouses.
the CV is striking the right balance, and you are being interviewed for jobs
for which your skills and experience equip you, then it is most likely that you
are not doing a good job of getting those same skills and experience across.
Establish what particular areas of weakness you may have by getting some
detailed post interview feedback. This may require some persistence to get
beyond the accurate but meaningless “there was a strong candidate field and a
number of the other applicants met my client’s full specification more closely
interview preparation will normally identify the skills and qualities required
in a role. Reframing your answers to demonstrate real achievements in these
areas will help. A fund of examples of actual situations will enable you to
demonstrate insight into their problems and make you more confident in the way
that you answer their questions. You may also find that you have a new insight
into the kinds of problems they are already encountering, together with their
too that interviews are not just about the question “can you do the job”, they
are also about your willingness to do the job in the longer term and your
personality fit. Far too many people approach interviews as if they were
appearing on Mastermind, whereas in fact Blind Date is the more
appropriate TV analogy and a key quality to get over is rapport.
Malpas, joint managing director of Malpas Flexible Learning writes:
may help to ask future interviewers for more extensive feedback. Few
employers actually include applicants on the shortlist who do not match their
person specification. Could they be giving you this feedback because they
are uncomfortable telling you exactly why you didn’t get the job? Maybe
you need some coaching in interview skills so that you present yourself in the
best possible light?
try to use the interview to display your knowledge. Answer questions more
fully – for example, "This is how I would go about ….". Have you undertaken any training which has
been assessed? Taking the results of this along to an interview would
help to prove that you had the relevant knowledge.