Why You Should Plan To Take the First Interview, Even If You Think You’re Unqualified

Job seekers often hold themselves back from pursuing opportunities because they feel they must meet every possible qualification. This tends to affect women professionals in particular – in fact, according to LinkedIn’s Gender Insights report, research has found that women are more likely to apply for jobs only when they meet 100% of the requirements, while men will apply if they meet approximately 60% of the criteria. If you ended up applying for a job that you thought was a long shot and were called for an interview, don’t pass it over. Here is why you should plan to take the first interview, even if you think you’re unqualified: 

Hiring Managers Are Likely Not as Rigid as You Think 

Although job postings are often composed with a “dream candidate” in mind, hiring managers generally have an awareness of the labor market to know how to prioritize true requirements versus ones that would simply be preferable or a nice bonus. They have a job to fill, and are unlikely to be rigid on requirements or they risk not finding anyone at all. If you are invited for an interview, clearly the hiring manager thought your qualifications sufficed enough for a more in-depth conversation.  

You Can Overcome Gaps by Demonstrating Your Ability to Learn  

Many hiring managers hire for potential, in the hopes they can train the right person to have the necessary skills. Even if you do not meet certain qualifications, you can still make a compelling case that you would be a successful long term hire by highlighting your transferable soft skills and your overall ability to learn and be coached.  

It Helps You Step Out of Comfort Zone  

Hesitating to interview because you don’t meet every qualification can be indicative of imposter syndrome, or feeling as though you are inadequate – even when there is evidence to the contrary (i.e., being invited for an interview). Even if the interview doesn’t result in a job offer, the act of stepping outside of your comfort zone can be the start of overcoming your anxieties for future opportunities.  

You Can Practice Your Interview Skills 

Consider the worst possible outcome of taking an interview even if you think you’re qualified: you don’t get the job (which is the same outcome as never interviewing in the first place). You really have nothing to lose by taking the chance. However, you could potentially gain confidence in yourself by getting more experience in interviewing, so you will be more prepared and less nervous going forward.  

Achieve Your Goals 

Are you ready to explore new professional opportunities? Team up with IFG for your job search. As a premier accounting and finance employment agency, our mission is to match job seekers like you with the opportunities that are the best fit for your qualifications and professional goals. Contact us to learn more about how we can help with your job search.