You have the ability to impress anyone you interview with! Even if you lack the experience the interviewer is looking for, there are a few tools and skills you can use in order to always leave a great first impression and to have the interviewer rooting for you in the end.
One sure-fire way to wow your interviewer, regardless of your level of experience, is by speaking professionally. Using some casual phrases and expressions in the interview is ok, (you don’t want to sound like a robot!) but you shouldn’t overuse them. Never insult your previous employer. This is an important hint to remember. Even if your previous employer was horribly disorganized and never wore deodorant, your interviewer doesn’t want to know that. Speaking poorly about a former employer can make your prospective employer nervous about how you’ll speak about them and they may reject your application based on this misstep alone.
Be honest but positive, and don’t overshare. Your interviewer doesn’t need to know about your sick cat’s doctor’s appointment or your second cousin’s root canal (topics I’ve actually heard about in interviews!). All of this extra detail may make you more memorable, but trust me, you don’t want to be remembered as the lady who talked about her godmother’s gerbil for 15 minutes. The interviewer cares about figuring out if you’re the right fit for the job, and oversharing in an interview can derail the conversation away from your experience and what a great asset you could be to their company. Speaking professionally and concisely can go a long way to impress your interviewer.
Lastly, a great way to impress your interviewer is to be personable. One great way to stand out is to come up with unique answers to the typical, “What are your strengths/weaknesses?” questions. If you’re having a hard time coming up with an interesting answer, Google it; there are a lot of unique answers and one of them is sure to vibe with you. Just don’t pick “I’m a perfectionist” or “I care too much” as a strength or a weakness. While these answers may sound nice, almost everyone uses these answers and they don’t provide any useful information about what your actual on-the-job skills are. Give an example that showcases the experience you do have such as “I’m very skilled at making people feel comfortable and heard in any conversation, even small interactions at the grocery check-out”. Be personable and conversational with all your answers.
You have the power to ace any interview you walk into, regardless of your experience. If you come across as professional and positive, you can wow any interviewer. While this won’t guarantee you the job, it will help you connect with your interviewer. Being positive and personable can show your interviewer that you are a good personality fit for their company, and this can be more important to them than your having the perfect experience.