< How to Approach Interviewing

Chapter 3

How to Address the Hard Skill Gaps

We recommend spending 40 minutes on this section.

This can be one of the most nerve-wrecking parts of the pivot interview. Sitting there with sweaty palms just waiting for them interviewer to ask you why they should hire you when you don't have X and Y skill set. Here are some tips for how to address the skill gaps questions

Lots of career pivoters aren't sure how to talk about their skills gaps. But with a little work, your potential liabilities can turn into a huge asset. Recruiters love to hear that you're actively working to make yourself a better candidate. Are you working to earn a certification? Teaching yourself Excel? Mastering the latest graphic design program? Bring it up! It's a great way to show your enthusiasm for the role while demonstrating that you're proactive and self-motivated.

Proactively address the gaps - Come prepared to discuss the question head on. When interviewers ask a question like "What are some of your weaknesses? What are some things you are working to improve? Why shouldn't we hire you?" these are all opportunities to address the skill gap. This is a perfect time to state the 1-2 skills you are actively working on addressing and how you are going about addressing them (e.g. shadowing someone, a side project, taking a course, working on a project at work, etc.)

Clarify the delta of the gap - Often times the skill gaps are not a yes or no thing, but instead a work in progress. Make this clear to the person you are speaking with by describing your level of proficiency in a specific skill. Maybe you are not expert level yet, but you can describe your level of proficiency

Share proxies - Be explicit about the skills gaps you are working towards and share examples of work projects and assignments that have enabled you to touch on these skills!

Prove it! -If you're confident in your ability to hit the ground running, say that you are willing to prove it. Tell your interviewer you'd be happy to do a take home assignment or project to demonstrate your proficiency towards a skill. Additionally, share how you approach skilling up if you were to land the job.

Are you still struggling with the exact ways to phrase and respond to these questions, sweaty palms and all?! We workshopped some specific ways to mentally and physically prepare for those questions in our Confidence workshop with Arielle. Watch this 5 minute clip below for tactical ways on how to flip the script when answering this question.