Protect your data
Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova
When you find your dream job but feel underqualified for it, the idea of applying for the position can be intimidating. However, even if you are underqualified for a job, there are still ways you can land it! Check out this blog to learn what steps you need to take to bring up your confidence.
Feeling underqualified for a job you want is never a good feeling. The worry you feel may even be enough to discourage you from applying in the first place, especially if you don’t have all the requirements listed in the job description. The good news is that you don’t have to check every box before you can send in your application. In fact, your transferable skills may be just what a hiring manager is looking for.
In this blog, we will explore some tactics you can try to build your confidence and learn how to reach your goals. Here’s what we will be covering:
Is feeling underqualified for a job normal?
What to do if you feel underqualified for a job?
How to prepare for an interview when you feel underqualified
When you are looking for jobs to grow into, feeling underqualified is quite normal. You may look at a job description and realize you don’t have experience in all the required areas, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy. There are several reasons why these feelings may surface, but the following are some of the most common reasons you may not feel qualified for a job.
Imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is the feeling you develop when you begin to doubt your accomplishments and knowledge. Many who deal with these feelings have a fear that they will eventually be exposed as a fraud.
Lack of experience. Another reason you may feel as though you are underqualified for a job is when you are new to a field or a particular role. You don’t have the experience you need to fully know what a job entails, so it’s natural to feel a bit of uncertainty when it comes to your abilities.
Comparisons. When looking at your career, it’s easy to begin comparing your own knowledge and skills to others in your industry. Certain peers may seem to have more experience than you, which can lead you to believe that you aren’t qualified for a similar role as the one they currently hold.
Your own expectations. We often put expectations on ourselves that aren’t necessarily warranted, and that can be especially true when you are in a field that requires a high degree of complicated responsibilities. These types of roles can be rather intimidating and cause you to feel underqualified.
A desire to be perfect. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, which makes being perfect impossible in the long run. If you have a tendency to strive for perfection, making mistakes can lead to feelings of inadequacy because you begin to believe you have fallen short of what’s expected in a role.
When you feel underqualified for a job, there are several things you can do to counteract those feelings. Start with a self-assessment that gives you time to consider your unique skills, experience, and career accomplishments to ensure you aren’t underestimating your capabilities.
Next, seek guidance from mentors, colleagues, and friends who can provide you with perspective and advice. You should also commit to a form of continuous learning, which can help you feel better prepared for the next level in your career.
Finally, make sure you are setting expectations for yourself that are realistic and that you are willing to accept constructive criticism and feedback. Don’t forget that nobody is perfect and there are always going to be challenges you face in any role. Also, be willing to put in extra time and effort to ensure you are prepared to tackle a new role even if you don’t fully have the skill set necessary.
Once you make the conscious decision to apply for a job that you feel underqualified for, it’s time to start preparing for the interview. Here are some of the things you can do to make sure you are prepared.
Read through the job description and look for the areas where your experience and skills align with what is needed by the employer. Knowing your strengths and the areas you need to work on ahead of time can help you in an interview.
Learn what you can about the open position so that you can become more confident in your ability to perform the job duties as needed.
Research the company and determine what types of problems they are having regarding the department or role you are currently interviewing for. Having a specific set of ideas for helping solve those problems can make you more of an asset to the company.
Practice answering some of the most common types of interview questions. Don’t forget to practice out loud in front of a mirror so you can hear your own voice and see your body language.
Prepare questions for the interviewer in advance to give yourself more insight into the company as a whole as well as the role itself.
Our goal is to help you succeed at every stage of your career. If you are ready to take that next step, but worried you might be overqualified, we can help you prepare. Check out our interview prep services on our website.
Feeling underqualified for a job is normal, especially when you lack some of the skills listed in the job description for the role.
If you feel underqualified, take time to reflect on your skills, seek guidance from mentors, and set realistic expectations.
To ensure you perform well in an interview for a job you feel underqualified for, prepare in advance.
Holly is a writer and editor based in Oklahoma. She specializes in social media, small business, and human resources content. She has previously written for a collection of country music media outlets, including Wide Open Country. Holly loves writing cozy mysteries and fantasy stories. She is the proud pet-parent of two dachshunds who are forever taking over all the blankets and pillows.