The Experience of a Lifetime Technique

One of the most difficult questions at the entry level can be the "experience" question. If you have applicable work experience in your chosen occupation, great! Make the most of it and capitalize on this area to differentiate yourself from your competition.

But what if you don't? What if your experience consists primarily of flipping burgers at McDonald's? Don't answer apologetically, as many do, that you really don't have any real experience. Instead, use the Experience of a Lifetime Technique to solidify your background and confirm your ability to do the job:

"Thank you for asking me about my experience. I understand the need to review my past experience to determine whether or not I'm able to accomplish the tasks necessary for this job. I have, in fact, had a lifetime of experience that is directly related to this job. For example, I've learned…"

Then go on to relate life experiences and what those have taught you or how they have prepared you for this job. These responses can include the generic, which would apply to any position ("I've learned the ethics of hard work and seeing a job through to completion, whatever the cost, during my summers working for my uncle on his farm. One summer, my uncle broke his leg, and the entire family counted on me to…"), to the specific ("I've learned through my classes how to utilize object-oriented development tools to efficiently develop modular systems that can be used across a series of platforms. In fact, in the capstone project in my final year…").

You have full control over your answers. Make certain they are good ones.

Then close by detailing your personal attributes: "I've learned that for a company to succeed, it needs people who are ready and willing to put forth their very best effort. People who aren't afraid to work hard. People who are dependable. That is the experience that I bring to you and your company."

Modify the above to suit your own needs, but please don't regress to the "I really don't have any experience line." The interview is as good as over the minute you say it.