How To Prepare For An Interview When The Job Is A Stretch

Art Markman

First things first: Your job interview is going to stress you out—even if just a little bit, and even if you think you’ve got it in the bag. You have one shot to impress people who don’t know you that well, and it’s a fact of human psychology that we just aren’t naturally comfortable in situations like that. Plus, you’re competing against a number of other people for the same position, and if you really want the job, you’re already emotionally invested in getting it.

If only it stopped there, but it usually doesn’t. On top of all that, you might feel like the job is a bit of a stretch for you. You may not be completely qualified to step into the role on Day 1 and do a stellar job. That’s actually completely fine, but it can make preparing for your interview even more anxiety inducing than it already is. Here’s how to stop freaking out and nail it anyway.


Of all the reasons to stress about a job interview, your qualifications to do the job should not be one of them. The first rule of career advancement is that if you’re completely qualified for the job you’re applying for, you’ve aimed too low. New jobs are an opportunity for growth, and good employers know that. They aren’t hiring you for your ability to do the job completely from the start. They’re hiring you for your potential to become great in the role.

So if your resume accurately reflects your prior experience, then the people interviewing you already have a sense of your qualifications. Keep this in mind while you’re preparing for the interview, because it can significantly change what you focus on: You don’t need to convince them that your experience makes you worth considering—they’ve already decided it does by inviting you in chat.
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