In Job Interview: Overcoming Lack of College Education

Jamie writes:
I’ve read many books on how to overcome objections by stating the positive;
however I need to know how to overcome my lack of college education without
offending my interviewer. I am positive that he has a college education and by
alluding to something like “my 7 years of experience in the field is more
beneficial than a college education” or “my priorities have been focused on my
career and family life” could very easily offend someone who has been to college.
Your thoughts?

The Career Doctor responds:
I think you have the right mindset to be focused on not offending or upsetting
the interviewer so I don’t want to downplay the situation but my sense is that
if the company is progressive enough to realize that extra experience can
compensate for a lack of a degree that you are in good shape. You would
not even be getting the interview if the employer did not think you were a good
potential fit for the position.
That said you’re right. If the question arises about your lack of a college
education you need to be prepared with an answer that is honest and positive.
So if the question is asked about why you do not have a college education I
would say something like “I have always had a passion for this field and I
when I had the chance to get started in it after high school I just felt it was
the right choice for me to follow my passion.” If the prospective employer has
a tuition benefit program you could always add something about always
wanting to start that college education so that you can further your career in the field.
OK. Soapbox time. Even if I was not a former college professor I would give you this
advice. You
really need to try to fit college into your life in the near future even if start just
taking one or two classes at night. And there are lots of reasons why. First a
college education really prepares you for lifelong learning. Second at some
point you are going to hit a plateau in your career where you can not advance
without the degree. Third all studies show that college graduates have a
much higher lifelong earning record than those without the degree.
Finally anticipating and overcoming objections in the job interview is critical to
your success. Read more in this article published on Quintessential Careers:
the Sale and Overcoming Objections in the Job Interview


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