How to land the job when you're underqualified

Credit: Contributed by Business Insider

Credit: Contributed by Business Insider

If a stroke of luck lands you in the interview chair when you're underqualified, continue your streak by preparing for the type of questions recruiters are bound to ask.

RELATED: 5 questions Atlanta recruiters ask when you're overqualified

What are the transferable skills you feel you have for this position? Your answer to this or a similar question can be critical to landing a job that may not match your skill set, says Atlanta-based certified career coach Hallie Crawford.

Being able to explain how you can to handle the job in a non-traditional way is important to address - even if the interviewer doesn't bring it up.

Underqualified job seekers should also be prepared to answer these questions:

  • How has your previous position prepared you for this job?
  • Why should I consider you above other perhaps more qualified candidates?
  • What will you do in the first 30, 60 and 90 days to get up to speed for the job?

Crawford recommends learning all you can about the position you're applying for so that you can give thoughtful and specific answers.

Kathy Malkowski, senior corporate recruiter for, a job board site for health professionals, advises underqualified job candidates to prepare to expand on their resume in the interview.

"If a candidate looks on the lighter side from a qualifications standpoint, a recruiter may ask for any related work experience or relative internship experience that is not represented in the resume," she said.

Malkowski also recommends that candidates who don't have everything required for the current position still participate enthusiastically in the interview after serious preparation. Even if it doesn't pay off now, there's the future to consider.

"A lot of Atlanta firms strive to maintain a relationship with candidates and build a pipeline," Malkowski said. "That way, when an opportunity opens up where less experience can be considered, we can reach back out at that time. We can keep them in mind for future roles."