In Interviews, Show How You’re Improving

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Many candidates spend job interviews positioning themselves as experts in their particular field, and that’s great—so long as they can back up those assertions with actual skills and experience. But some candidates, anxious to land the job, sometimes overhype their abilities, which can lead to all sorts of trouble.

Let’s say you’re experienced in JavaScript, but haven’t totally mastered it. Rather than assert that you know virtually everything about the language—and risk being called out about it later—cite the areas that you know well, and don’t be afraid to single out other aspects as targets for improvement.

Follow up with that breakdown by detailing how you intend to improve those aspects. Are you taking online classes? Learning from a mentor? Experimenting until you achieve some sort of breakthrough? Whatever your path, make sure you illustrate how you’re making progress.

Why should you pursue that tactic? Your potential employer knows you’re human, and there’s always something new to learn. If you can position yourself as a rapid learner who looks for opportunities and can quickly adapt to all sorts of platforms, it could serve you better in the long run than trying to sell yourself as the maestro of a particular craft—because unless you’re one of a very small handful of people, there’s always something new to learn.