At the end of the day, the entire job market can be summarized in a short sentence: Trying to find the right match. You, as a job seeker, try to find a job you will enjoy doing, a profession that will help you reach your dreams, or at least get by, a job that is a good match for your expectations and skills. On the other side of the equation, employers are also trying to find the right match: Someone with right skills and experience for the job, someone with a fitting personality for their company culture, an employee who will stay with them and help them reach their goals. In a ideal case things click together, and while you find a great job, they find a great employee.

This doesn’t happen very often though. Nevertheless, just like when it comes to match-making in dating, we should at least try to find the right match. And if it doesn’t work out the first time, we should try again. Because life is short and doing a job we outright hate makes no sense whatsoever…. Anyway, while trying to find their “perfect match”, hiring managers will ask you variety of questions. At least one of them will always refer to your skills and experience. They wonder whether they match the job requirements, or actually don’t.

You do not need to be a rocket scientist to tell that, in order to improve your chances of getting the job, you should find some match. Sometimes it is super obvious–you had the same job in the past for example. On other occasions the connection is rather obscure, and you need to try hard to help the interviewers see it, and eventually acknowledge that you are a decent match for the job. Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers. You will find on my list a variety of answers, for both experienced people and first-time job seekers. Answers for different job fields, and I sincerely hope that at least one of them will be a good match for you :), for the message you try to convey to the hiring managers. Enjoy!


7 sample answers to “How do your skills and experience match the requirements for this job?” interview question

  1. I think they match it perfectly, and it is the no. 1 reason why I apply with you. I worked in two retail stores before, as a part of a team on shift, and have been through various tricky situations one can experience in this kind of jobs. Think conflict with a colleague, extremely heavy workload, being understaffed, having to stay overtime, dealing with complaining customer, etc. I must admit it hasn’t been always easy for me to handle such situations, to do the right thing. But I learned a lot from my managers and older colleagues, and now I feel ready to excel in your place from day one.
  2. Well, this is my first ever job application, hence I cannot really relate to the experience from the past. But I tried to learned as much as I could about the role in your corporation, and also about the company culture and core values you promote here. I honestly feel that I have the skills–especially the attention to detail and technical skills with software applications you use here, to make the most out of this opportunity, for both myself and your business. Obviously I do not have previous experience to prove this, but I believe I know my skills and personality well. I consider myself a great candidate for this job, and am ready to prove my words at work.
  3. They basically match them, one after another. I read the job description carefully, and know what you expect from a great candidate for the job, in terms of education, working experience, and attitude to work. I feel that I tick all check boxes. Have a degree in finance, worked in the field for two years already, have experience with SAP, and teamwork matters to me greatly. And though I believe there is always room for improvement, and I definitely do not want to be complacent when it comes to my education and skills, I feel like a great match for the job.
  4. To be honest with you, I do not match the requirements from the job description. But I also believe they do not matter, as long as one has the right attitude and motivation. Look, you have a great training program in place. And this is basically an entry-level job, at least in my view. Employees on this position do not work on scientific research, they do not make critical decisions. It is just a simple office job, repeating the same tasks day after day. And I believe that with my intelligence and enthusiasm, with my honest desire to eventually build a great career in your company, I will quickly learn to take care of my tasks, and will excel in the job, even though I lack relevant working experience. That’s how I see it, and it a reason why I applied for the job, even though I do not really fit the picture in terms of required experience.
  5. I know the connection isn’t easy to spot. Because I was just a call center operator before, and now I try to get a job of a sales manager. But believe me, working in a call center for six months is the best training for any great salesman. Because it is really rough. People hate calls from call centers. Vast majority will hang up, reject your request. Many will say bad words to you. It is a training in persistence and resilience. It takes a lot of time to close the deal, and the job is super repetitive. Yet you continue trying, because you know that when you make X sales calls, eventually some people will reply positively and you will close some deals. Meeting business clients and selling great services like the one your company offers is, in my view, a piece of cake compared to sales jobs in call centers. That’s why I feel qualified and ready, though for an inexperienced eye, my resume may suggest I am not the right match for the job.
  6. Well, I feel my skills match some of the requirements and do not match others. For example, I have the required education, and I have worked in the field before. However, I have never worked with XYZ software, which is one of the job requirements. But I can assure you my motivation is strong, and I do not mind learning to work with the software in my free time, before actually starting the job. Nowadays you will find great tutorials online, for virtually any popular software. As long as one has motivation and willingness to sacrifice something for their job–and I certainly have such willingness, lack of previous experience isn’t a problem in my view.
  7. To be honest, I still try to find the answer to that question. Because it isn’t really clear from your job description what you are looking for, at least in terms of previous working experience and technical skills. What I know for sure is that I like your organization, what you try to achieve, the difference you try to make with your programs. It resonates perfectly with my personality and values. This was the reason why I decided to submit my job application. I didn’t think too much about my skills. Hopefully during this interview you will find out whether or not I am actually a good match for this role.


Help them see the connection, refer to personality and attitude when you dot match the requirements on skills and experience

At the end of the day, everything relates to everything. We get richer with every new experience, and even though the connection may be obscure or completely invisible, an experience from one job always helps us in the next one. When your experience doesn’t seem relevant, your goal is to find the connection, and explain it to the interviewers. I hope my sample answers helped you to understand how to do it.

What’s more, if you cannot find the connection whatsoever, or even do not really know what the exact job requirements are (this can happen when the job description is short or badly written), you can try to turn their attention to other things that matter–your motivation, attitude to work, personality traits. Maybe you haven’t done the job before, maybe you lack this or that skill. However, you are as motivated as anyone, eager to learn, and ready to sacrifice something for your new job. If you lack this or that skills, you will gain it as soon as possible. Because you want to, and have a capacity to do so. For many employers this actually matters more than your actual experience…

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also sample answers to other tricky interview questions:

Matthew Chulaw
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