Ever Had an Interview Beyond your Skill set?

NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,320Member ■■■■■■■■□□
Hey guys and gals,

Have you ever had an interview beyond your skillset? 

I have done help desk for a couple years.

As I progress in my IT jobs I'm find myself in jobs that require more deskside support, than over the phone.  I enjoy doing the deskside support.  

I have a in person interview for a Senior Network engineer role at a small MSP.  The interview is scheduled for next week.

I'm not really sure how I got selected.  I updated my resume on indeed, and I was sent a message "interested" with this job listed.

I looked at the job description, and I was floored by the skill set.  I just don't feel like I'm at this level yet.

Just getting this job interview scheduled has definitely increased my confidence when I apply to jobs.  

What would you guys do in this situation?  Have you ever been on an interview that was beyond your skillset?



When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

--Alexander Graham Bell,
American inventor

Comments

  • PCTechLincPCTechLinc Senior Member King City, CAPosts: 605Member ■■■■■□□□□□

    If I followed the same steps as you up to this point, I would do one of the following:

    1) Try to find the hiring manager/interviewer/whoever knows the role, and send them an email or call basically explaining your discovered gap in knowledge/experience. <-- My preference

    2) Proceed with the interview, and just be completely honest about what you know.  If the position sounds like something you would enjoy doing, explain how you would get yourself "up to speed" as quickly and completely as possible.

    Honest and up-front goes a long way, and if you show that you don't want to waste anyone's time, it's their opportunity to accept your shortfalls and give you a chance, or thank you for letting them know and they pick someone else.

    Master of Business Administration in Information Technology Management - Western Governors University
    Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance - Western Governors University
    Bachelor of Science in Network Administration - Western Governors University
    Associate of Applied Science x4 - Heald College
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,704Mod Mod
    I never pay too much attention to titles but it sounds like even you think your skill set doesn't match the requirements. Are you saying that you match what, 10, 30, 60%? That may give me a better idea.
  • shochanshochan Senior Member ARPosts: 815Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    mane, learning on the fly was how MSP's roll?!?!...12yrs of it...well, gave me hair loss, yeah that male pattern baldness...heheh...it was a stressball, but enjoyed it after having 5yrs of IT experience.  I wish I had gone into like after my helpdesk job, it would have definitely accelerated my skill set, IMO.  Be up front with your skill set & let them know that you like learning on the fly!  It will be fun, CHEERS & Hi5!

    2019 goals -> break time from studying
    "It's not good when it's done, it's done when it's good" ~ Danny Carey
  • yoba222yoba222 Posts: 914Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Pretty much every interview I've ever been to has been beyond my current skillset. That's how I was able to double my salary in 2 years/4 jobs.
    Obtained: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | CySA+ | PenTest+ | CAPM | eJPT | CCNA R&S | CCNA CyberOps | GCIH | LFCS
    2018: Virtual Hacking Labs
    2019: eCPPT &/or OSCP | CISSP
  • AvgITGeekAvgITGeek Senior Member Posts: 275Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Oh yeah. MSP is where you pile on the experience. I absolutely love my time at the job. I've touched things I never would have touched at my last job. More servers touched in my first three weeks than I have in the 15 years at my prior company. Definite resume builder. The time flies though. The past 2 years have been a blur and I don't know where it has gone.

    Be up front with what you know and what you don't and be prepared to learn on the fly and pick up books for your down time. I went from studying for the MS SQL Querying and Admin due to work load to back to my CCNA because of job shift and wanting to learn what would benefit our customers.
  • tedjamestedjames Scruffy-looking nerfherdr Posts: 927Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Just about every interview I've ever had was beyond my skill set. Just smile and say, "I don't know, but I'd love to learn."
  • malachi1612malachi1612 Senior Member UKPosts: 394Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Going through it right now, applying for jobs which are beyond my skillset and had many interviews.

    I have 3 job interviews lined up tomorrow, all of them are beyond my skillset.  Especially the IT Forensics job as I am only a 2nd/3rd line engineer but if I don't apply for these jobs I will never expanded my skillset and learn if I land myself the job.
    Certifications:
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP

  • mikey88mikey88 Senior Member Posts: 356Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    tedjames said:
    Just about every interview I've ever had was beyond my skill set. Just smile and say, "I don't know, but I'd love to learn."
    It depends on what's being asked. If you're interviewing for a Senior Network Engineer and the question is "Explain the basics of TCP/IP and OSI" and you say I don't know; it probably wouldn't go far.
    Certs: CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ | 2019 Goals: Cloud Sec/Scripting/Linux

  • TechGromitTechGromit Completely Clueless Ontario, NY Posts: 1,866Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    NetworkingStudent   

    What would you guys do in this situation?  Have you ever been on an interview that was beyond your skillset?



    I have, pretty much I flounder in the interview and didn't get the job. Mainly it was due to the fact the job posting and the actual job skills required no where near matched up. One outdated job description mentioned Datacard printers, which I have a lot of experience in, when I mentioned this in the interview, they told me they haven't used those for years, we use this now, which I had no knowledge of. Another job posting specifically mentioned NextGen,  which is the Federal Aviation Administration's push to do GPS flight navigation. I studied up on all the latest developments in NextGen, in the job interview they asked me what I knew about POT's line, Serial communications. I actually have some background in this, but was thrown such a curveball I couldn't remember anything in  the interview. I realized later they were using the NextGen funding to fill a job that had nothing to do with it, it was just a budget they could tab to fill a completely unrelated position.


    In short sometimes job description in posting hasn't been updated in years, or they were written by someone that knows nothing about IT or they are looking for something completely different, but they have to write the position to get the funding, etc. If you think you remotely think you qualify, I'd still apply, they may be really looking for someone with your skill set, you just may not know it.  

    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,320Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I never pay too much attention to titles but it sounds like even you think your skill set doesn't match the requirements. Are you saying that you match what, 10, 30, 60%? That may give me a better idea.
    Here are some of the requirements:
    Experience with the design, installation, and maintenance of Active Directory networks and related services

    Advanced understanding of common network technologies such as routers, switches, network cabling, TCP/IP, VLANs, DHCP, and DNS


    I'm able to do complete this requirement listed below:
    Maintain clear and concise logs of work performed Responsible for updating tickets, project support tasks assigned to them, and daily time tracking in a timely manner.
    -------------
    Quite honestly I think I could do about 5% of the job without any training.
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,170Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Do you work with Active Directory at all?  It does seem strange they are interviewing someone with only 2 years help desk experience for a Senior Network Engineer position...  Also, is this interview just with a recruiter?  Might not be the actual company and just a recruiter reaching out to a ton of people.  

    But, maybe they saw something in your resume they liked and they wanted to take shot and see how you are in person... Either way, I'd be upfront with them about your skills but also sound very energetic the opportunity.  Making sure to describe the things you've worked on at your position in detail and how you have been improving yourself. 
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,320Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I declined the interview stating I did not have the skill set yet for this position.  They still wanted to interview me for other positions they had that were open.  When I talked to the secretary on the phone she told me didn't know these positions were even open.  I deiced to see how and where the interview would go.

    I walked into the office and there was only one person in the office, besides the person interviewing me.  It was weird that there was only on other person in the office.  

    The owner, who interviewed me said "You impressed, because you're honest about your experience.  I have had a lot people say they're qualified for the senior network role, but they do not have the experience or qualifications for the role"

    We talked and there are 4 open positions at the company.  These positions/jobs are not posted on the website , nor did he have these positions printed out on paper.  Also, these positions were not described verbally. 


    We went through my resume and experience, and then I was allowed to ask my questions.  After I asked my questions I had, he wanted to ask me questions.  He said "your answers to these questions will tell me were we can place you." ( Out of the 4 positions available)  There were roughly 5-6 pages of questions.  Lots of questions were on networking and the OSI model.  I really felt like I bombed this part.  I felt at the I could have a job there if I wanted to.  The person interviewing me was impressed with my experience, and there was talks of next steps to get to an offer.  However, my gut told me "no"

    What did I learn?
    • I need to brush up on the OSI model and in networking in general.
    • It's best to be up front and honest.
    • I like to have a job description I can read before applying, or considering a job.


    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,170Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited March 7
    Nice, sounds like a great experience even if you don't get a job.  Good luck!  Sounds like a decent owner as he is upfront with you about everything and looking to give you a shot at the interview just for being honest.  
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,320Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Nice, sounds like a great experience even if you don't get a job.  Good luck!  Sounds like a decent owner as he is upfront with you about everything and looking to give you a shot at the interview just for being honest.  
    The owner was really nice, but it it felt weird there was only one person in the office.
    Also, it seemed odd that there were no job descriptions for some of the positions. 
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
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