2 min read

How to Look Experienced in a Job Interview, Even if You Have None

Ditch the cover letter and fancy resume. Instead, use a “showcase” to set yourself apart from more experienced job applicants.
How to Look Experienced in a Job Interview, Even if You Have None
Photo by SpaceX / Unsplash

Back in July 2015, I did a career strategy call with Stephen Frianeza, a mechanical engineer at UC Berkeley.

Stephen said that his goal was to get hired by SpaceX after graduating.

You know, that company founded by Elon Musk that’s trying to colonize Mars.

No big deal.

My #1 recommendation to Stephen was to offer VISUAL PROOF that he was already doing the job he wanted to be hired for.

In other words, he needed to create an online showcase (a website), so that a SpaceX employee could look at it and instantly think, “This guy needs to be on our team.”

Just the other day, Stephen sent me an update on his progress with getting a job at SpaceX:

One of the things we went over was doing a project related to SpaceX’s work. Since January, a partner and I have been designing and building a model rocket with vertical takeoff and landing, basically a small version of what SpaceX actually does.Here is the website for our project:screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-11-53-35-pmBoth the project and the website are still a work in progress. The aesthetics of the website are very simple, but the main things we have up is the writing explaining what we have actually been doing.You mentioned formatting the site in a similar way to SpaceX, but we’re going to be using this to apply to other similar engineering companies, as well.The project and website really boosted my applications. Several of my interviewers commented that doing a project like this was really cool and made me stand out. I think one person pretty much chose to interview me solely because of the project based on how excited he was when he asked about it (and I was definitely under-qualified for the position).I was able to get a response from SpaceX and actually had several phone interviews, but I think my technical knowledge is still a bit below their standards. I’ll be taking a position with another company, but I will still be working on my side projects both for fun and for potential future job hunts.Thanks for the help, and I’ll definitely be keeping this approach in mind for other career moves.