October 13, 2021

How to Interview When You Have No Experience - Ep. 16

How to Nail an Interview Even When You Have No Experience and No Skills

Here's What You Should Do

Finally secured an interview but you have no experience in that field? We got you! 
Welcome to Degree Free, where we explain what you can do instead of going to college, and how to teach yourself, get work, and make good money.
In this episode, we talk about:
  • How to sell yourself to a company if you feel that you have no experience and skills.
  • Determining your traits, soft skills, and hard skills so that you can “package” them for the company you’re applying for.
  • How to organize and keep track of your job applications so that you can have better chances of getting hired.
Hannah shares some little tips and tricks that have helped her throughout her career. She shared how sending a simple thank you card after getting interviewed and hired has helped her gain multiple job offers even until this day.
Ryan talks about how elevating and respecting your interviewers can go a long way. He also shares how to do some basic research about the interviewer or company that will significantly increase your chances of getting hired.

Enjoy the episode!

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Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Ryan: Aloha and welcome back to degree free. We are your hosts, Ryan, and Hannah Maruyama. On this podcast, we share fundamentals we've discovered and the mistakes we've made while self-educating, getting work, building businesses and making money. We'll tell you how to make it happen. No needed.

Hannah: Welcome back to the podcast, guys. We are super excited to have you here again, please like, and subscribe. So you don't miss a thing cause that would bum us out. If you are interested in how to do the things that we talk about on this podcast, please do check out our website, which is degreefreenetwork.com. And we have a guide on there that will teach you how to get a job without a college degree.

It'll teach you the tactics and the resources that you need to know in order to get a job without having a college degree. Even if they say a college degree is required.

Ryan: Yup. And let's just get into today's episode. So today we are going to be talking about how to interview when you have no "job experience" or no experience in the relevant field that you're applying to.

So like we get this all the time. It's a couple of different scenarios, right? And so one, one cohort of people is like, they're just coming out of high school and they're debating whether or not they want to go to college at all. And they're like, well, I've been working at fast food places.

I've been working in retail. I've been like folding clothes and stuff like that at Macy's or whatever. And I don't really have job experience, but I want to get into XYZ field. How do I do that? And then the next cohort of people is going to be, you've gone to college, got a degree in this field, but you don't have any experience in another field or whatever, or you working in a certain field and you want to move into another field into a completely different, not in an adjacent field, like in a completely different field.

And you have no experience in it like how to, how do I interview when, when I finally get one or even like how to even identify your strengths to put on your resume, right? Cause that's when you boil it down even more. That's what we're talking about.

Hannah: Yeah. So when I hear people on Tiktok, talk about this, this is probably one of the biggest hangups that college graduates have.

They are petrified of applying to jobs that are outside of their field or that they have no experience in. What's interesting about that is that most of them have no work experience at all because they've been in college. So the idea that they would have work experience in something is unrealistic. And so it's interesting because a lot of them will not apply to jobs that are even in their field, but that require experience. They're like, "oh man, it requires two years of experience". I'm like, so apply. I don't understand it, but they won't. And a lot of it is because they were not taught how to go about doing it or even how to read a job description.

So that's a huge part of it, but also they don't understand how to market themselves so they don't understand how to explain what value they bring to a company, which is our first point.

Ryan: Right. The first thing that you have to do when you are interviewing or about to interview, or even thinking about applying to these places without any job experience, is that you're going to have to know your strengths, right?

You're going to have to identify them because if you don't know what you're good at,

Hannah: how are you going to tell somebody?

Ryan: Or how are they going to know that that's what you're good at, right? Like they don't know you, they don't know you at all. They never met you before, they have a piece of paper in front of them and you're going to have to identify what you're good at and tell them, and it seems like a super simple thing and it is kind of right. I mean, You have to identify what it is you're good at. And I guess the question is, how do you do that?

Hannah: That is the age old question, and I think that people don't like the answer because it's vague and it requires work on their part. In order to figure out what you're good at, you have to think, and you have to ask people that you work with or that you study with.

And you have to think about what people ask you to do. What you're frequently put in charge of. Things that you frequently lead, because those are going to be things that that you're good at. That's why other people ask you to do it. Why you end up doing it anyway, or why you prefer to do it typically.

And so for you, you're going to have to like, think you're gonna have to think about it a little bit. If you have coworkers ask them, "what am I good at?". They're going to tell you, they know what you're good at. Like even if you're working at a gas station and you, and, and you ask your coworkers, what am I good at?

They're gonna tell you, oh, you're good at keeping track of stocking. Oh, you're really good with the customers. Oh, you're really good with like closing up and making sure all the money's correct. Like even, even working in closing when we worked in the industry, what do they always have you do?

Ryan: Count the money.

Hannah: Count the money. Ryan always counted the money.

Why? Because he's good with money. He has accounting skills. And so he's good with counting money accurately. Now that's gonna be, that's gonna be universal, right? So everybody's gonna have their own particular skill set and people end up doing things because they are adept at doing those things. And that is true for all things.

Using a restaurant as an example because Ryan and I worked in industry for a long time. If somebody is really reliable, that's usually going to be the person that you schedule to be the opener, because they're going to come in on time and they're going to do stuff on time. And that's why they're the first one in.

And so even that like being reliable, being a team player, usually somebody who's a supervisor is going to be somebody who's very thorough who finishes doing things who make sure that everything's where it's supposed to be. Those are skills. Those are valuable skills. Traits rather, but still traits and skills for a company that you're interviewing for. Either one can be valuable to them.

Ryan: So I think that that is something that I want it to say at the beginning, and I should have is that I think here knowing your strengths is a blanket statement and then drilling down even deeper. Generally there's two things you'd be good at right there's traits, and there are skills, right? Traits are going to be things like being a good team player, being consistent, being on time, being cheerful. All things that aren't necessarily skills.

Hannah: More intrinsic.

Ryan: Right. Or, yeah. And skills are gonna be things like being good at Excel or being good at counting the money or being accurate in inventory.

Hannah: Where would you put resolving conflict with coworkers?

Ryan: I would, that's a good question. Probably a trait, right? So the way that I think about it is I think that traits are more general traits are more general and more dynamic. Whereas the skills are not that you don't need skills to have a trait. You know what I mean? There are many micro skills involved in being good at resolving conflict, but you know, generally speaking, like you have to understand tonality and to understand how to listen to people and all that.

Hannah: Do you think that those things maybe are referred to as soft skills by companies now? Because I think that might be what they're talking about when they're talking about soft skills.

I think that's what they're calling traits.

Ryan: Yeah, sure. Traits, soft skills. I mean, I think it's just a matter of definition. Just same, same where we sit very similar. It was all soft skills, hard skills, whatever, however you want, think about it there, but yeah. So what we're going to call traits and skills or soft skills and hard skills skills are going to be being good at Photoshop.

You can do this type of editing in Photoshop. You can do this type of editing in premiere. You can manipulate data within this content management system and manipulate data within this project management system, whatever those are skills. And then, like I said, traits are going to be more general, more dynamic things that usually interpersonal, traits are usually interpersonal. Yeah.

Hannah: How do you think people can decide which traits or soft skills or hard skills should be front and center when they're applying for a company? Is that going to be determined by the role or by maybe the person who's applying?

Ryan: Both? Yeah. I mean, I don't really understand the question.

Hannah: Well, I think what I'm asking is if somebody has really good interpersonal skills, when they're applying for a job that is more valued for the hard skills, how are they going to go? How are they going to pull that off?

Ryan: Yeah. So then that goes into like knowing what the company needs and knowing how to sell yourself, because what you're trying to do at the job interview, and this is the most basic thing. What I like to say about job listings is that these companies have a problem, right? And that problem is such a large problem that they're willing to pay to fix it. And that's why you're in the room. You're there to fix their problem.

And they're telling you their problem. Their problem is listed out for you on the job listing, and it was your job as the candidate to take your skills and your traits or your soft skills and your hard skills, and then fit in and make it make sense to them, how you fit those roles or how you fit those skills or how you fit that listing, and so if you're really good at interpersonal skills, but what they need is somebody that's good at Excel, then maybe you're going to talk about Excel first, and then eventually you're going to talk, you're going to talk about how well that you work with everybody and if you don't know the answer, you're going to find it, and how cohesiveness makes the team go round or whatever, you can talk about that later. But if you know that that's what they need, then they're going to focus on what they need, the job interview isn't about you, the job interview is about what you can provide to them.

Hannah: How do you solve their problem?

Ryan: How do you solve their problem? Cause they have a massive problem

Hannah: Or improve their current Situation.

Ryan: Because obviously they have a massive problem they're willing to pay for it.

Hannah: When companies are hiring, they're looking to make money or make things easier. Those tend to be the two reasons that companies hire.

They're not going to cut costs by hiring. They're adding costs, so they're spending more money to hire you. That means that their problem is outside of money. They either need to make more, or they need work done to the point where somebody else needs to do it and they need an additional person to do it.

So do keep that in mind when you are interviewing like it is entirely about the company and not about you, because they're the ones that have the job and you need the job. But that said, you have to explain how you are valuable to them.

Ryan: Absolutely. And I think once you have your lists of strengths, by asking people, by thinking what people already ask you to do by asking those people around you, like, "Hey, what are the skills that I'm good at? What are the traits that I'm good at?".

Hannah: Maybe don't ask your family that question. I'm just saying, cause you can get some really like mixed, mixed up answers I think.

Ryan: Sure. Whatever. I mean, you can ask them, you cannot ask them it's up to you, you can say it's up to you to synthesize. It's up to you to synthesize those answers. Get all the input. See what matches up and then roll from there, and if that's not something you want to roll with, if somebody says like you're a really good crier or like, you know what I mean?

Like, how is that? That doesn't help me in a job. I mean, not at least, I mean, I don't think it does, right?

Hannah: Okay. Well, that's not useful.

Ryan: That's not super useful. I mean, if you worked for Disney.

Hannah: In which case, so useful. Maybe the most useful.

Ryan: Yeah. Maybe you are a Disney character. Well, maybe you're applying, maybe all of Jasmine's lines from Aladdin and you're applying to be Jasmine,

Hannah: That'd be extremely useful

Ryan: Boom. It's like, yeah, that's this job was made for me.

Hannah: Nobody listen to me anymore. Ryan's going to take it from here. I'm just going to leave.

Ryan: And so I think once you get those things sorted out, the next thing is going to be doing the research on the companies that you're looking to get hired by.

Hannah: Okay. I'm the queen of doing this. Yeah, I will say I'm not gonna like, not to toot my own horn or anything like that, but this is something that I figured out really early because people do not go on the websites of the companies they are applying for, and if you're in a sprint of job applications you forget that which companies you applied to, and then if they do happen to call you back, you have no idea who you're talking to, and that looks really bad. I get that it's unrealistic or it's difficult, rather not unrealistic. It's hard to do research on every company you apply for, especially if you're mass applying, using LinkedIn, or Indeed because you're just click, click, click, click, and it's hard to read and then retain all of the information about every single company that you that you've applied to.

That said it would be really good if you.

Ryan: Spreadsheet.

Hannah: It would be really useful if you use a spreadsheet as you can try.

Anyway. So it would be really useful for you. If you want to keep track of this information in a way that's easy to navigate, you can use an Excel spreadsheet or you can use a notebook if you're a sane human being. But,

Ryan: No, but see what the good what's good about this. Okay. So what's good about the Excel spreadsheet and I'll say what I will say what's good about the Excel spreadsheet is that you can have all the columns data that you need.

So it's just. Yeah, job title. Status of application who you talk to date, you applied, and then, because when you're looking for a job, man, you're you are going to apply to literally dozens or

Hannah: you should be.

It takes a hundred to get on average, it takes a hundred job applications to get one interview.

I know that's I know that's crappy guys. I know that it is. It doesn't matter. That's how it is.

Ryan: And you have no idea, You have no idea when these people are going to call you back.

Hannah: No.

Ryan: And that's kind of you're throwing your job application out into the ether and then you're just every once in awhile, somebody's flings it back at you and you just have to you're like, "oh whatever Steven or Jennifer from frickin whatever company, just like, yeah.

Let's schedule an interview for tomorrow. And you're like, oh wait Steven, what company you're from again?

Hannah: Steven?

Ryan: What are you, what do you guys do? And, instead of having to go through that mad scramble, if you just keep it in a notebook or in a Excel spreadsheet, the good thing about the Excel spreadsheet is that you can keep,

Hannah: You can search Steven.

Ryan: Not only that, but you can keep like a link.

Hannah: To the website.

To their website.

Ryan: Or you can,

Hannah: You can create a column where you have the notes that's everything you need to know. The company was founded in 1955. They say they prioritize flexible schedules. They offer four hour work weeks. This is their base salary. Like it's all this stuff that you should keep in an accessible place, so you can refer back to it so you're not caught off guard when you get a call from Steven and he wants to hire you.

Ryan: Exactly. But just anyway, that's just a little side. This is a little aside.

Hannah: That's a good, that's a good point.

Ryan: Yeah. It's just a little aside. Applying for jobs is a job within itself, and in order to do it effectively, I think that you need some sort of order to it and you don't need it. There are plenty of people that don't do this and get jobs. I'm just saying if it helps, I mean, if you're motivated, if you want to get hired and you want a job and like, you're gonna get a job, then it would behoove you to have some order in your life, and however that is whether that's a word doc, whether or not that's a whether that's as an Excel spreadsheet, whatever, whether it's a Google doc, because Google docs work. Right? Google doc would work. And then instead of looking down, you can just control f it, right. And you can control find whatever, whatever it is that you need.

You know what I mean? Like whatever the company is, boom. I got an email from Acme parts [email protected]. Okay. Acme parts. Okay. That, you know what I mean? Boom. But anyway, I think that doing research about the company,

Hannah: It's not a lot. 10 minutes. 10 minutes would do it for you.

Ryan: Yeah. It seems that we're basic, but people don't do that, and then there are things that once you do the research on the company, you can now sell yourself much more effectively.

Hannah: Say, oh, I fit because this, this and this, I saw that you say you value these things on your website. I saw that you hire people that fit this description on your website.

I saw that you folks care about such and such. Oh, look, I saw that you guys have a nonprofit wing that funds planting trees. I love trees. Trees are my favorite. All I do is the hug trees. That's all I do all day. I would love to work for a company that plants trees. They care about that.

Ryan: Yeah. The way that it is, it kind of goes into like sales training and sales skills.

The way that I like to think about it is that like, so we've identified our strengths right? In the beginning, we've identified our strengths and our traits are soft skills and our hard skills. However you want to think about it. We've identified those things. Now, I like to think about this, and this is kind of like sales. I like to think of those strengths or traits as cards like we're playing a card game. And, now I know what I have in my hand. And, but you don't know what I have in my hand. And so I'm gonna say I work well in teams, right? And then you can put that down. I am good at excel, and you put that down.

I have a proficiency in WordPress, you put that down, right? Or so to make this more general, because this is somebody that doesn't have any skills, I can take inventory, right?

Hannah: I'm extremely reliable.

Ryan: Right. Reliable. Count the money on the cash register at night, always, always to the penny, right? Every night. Have the highest sales of anybody on the bar, right? Of all the bartenders are involved or whatever, won multiple sales award or my retail in my retail shop, whatever, whatever, whatever it is. And you have all these cards in your hand and it is now your job to play those cards in a way that fits that company's description, and that makes it so that the person sitting across from you or through zoom or on the phone or whatever it is, understands how you can fit in, and so, sometimes you're going to want to play all of the cards. Sometimes you're going to want to play only half of them, but that's where the scale comes in is where okay well Ryan, we're really looking for a go getter, a self-starter and you'd be like, perfect, here you go. So you're going to, you're not going to play your Excel spreadsheet. You're not gonna play your interpersonal card. You're gonna, you're gonna tell them, you're going to tell them about the side hustle that you've been doing or if you don't have a side hustle, you're going to be telling them like, man, I used to,

Hannah: Coach a softball team.

Ryan: Or I have a second job, I work two jobs and I work retail at night and in the early morning I have a paper route, like I would drive around in my car and deliver papers or whatever it is.

I'd be like, I'm definitely a self-starter. I can definitely learn, I've done all these things in my high school education. I did all these things without my boss asking me to come up with an inventory system, I went and I made an inventory system because it was lacking, right? Without asking to redo the menus. I redid the menus. Something like that,

Hannah: I made cleaning policies.

Ryan: Yeah. I taught myself graphic design to redo the menu so that we can get out so we can clean up. We could sell our best items, our most profitable items, and then we can draw the most eyes,

Hannah: even like I drew artistic designs on the chalkboard outside and put it outside to attract people to come into my restaurant. Like people, that's a thing. That's that's the thing that you did that got, that got results in theory, another thing in this vein is when you're doing your research about the company, also do your research about who's interviewing you.

Look them up on LinkedIn or wherever, just get some context of the person also, because you're also trying to connect with them because that is going to be somebody who you're probably going to work with, and you don't want to go in and be a robot. You want to be a person and they're a person and you should know a little bit about them because they know a little bit about you before you go in.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. They're human. They're human. Just like, just like any of us, they have a past and they have a future, and looking, looking it up could give you context to who they are as a person. Looking them up, you might find out that they're from the same town. Might find out that you're from the same state.

I found out that you have the same name or whatever, you know what I mean? But, and being able to

Hannah: Connect.

Ryan: Connect, humanize that person I think that that really helps.

Hannah: It takes a lot of the fear out of it as well. That's the main reason for it is like this person is you need something from them, right?

You need them to give you a job, but just going in, not knowing anything about them, I find is it kind of makes it very self centered practice interviewing. And you, you want to be on their team. So you need to be a little selfless in that. You need to do a little bit of research about them too, because the chances are, they looked into you a little bit.

And that's a really good thing because it's just, it just shows you did your due diligence and you're curious, and you care about them, which you should. It's going to help you.

Ryan: Yeah. I think there's a couple more things that I wanted to touch on here. And it's like, so when talking about the skills and the strengths and whatever, however, we're going to say soft skills, hard skills.

We want to be truthful, well, we don't want to say that we can do something that we don't know how to do it, tell them the limit of your experience, and does it have to be like the limit of your experience, right? I mean, you can tell them I did that in air quotes for the people listening.

You can tell them this is what I've done, and this is why this is a good thing. And I'm a blank slate so you can teach them how to do the rest, I have a basic knowledge in this and I'm ready to learn the rest.

Hannah: Do not lie on your resume. Do not lie to the person who is interviewing you. It's sad that I have to say that, but it's funny cause I get it on TikTok quite a bit.

I get people that when I say apply for jobs that say they require a college degree, even if they don't and people go well, it's it's illegal and unethical to lie on your resume. I was like, I never said to lie on your resume. I will never, have never and will never and have never advocated for that because why in the world would you do that?

You are gonna get caught, and you're going to deserve to get caught cause you shouldn't be lying on your resume. Tell the truth. The main reason for this is actually completely in your own self-interest which is if you do that you are really going to hurt your future chances of moving up. Be honest, and also because if you exaggerate your experience and then you go in, and they realize that you do not have the experience that you said, they're not going to trust you and people are not going to want to help you. But if you are honest about the fact that I'm new to this, I'm willing to learn, I'm teachable, I'm et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, people are going to bend over backwards to help you and to teach you because that's how people are.

And really, really just be honest about setting expectations about what you can and cannot do, but also what you're willing to do in order to improve.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. Honesty is key. You don't want to be caught in a lie. Yeah, I think and then the last thing that I wanted to touch on was like, what about doing the research with the company?

So this is just a, this is a super general statement, but if you're applying to a for-profit company, which is the vast majority of companies, as long as you're not applying to a nonprofit, generally speaking for-profit company, they're trying to make money, and it is within the company's interest to make money.

And if you understand that you're like way ahead of like 50% of the people, more than 50% of the people, and then as long as you understand that it's your job to move the company forward and so that they can make more money. Well, you can tailor everything towards that. Real quick on if you want to work in the nonprofit world so something similar to their mission, right? It would be like, what is their mission? Is their mission is to feed everybody? That being said, money makes the world go round. So they're also thinking about money as well. It's just because they're not for profit. It doesn't mean that they don't think about money. They think about money all the time.

Hannah: It's different having worked for a nonprofit and for-profit companies, you need to keep in mind, the motivation of the company. There's a lot of window dressing now with modern companies to make them seem like they're not interested in making money. That's all they're interested in.

Because they are business. That is the entire reason for their existence. People can say whatever they want, but at the end of the day, companies exist to make money. That is why they exist. That is why they continue to exist. And for nonprofits, it's almost flipped in a way because their goal is really to spend as much of the money as they got donated so that they can continue to ask for more and to continue to grow their budget.

So nonprofits are different because your goal is to them to find as much money, but then also to spend as much in order to further the mission. So it was a completely different goal from a for-profit company. If you are applying to a for-profit company, there are three things that you can help them do.

You can help them to reduce their cost. You can help them to make more money and you can help make their lives easier. That's it. If you can do one of those things or ideally all three of those things, you are a valuable hire to a company. If you're working for a nonprofit and you can figure out how to get them more donations and how to further their mission.

Fantastic. Fantastic. But don't lose sight of the fact a company's goal is to make money. If you can help them make money. You're an interesting hire.

Ryan: And so where this is interesting is because when we're talking about this, for this subject in particular is like how to interview when you have no experience, we're probably talking about lower roles more than likely lower to mid roles.

And if you can understand this and convey this to them, if you can play this card, if you have this card in your hand and you're willing to, and you can eloquently play this and then convince them that you understand this, and you believe that you want to further their company's mission, whatever that mission is mostly for for-profit companies, it's going to make more money.

Then you're far beyond most people at this stage, right? At this stage, nobody knows. Everybody's still thinking about what the company can do for them. What benefits are?

Hannah: Ask not what the company can do for you.

Ryan: Yeah, right. Exactly.

Hannah: Ask what you can do for the company.

Ryan: Yeah, right. But if you understand this, you're way ahead of everybody,

Hannah: Yeah. Especially the younger, you are the more present this is, if you go in and you're 19, 18 years old and you're applying for a lower to entry to mid-level job, and you look at that person across from you, who's probably mid to high level. If they're hiring you and you say I can help you make money by doing this.

They're going to be blown away.

Ryan: Or cut costs by doing this.

Hannah: Or I can help you reduce your cost by doing this, and how are you going to know that you're going to read their website and come up with an idea. But just the fact that you were looking for a way to help before you've been hired by that company that is going to be really effective for you.

Ryan: And then last thing is super general, but it can make all the difference. Especially if you're up against many people, something that I personally am really terrible at, which is be excited and grateful, which is, I just thought was that everybody's excited. I tried to make it as exciting as possible. Just I'm not joking.

Hannah: That was so asian.

Ryan: Just being excited. And grateful that's—

Hannah: We talk about this a lot, but Ryan is a stoic, I think is the word. That's the nice word for it. This and I have found that the one thing that I have that Ryan does not have, even though I think that Ryan is a much more, if it was me hiring for my own company, I would hire you over me every day.

But if you don't seem excited to be there, they don't want to hire you because you don't even want them to hire you because you're not excited to be there, and what's funny about that is like, this is like a superpower. One thing and you haven't seen me do this because you don't see me before I interview for a job.

But before I interview for a job in the last, like 10 to 15 minutes before I interviewed for the job, I play a song and I dance. Pat myself, either in the bathroom or in the room, if it's a virtual interview. That sounds ridiculous. But the reason that I do that is because I'm trying to get myself hyped up a little bit because if you go in and you're dead pan and you sound tired and you sound unenthusiastic, you don't want to hire me now.

But if I'm happy to be here and I'm so grateful and I'm so excited and oh, I read this and I read that. Listen, even if you're listening, listen to the difference too, in my voice, like how much more engaged do you feel? Because someone sounds like they're excited to be there as opposed to something boring.

Ryan: Yep. Absolutely. I need it and,

Hannah: It's underrated.

Ryan: Right. It's not super underrated and it's not going to get you, like, it's not going to be the end all be all right. I mean, you can be deadpan and just be freaking killer, right? Like you can be super monotone and no personality, but hey, if you can still say all those points, you can get the job. I mean, when I was on the streets selling like one of the best jobs.

Hannah: Not selling himself.

Ryan: No, not selling myself, yeah, but I was on the street selling.

Hannah: He was on the corner though.

Ryan: Yes. But when I was, when I was working out in the street selling one of the best guys have to very deadpan pitch, his was very, very monotone, very, very much just like this. And he loaded you into it and he made it right. And he made you do something that you didn't really want to do. And so if, if that's your, if there's just a personality and if you've got great skill in that and you know how to use it by all means, but generally speaking, if especially on these lower companies, you probably don't have those skills yet, or it's not fully formed yet.

And a lot of people the excitement of. Just being grateful to be there. It's going to go a long way, right?

Hannah: It should be because they did they picked your resume up and they said, this person, I'm going to give this person a chance. Cause if you're sitting there, you have a chance and you should be grateful for that because you need it.

That's why you're there.

Ryan: A couple of general things, and it just like, it doesn't really need to be said but you would be surprised is like, be on time.

Hannah: Oh, my gosh, just give yourself an hour. Even if it means you're sitting in the parking lot, the amount of things that happened before job interview, because of Murphy's law, where if it can happen, it will happen.

Your dog's going to eat something and you'd be running out. You're not going to be ready to go, or you're going to get a flat tire or you're going to hit traffic, or you're going to not know where you're going and get lost. Just get there and sit in your car for, give yourself 30 to 45 minutes to an hour to just sit in your car beforehand.

Sounds ridiculous.

Ryan: But if it's a zoom call if you know that you have spotty internet go to a cafe, if you know that if that's not quiet enough, go to a library. If you're being too loud in the library, go to a friend's house that has good internet, like figure it out.

Hannah: Help yourself.

Ryan: Yeah. But you really don't think that you want to say these things, just the part, right? I mean, if you're going to go work at a whatever it is, if you're applying to be working outdoors where your uniform is going to be jeans and a shirt, you probably don't got to go in a suit.

You know what I mean?

I have a story here.

But you could it is what it is, but I've heard people not hired cause that guy's way too dressed up for this job. Yeah. That's a way to dress up for this job, but—

Hannah: Why wouldn't you want somebody who put in more effort than—

Ryan: I would rather err, on the side of caution, which is be more convservative with it, which is dressing up more. So I don't think you can go wrong. Personally, I don't think you can go wrong and going in a suit and tie.

Hannah: I don't think that's ever hurt me personally. And I think my story about that is my sister was interviewing for a rather competitive welding paid training apprenticeship. And she said that when she went in to compete there were a lot of people that were there, but were like wearing ripped jeans and like flannel shirts. And given it's a welding apprenticeship, but there was a lot of people there and there was only so many slots and she went in and she had no experience, no experience, nothing. Didn't know anything about it.

And she went in and she wore like a business casual dress, and she like dressed up, like she was interviewing for a corporate job and she did get it. But what that also does is it kind of picked you out of the pack too, because since then they've told her you're probably gonna go management track.

Why? Because she came in overkill. Other people came in differently and she came in more than she should have. So I don't know that that really depends on what you're applying for, but I think most of the time dressing more than you think you should is probably better.

Ryan: I agree. I have heard of stories that way. I've never experienced it before in my life. I did go to one interview where I didn't wear a suit

Hannah: A tuxedo.

Ryan: A tuxedo shirt? But no, I didn't want to wear a suit because I was like, I felt like it was overkill, but I wore a suit pants. I wore everything but the jacket basically, and I remember, and it was applying for an office job, but the uniform at this office was jeans and a polo, like the uniform at this office job was jeans and a polo.

Hannah: Did you get the job?

Ryan: I got the job, I'm just saying, that was kind of how the boss was though but he's just like, she was like, he looked at me, he's like, well, it looks like you like to dress up.

So you think you can dress down for this job? I was like,

Hannah: No, I know what you're talking about.

Ryan: I was like, yeah, I can do that. He's like, yeah, same guy. Yeah.

Hannah: He's a good dude.

Ryan: He's a great guy. Great guy. Great guy. And but anyway, a couple of more tips before, before we wrap this up, the next thing that I want to talk about is elevate and be respectful to people. And that kind of takes practice without being like a, you don't want to be a kiss ass.

Hannah: You're not trying to be a brown nose or you're just trying to be respectful—you're there because they let you be there and you should be grateful and respectful of that. It's not your office yet.

So you should be respectful because you're, you don't work there. I mean, you should be respectful if you work there too, but especially if you're now a guest in this office, that they are extending the possibility of an opportunity to, and then three, just the gratitude. Like even if the job is like, if you think the job has beneath you, if you're interviewing for a job, it's not beneath you.

You're there, and if it's beneath you, then don't interview for it, right?

You shouldn't have applied.

Yeah. You shouldn't have accepted the application, like the interview. But if you're there, it's because they've given you a chance and an opportunity and be grateful for it. The reason too is because even if you don't like the company or whatever, it's still doesn't go in with an element of gratitude because it's people like to be around grateful people.

Ryan: But I'm talking about elevating and respecting people like, oh, I'm talking about elevating them. I'm talking about like they are at this status, I mean, and probably for their career, because the way it usually works is, not really people below you interview you people above you interview you.

Your boss usually interviews you.

Hannah: They're not your peers they're your supervisors or the people who are going to be ahead of you in charge of you in HR.

Ryan: Right. And so making sure that you recognize that in the interview or in, throughout any interaction that you have with these people. And if you don't know how to do that tactfully, just as simple as "please" and "thank you" every time that that's probably enough, that's probably enough. I guess a little tips too if you did do research on the people that are interviewing you, you can be like oh, I know that when you were in my position, whatever, because you're saying that they've been here, they've been in my shoes. You've done this already. When you used to do it, how did you do it? You know what I mean? Whatever.

Hannah: That is a great tactic, especially that type of asking, and also because it's really valuable information if you saw somebody doing this role and you thought they were doing a good job, what would they be doing? Ask them those questions, because they're going to tell you what they're looking for too, and it's going to tell you what you should do if they do hire you, that's really, really valuable, and it's a chance for you to ask that question in a time when you have the chance to ask that question, it's really good and, it also shows that you respect their experience and you should, because they did it before you did.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. The last tip that we wanted to talk about was going to be like, sending thank you cards. It's not overplayed. It is not that big of a hassle, and what we're talking about is, and we're not saying thank you emails, we're talking tracking them down. I mean, don't be a stalker.

Hannah: But don't, don't do that.

Ryan: But you know what I mean? If it says in LinkedIn where their office is, and where they work, send it to the office, regards whoever Steven at HR send it to them, just a nice handwritten thank you note. It goes a long way.

Hannah: The times that I have done this after I have done it, even if it was a job that they hired me for, I still would send, I would still send physical thank you cards to the people that hired me, even though I worked in the same office as them and I didn't hand them to them. I mailed them with a stamp and I wrote," oh, hi, so-and-so thank you so much. Really appreciate you. I'm excited to work together, Hannah". And I sent it and those two people have offered me multiple jobs since I worked there. Why do you think that is? Because I thanked them for hiring me before, which I was grateful for. And this is just a really good example of people are people. I had this, a lot of the networking, like the college, like, oh, you need to go to college to do networking.

The best place to network is at work. It's in the word networking, which drives me like up the wall, like, oh, college for networking. I'm like, how about work for networking? Cause that's the whole point of it anyway. But the people who are going to offer you jobs in the future are going to be the people you work with now.

Those are the people who are going to connect you. Those are the people who are going to hire you. They're the people that are going to refer you and they're the people that are going to give you references, and so it is a very good idea to be grateful to them whenever possible, because that's what decent human beings do.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. And then, so I guess just, that's pretty much it.

Yeah I think so.

Again, wrapping up this episode is more about the selling yourself when you feel like you have no experience and no skills, right? It's not about the nitty gritty of a job interview, right? Like we didn't talk today about oh, do you have any like how to answer the question?

Like, do you have any questions now for us or whatever how to answer what's your biggest weakness and stuff. We're not getting into that nitty gritty. There's plenty of other resources. And probably at a different time, we are definitely going to get into that.

Hannah: I think this is more like interview conduct 101.

Ryan: Right. Exactly. Well, and then also just how to identify what your strengths and abilities, what your strengths and traits and skills are, and then how to look up what this company does.


Right, and then spreadsheets. And that's something that we didn't talk about as well is the people that you're interviewing with. There are a lot of people that are going out and doing a lot of podcasts and, and doing a lot of public speaking engagements and things like that. If you go and you listen to a couple of their things, you might be able to gain a larger insight of the person that you're talking to, and the goals of the company that they work for. Especially if they're there on this podcast, representing their company. If it's Ryan from degree free and I go on a podcast and I talk about degree free, well, then I just tell you everything that I care about. I just told you for 30 minutes or an hour, three hours, whatever, how long.

Hannah: What's important to me.

Ryan: Exactly. So know your strengths, traits, soft skills, skills, hard skills, whatever you want to call them. Think about them as when you're in their interview, think of all of them as like playing cards. I mean, there's many ways to skin this cat. You can do it however you want.

But this is when I think about in any sales process really is like, I have my benefits here. I have what I'm going to say, my cards in my hand, and then I lay them down as need be, and then sometimes that means that I leave all my hand down and then I have to draw more cards. Sometimes I don't play all of them.

Doing the research on the company, and that could be as simple as reading their website.

Hannah: 10 minutes. It's sufficient to gauge what a company is about.

Ryan: Exactly. And it could be as in-depth, as listening to the podcast, listening to a podcast for an hour.

Hannah: Yeah. Especially if they have a company podcast, that's a really good place to figure out what they've got going on.

Like, oh, we're doing this new thing or this new thing, or et cetera, et cetera.

Ryan: Especially if it's in the department that you're trying to get a job in.

Hannah: Especially then.

Ryan: Keeping a spreadsheet or some type of data filing system.

Hannah: Documentation.

Ryan: Yeah, of what jobs that you've applied for, the status, the contact when you applied and then all of the things, all the talking points that you've identified that you want to talk about, that's super helpful.

Hannah: What questions that you have.

Ryan: Right. Then that's just a tip. You don't have to do that. Many people get jobs without it. I just find that if you're going to, if you're really going to get after it, organization is really good help be excited and grateful.

Hannah: Good job. Yeah, that was, that was great.

Ryan: That's it right there. That's as excited as I get.

Hannah: Try to hold it in.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: Sorry guys, we got to end this podcast cause there's too much energy in this room.

Ryan: Yeah.

And then being excited and grateful goes a long way. Elevating the people that you're talking to realizing where they've ,been where they're heading, to sending thank you notes.

Hannah: Send the thank you notes.

It is always a good idea. It is never not a good idea.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: Just do it. Also, if you're going to do that, do it quickly do it like literally the day after, like go home from the interview write the thank you notes and put them in the mail because delayed is kind of weird. It's rude almost. It's weird. Thank you cards are a weird thing, but just do it immediately and save yourself the stress and the extra chore. Just get it done.

Ryan: Yeah, I think that's pretty much it. Yeah.

Hannah: All right. If you guys want more information about how to get a job without a college degree, please do check out our guide, which is on degreefreenetwork.com. Please like, and subscribe.

So you don't miss anything. We don't want you to miss any more of these episodes.

Ryan: So, yeah, guys we are excited and grateful to have you guys listen all the way to the end. And if you guys liked what you guys are hearing, if you guys could leave us a review on Apple podcasts or wherever it is that you get your podcast, give us a thumbs up on YouTube.

It really helps to get, I don't know the algorithm out there, I guess, and for people to really know, spread the word, basically. If you guys have any comments or questions, if you guys can drop us an email, [email protected]. Send us a note. It really helps me to send us a note about things that you guys want to hear on the podcast.

It really helps us come up with new material to talk about. And then yeah, we'll talk about it on the podcast. All right guys, until next time. Aloha!

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