A Handy Survival Guide to Handling Job Interviews for College Dropouts
Being a student in college or university can be a tough and demanding academic experience given that this phase of education is considered a fundamental element into getting decent jobs upon graduation. And while getting into a prestigious college might be hard, getting accepted and staying the course for several years is much harder than one would expect. In fact, several research studies have shown that a large majority of college students all over the world fail to graduate from college compared to the number of students who actually survived their collegiate tenure and received their degrees and diplomas. There are a number of reasons why students tend to drop out from their university studies which range from financial difficulties or health issues to lack of discipline or unfocused time management. Most people would think that college dropouts wouldn’t have a bright future ahead of them, but in today’s progressive society, that isn’t the case any longer.
In the past, most businesses required prospective applicants to be bonafide college graduates as a prerequisite for long-term employment. Nowadays, with many countries experiencing high levels of unemployment, the landscape of commerce has significantly changed and has given more opportunties for people who didn’t finish college to get stable jobs. But while graduating with a degree from college is still strongly encouraged among the youth, possessing a diploma isn’t the only way people can succeed in life.
In fact, there are famous examples of highly successful people all over the world who also happen to be college dropouts if one examines their biographical information. Among such luminaries who didn’t need a college degree to succeed include Bill Gates of Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and the late and great Steve Jobs of Apple. Despite not finishing their tertiary education, these business titans managed to work hard against all odds and emerged to become influential figures in modern society.
And if people like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg can overcome their academic shortcomings to come out on top, then so can the countless young adults who find themselves adrift after prematurely ending their college run. People need to understand that it’s not the end of the world if they don’t finish college; they can still survive and forge a lucrative career path if they are aware of the options available to them. Furthermore, they should overcome their fears about companies still subscribing to the belief that only college graduates are the only acceptable type of candidates for available job postings.
And if you happen to be a college dropout reading this, then you’re in luck! This handy guide will show you exactly what to do when you have no university degree or diploma to your name. To be more specific, we’ll show you what to do when sitting in for a job interview despite your dropout status, so you will know the right things to say that will convince human resources recruiters to hire you without question. Here’s the bottom line you need to know as far as job interviews are concerned: your post-college status isn’t a dealbreaker for most businesses today.
In fact, recruiters working in human resources are more inclined to learn more about a person’s skills and personality rather than for their academic background. They are of the mindset that if you have the courage and intelligence to come and apply to their doorstep, then they’re more likely to delve into other key aspects of your capabilities as an individual. It is, however, unavoidable if they would ask you about your educational background and you are strongly discouraged from lying about it since to do so will paint a really bad impression on your integrity as a person. Should you find yourself in a situation where you have to explain your status as a college dropout during a job interview, here are the things you must consider:
Be upfront about the financial situation
There’s no denying that getting a quality college education is very expensive and not a lot of people can shell out a large amount of money for several years in order to finance their studies. That is why you shouldn’t be ashamed about admitting your monetary shortcomings to an interviewer if this is the primary reason why you didn’t finish university despite the fact that you’re a strong performer in your academics and extracurricular affairs.
Being candid about your financial situation will impart a sense of honesty and integrity and recruiters are attracted to individuals who possess those desirable attributes. However, you should also be very careful to not sound too self-effacing about your lack of resources because this may come across as a dramatic ploy to get sympathy from interviewers. As much as possible, you should state your case in a friendly yet unfussy manner since talking about money troubles is a delicate subject for most people.
Disclose personal matters tactfully
Another key reason why college students drop out from school is that they may have experienced personal matters related to family, health, or other important issues. While recruiters don’t often pry into these kinds of topics, it’s important for you to be truthful about your dropout status since they’ll be wondering why your resume information lacks any completion of college or university education.
Again, this is another touchy subject that might trigger a negative emotional response inside of you, so it’s essential that you should approach any mention of personal concerns with a high degree of tact. Interviewers are fully trained to not press any subject upon a job applicant if they feel that the person feels deeply uncomfortable sharing private information to other people. Remember, you aren’t obligated to reveal such details, but if you are able to handle your emotions pretty well in this situation, then you should proceed with the interview and discuss it with finesse.
Advertise your non-academic strengths
The best defense is a good offensive strategy, so should the issue of your incomplete college education come up during the interview, your best bet to get hired is to show the recruiter that you’re a person armed with useful work skills. You want them to take you seriously as an applicant despite your academic handicap, so don’t waste this precious opportunity and speak confidently about how your talents can be an asset to their business. You’ll surely score mjor points if you happen to have acquired previous job experience right after dropping out of college since that shows to them you have the passion and tenacity to make yourself useful and productive even when you stumbled on your education plans.
It also helps if you’ve managed to at least enter an internship before you dropped out from school because this technically counts as working experience for them. Shifting their attention away from your lack of a college degree to something that is more practical and skill-driven will increase your chances of getting hired for the job you’re applying.
Project confidence and enthusiasm
One of the worst sins you could commit during a job interview is looking and sounding like you don’t care about whether or not you’ll be hired. This can spell greater misfortune if you happen to be a college dropout and you’re acting like this during the interview process. Exhibiting a defeatist attitude isn’t something that recruiters want when looking for candidates to hire; they’re looking for bright and talented people who visibly appear to care about what they’re doing through their words and body language.
If you are familiar with the phrase “Fake it till you make it” and the meaning behind this adage, then it’s best for you to apply this to your job interview. Interviewers will respect you more if you talk about your status as a college dropout without victimizing yourself. They’ll also appreciate you if you are able to answer their questions with a genuine level of enthusiasm and confidence, since candidates with a charming personality coupled with a sharp intelligence have a greater chance for success.