When I am interviewing and I know that I do not possess all the skills for the job, I focus on four major things during the interview that generally make me appear to be somebody really special.
Believe and Act like you are Special
There is a fine line between optimistic confidence and narcissistic arrogance. Try to walk that line as closely as you can. Adjust your attitude and appear in a certain way:
- Attractive and clean (good clothes, wear a nice watch, get a nice haircut, etc...)
- Smile a lot
- Do not be nervous or too serious
- Put the interviewer at ease, get him to like you, chat with him before and after questions
- Get up and go to the whiteboard when you want to explain something, don't ask
- Speak clearly and eloquently, use big words and complex language.
- Answer quickly and be a fast talker, you will look like a person that is an extremely hard worker and always has to be moving and pushing forward.
Most people are surprisingly shallow and will actually think that the tall handsome or confident guy is more skilled than the other comparable guy. At best it becomes a tie breaker.
Exemplify the Skills you do have
Focus heavily on knowledge you do know. When asked questions about a skill you possess then really make sure you know it well and communicate this. Take an extra long time or go above and beyond the question the interviewer had asked, answer questions in your long winded answer that were not even asked.
Before the interview, READ and get conversational knowledge on all the skills you SHOULD have for that job
Not everybody can possibly have every skill for a job that they apply for, but at the very least know enough about it to have a general conversation about it. When asked about EntityFramework for instance, mention you have no direct experience in it but talk about how you have read heavily on the subject and talk about the pros and cons of it, how you think it could have been used on a previous project, and act like it is something you could pick up fairly quickly. Of course don't just say you can pick it up quickly but if you can hold a conversation about it then the interviewer will often forget or not realize that you really knew nothing about it three or four hours before the interview.
If you are an exceptionally good people person then you can sometimes fool them into thinking you are an expert, but again, be careful with arrogance and narcissism and avoid a trap that will make you look like a fool.
Sell Yourself as a Problem Solver, not as an Expert
Often the interviewer will look for an expert, but the real problems they and the company face are that they have a problem that needs to be solved and they are incapable of doing this by themselves, otherwise why would they be hiring? We have all hired the expert and become disappointed because they didn't know how to communicate status or didn't mesh with the group or maybe they were really good at interviews and that is about it.
Find ways to show them and talk about how you see technologies, skills and tools as a means to solving problems and that your true passion is solving problems that the business faces. Talk about domain problems that you have solved in previous jobs and use that time to show that you are both a follower and a leader.
Most interviewers see the value of somebody with a passion to solve problems and a strong work ethic, however some interviewers honestly just want an expert to specifically do X and nothing more. You don't want this job anyway, it is for chumps. There is no room for advancement in such a position where your people skills aren't given a chance to shine or work for you. It's okay, you will talk to a better company tomorrow.