I am a recent graduate with very limited work experience (outside of summer internships). I was invited to interview at a company that is tangentially involved in a topic that I am very interested in. The bulk of this position's responsibility, as far as I was told, would be within my domain of interest.

The team members that I met were very pleasant, the pay, benefits, location etc. are all very attractive. I would like to work at this company.

However, I am nervous about their expectations of me: If they are too high, I might be unable to meet them. I am not a professional in this field, but I would very much like to be one some day. I am eager to learn more (the goal one day being to have a chance of being employed at another company). My fears are further amplified by the fact I would be filling only the second such position within the company, so the support network for if (or, inevitably, when) I do stumble is limited.

How--if at all--do I communicate this when giving my feedback to the interviewers?

(Perhaps important to note: The interviewers were not part of the HR department, but rather the department's team members and leaders.)

  • 3
    What do you mean by "giving feedback to the interviewers". It's an extremely rare company that asks it's interviewees for feedback on its interview process? And if they did it wouldn't be asking about your personal appropriateness for the job?
    – Brondahl
    Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 22:24
  • 4
    What possible advantage do you think there might be to telling the interviewers about your fears and flaws? Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 9:56
  • @Brondahl I didn't find it strange because I don't have much interview experience, but this was the first company that specifically asked for me to give them some feedback on what I thought of the interview, the team, the company, the work they do etc.
    – jayded-bee
    Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 14:09
  • 1
    @Tanner-reinstateLGBTpeople I suppose just being honest and alerting them to some pitfalls that were never discussed as being problematic (not that my limited experience was never mentioned -- I did send them a CV after all). I think it would be fair for a potential employer to be made explicitly aware of the risks of hiring a candidate. The discussion happening under this question, however, seems to have come to the conclusion that making this judgement is the job of the company, not the individual applying.
    – jayded-bee
    Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 14:13
  • 2
    @jayded-bee ... but your own opinion of your own suitability doesn't have anything to do with their interview process? It's a really good sign that they're interested in getting feedback on their process ... but "I'm not good enough" isn't feedback about their process. It's a statement about you, and they're asking for your thoughts about them and their process.
    – Brondahl
    Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 17:24

8 Answers 8


The company you interviewed for knows that you're a recent graduate and that you're there to learn as well as process your tasks.

You won't be expected to be an expert on day one. The company is recruiting you as an investment in the future. Even though the proposed support network isn't large, you should be given the time to collaborate and self-learn along the way.

In short, you don't have to communicate your concerns to your interviewers - they should have already picked up on your wish to learn more about the relevant industry and will take your inexperience into account when/if they offer you the position.

  • 2
    But what if the company expects a much faster learning curve? Your answer is based mostly on thin assumptions. Will you please explain why you think this will work? Were you in a similar situation, and you handled it in the way you explained and it was OK?
    – virolino
    Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 11:26
  • 2
    @jayded-bee "applied as a bluff"? So how did the conversation go relating to your related experience in this field? It wasn't really clear in your question that you're really not suited for this role.
    – Boots
    Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 11:48
  • 8
    @boots: most people apply for jobs when they do not meet requirements - many tome because companies post absurd requirements for jobs. Your comparison does not usually value much in the recruiting world. Please remember your own words: "The company is recruiting you as an investment in the future.".
    – virolino
    Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 12:13
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    Most requirements are more of a wishlist than a minimum expectation. "Years of experience" in particular.
    – Kaz
    Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 12:14
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    Don't volunteer flaws. If there are flaws, the interviewer should draw them out with questions. 2 years experience is nothing. It is something we put to avoid saying "no experience necessary" and receive truly unqualified people.
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 16:11

What you are describing is sometimes known as "impostor syndrome": You are qualified for the job, but you don't think you are due to some supposed experience or self-confidence issues. If they think you are qualified for the job, then you're qualified for the job, that's it.

The problem is the second issue, which is that you have no support network for your field of interest at this company. That's the reason I would consider not taking this job, if I was you. If you don't have a consistent feedback loop with an experienced person, you're not going to learn correct methodologies or best practices and you'll likely develop bad habits which may impact your performance. You don't want to do that.

My suggestion would be to ask the company how they're trying to fix this issue of understaffing and if they're going to be hiring people to do mentorship for you, or if you and this other person are going to be the only 2 people on the team. You should frame it as an issue of mentorship; something like "Your company sounds great, but I'm a new graduate, and while I have experience from school, I feel like I need mentorship to perform at my best. Is your existing staff member able to provide such mentorship, and/or are you planning on filling out the team more with more experienced people who can provide that sort of mentorship for me?".

Ask them this sort of question and see what they say.

  • 1
    @TigerGuy Please reserve politics for Politics.SE :)
    – Ertai87
    Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 22:33
  • 1
    I think lack of a big support network at the company is perfectly fine if OP is willing and capable of learning and troubleshooting themself. Don’t forget that third party support is also always an option. External trainings, (paid) hardware/software support, consultants … But the company has to be able and willing to pay for those and allocate OP’s work hours for those.
    – Michael
    Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 8:00
  • @Michael OP said in the question that they are not OK with this.
    – Ertai87
    Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 15:37

In a word, no.

You've been honest on your CV and in your interviews about what you know and can do. The people at the company are in the best position to judge if you'll work for the role or not.

Don't second-guess the outcome, let them make their own decision.

If you are going to bring this topic up, then do it by asking about opportunities for professional development. Whether that's formal certifications or just on the job training from more experienced/senior individuals.

As an aside, you'll eventually learn that most "job requirements" are more of a wishlist than an expected minimum. "Years of experience" in particular.

If you're eager and willing to learn that's already a massive point in your favor (it's rarer than you think).

So don't count yourself out.


I am not a professional in this field, but I would very much like to be one some day.

If you get this job, and are getting paid, then you will be a professional in this field.

Perhaps important to note: The interviewers were not part of the HR department, but rather the department's team members and leaders.

Everybody you encounter in the process: Every conversation, every phone call, every email chain, and every text; are all a part of the interview process. Any participant or activity can be used to make their decision.

However, I am nervous about their expectations of me: If they are too high, I might be unable to meet them.

Everybody is nervous when they start a new job. The company knows you are new. They know you just graduated.

There is no need to point out your fears and flaws to anybody in the company before you start. There is no need to point out your nervousness or you inexperience. You history is displayed on your resume, and was discussed in the interview.

The goal one day being to have a chance of being employed at another company

Don't tell them that. Never tell them that. Even if it is obvious. They want you to be a successful employee and stay for many tears. Saying the goal is to work here for awhile, then go to a better company doesn't make them happy.

  • 1
    And hopefully, "stay for many tears" is just a typo and not a Freudian slip. ;)
    – David
    Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 21:14

Here is what I've learnt from Interviewing.

As a general rule, don't talk about your Weaknesses, however sometimes in the course of the interview, you may be required to do so, in which case:

Whatever you perceive as a weakness, take a moment to try and talk about it as if it were a strength or at least - put a positive spin on it.

It's not that you are afraid you'll fail to meet their expectations, it's that you are looking forward to the challenge of meeting industry leading standards.

It's not that you are worried about the lack of the support network being the second person they hired for the role, it's that you want to build up the team culture and work ethic for the department/role that you are in.

It's not you are scared of stumbling, it's that you know that the work will be difficult and that this difficulty will give you opportunities to grow, both personally and professionally.

As others have said, this feeling of inadequacy is quite common among new hires, even specialists and experts take a moment to bed into a new company - Companies expect this of new hires and give them a little lee-way.

The best thing you can do is to develop and outward facade of confidence - the old adage 'Fake it till you make it' is a truism. If people believe you are confident (even if you aren't) they'll treat you like you know what you are doing and eventually you will known what you are doing and will be genuinely confident.


I would just add to these other good answers and say that a job interview is just as much you interviewing them as them interviewing you. You can reframe your worries in the interview process and instead of thinking "I want to alert them that I might not be successful here", think to yourself instead "What would I need from them to be successful here?" Then ask them if they will provide those things. Examples might include mentorship, training, documentation, etc. Then you can decide if it will be an environment you can succeed in, and it's you making the decision instead of them.


In addition to Boots's excellent answer, I'd add that you have only one life. Unless this opportunity is preventing you from other kickass opportunities (didn't sound like that reading you), I'd say "jump".

Most recruiters will be impressed by people with a lot of self confidence. "I know it's not easy, but I'm gonna manage" is a positive speech that will work in most circumstances, even if it warns about possible paths of improvements on your side.

Most of people asking the kind of questions you ask have been raised to be honest. Just be aware that be positive on your own skills, as long as you don't blatantly lie, is not dishonest. You can perfectly stay honest and boast about your own capabilities - especially as, in your case, they seem to be rather unique on the market.

  • Thank you for the vote of confidence. I happen to be interviewing with 2 other companies, both of which have worse pay/benefits/location, but have a much larger team of specialists, the kind I would like to become some day. I suppose choosing between the three opportunities, if it comes to it (I haven't gotten any formal offers yet), would be a topic for a different question. I've also applied for some "dream job" positions, so there is a nonzero chance I could be missing the opportunity of a lifetime if I jump prematurely. Can you tell yet that I am an overthinker? :)
    – jayded-bee
    Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 11:57

Should I point out my personal fears and flaws when giving interview feedback?

That is a definite NO - I explain below the motives behind this.

I was not there during the discussions, so I cannot draw a final conclusion. However, interviews are much like CV's: you hide information which might be detrimental, but you do not lie and you do not hide information which can come back and byte your... whatever.

I prefer to always be honest about everything I say. If something is not really good, I present it in a favorable way, highlighting about the good parts, and not talking much about the downsides.

In your case, I would choose to ask a question like this:

Did I mention that I am a recent graduate, and I do not have the required two years of experience?

If you already had this kind of discussion, there is no need to bring it back up - it would show that you are unsure about your abilities - it is OK to hide that.

But if you did not have any discussions related directly to the fact that you are a recent graduate, just go ahead and be honest.

I once went to an interview, the job targeted being a programmer for some compiler. I never saw the code of a compiler in my life, not before the interview, and not after that. I was 100% open about my ignorance about compilers, and I presented the experience that I had as a programmer in other fields. They agreed to hire me, but I finally declined, when a more interesting opportunity arrived.

Bottom line: be true to yourself and to your values. If someone does not value you or your honesty, your place is probably not there. An interview goes both ways: they test you, and you test them.

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