How can a young candidate prove himself as a perfect fit for an executive position that requires years of experience?

I'm in the final stages of an interview for a regional manager position. I've done everything right but their concern is that I'm young in age and lack executive experience. They told me to wait for a week while they scan other candidates, and If they can't find someone with +5 years of experience they would take a chance on me. What should I do during this week to prove I'm up to the managerial position?


There are a few key traits that people look for in a manager, and the reason an employer asks for experience is to try to ensure that the candidate has honed them.

Those are:

"Big picture" thinking - you need to be able to detach yourself from the details and see the overall aim of your project. Someone with this skill will be more likely to understand when seemingly wacky decisions are made by corporate.

Resourcefulness - Budget cuts? Employees got the plague when you have a deadline? Thats not a problem for an experienced manager.

Overcoming objections - Everyone giving you excuses? Dragging out contracts? You can sail through this one with ease with the proper training.

Resource allocation - Are you putting the right assets in the right places? Are you hiring the right people? Are you giving preferred treatment? The more Experienced you are, the less Likely you will fall into this trap.

I am happy to go over your work history, resume and any experience you have had to help you find a way to overcome their objections - I am a CTO with a Liberal Arts degree, so I am a master at this.

Answered 5 years ago

This is not easy but the principle is to ask them questions about why the five years of experience made its way into the job search criteria.

Either there is a very good reason for this which will almost certainly be based on a fear which they think they can mitigate by putting the stipulation in place. Your job is to then ask questions about that fear and try to "close" on you as a total package being able to settle all those fears.

Alternatively they might just be asking about the 5 years because they thought tit was a good idea some time ago but it's lost its relevance today in which case you can steer around the objection.

You might find more help here -

Good luck.

Keep poking around the fears they have which are behind the job specification and prove that you can take them away. Ask them to question their own assumptions, perhaps using examples in their total experience, where the rookie outperformed the old hand.....use your own examples as a motivating metaphor.

In the final analysis, if they have good reasons then they protected you from failing in a job that was not right for you.

Answered 5 years ago

I would show up and communicate how extremely teachable you are - be honest about the fact that yes, you are young, but it's a benefit to them because they can teach and train you exactly how they want to. And since you're young you haven't picked up any habits that cannot be broken - and you're not set in your ways, you are moldable and willing to be flexible. Since the ball is in their court at present, have you followed up with a hand-written thank you card? This would be a perfect place to communicate all of the above - but before you do that, thank them for their time, for giving you the opportunity to interview, mention a couple of details about what makes the company such an ideal place to work, or such a team-oriented, conducive work environment, or how great the people are (note specifics), etc. :-)

Answered 5 years ago

Congratulations on making it this far in the process. If this is what you believe is truly the right fit for you, continue to pursue them while you wait out the 5 days. Politely, but assertively, reach out to let them know you are still here, interested, and ready.

I also think your age and in their words "inexperience" could be an opportunity for you to play up you energy and coach-ability. The most attractive trait I like in a leader is the ability to be coachable. If you can show them that you have the energy to learn the things you might lack quickly, because you are coachable and willing to take feedback, you might win them over. Being coachable means proactively asking for feedback, then quickly implementing what you've heard, which with you fire for the job, should be no problem.

Hope it goes well!

Answered 3 years ago

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