Jump in the deep end

Do not give up applying for your dream job just because you do not have all the required competencies listed in the job advertisement. Katja Fliedner Gantriis knows that it is worthwhile. She got a job as a Site Engineer even though she lacked experience on paper. In this interview, you can meet her and Lotte Zeeberg, the HR Coordinator who hired her, and get their advice on jumping in the deep end.

Why did you apply for the job?
Katja: It was right up my alley. I could relate to the tasks, the location was perfect for me, and I had a friend who worked at the company, who only had good things to say about ZÜBLIN. It was my dream job.

The advertisement said that they would prefer someone with several years of experience. You were newly qualified with hardly any experience. What were your thoughts on that, and how did you handle it in your application? 
Katja: I felt like I had to try. I knew I lacked experience but I wanted the job so much. I was very honest in my application, writing that what I lacked in experience, I made up for in drive and will. Furthermore, I made it clear, that I would ask questions when needed. Still, I was really nervous when I sent the application!

Why did you hire Katja even though she lacked experience?
Lotte: She was very convincing. When I met her in person, she was just as she had described in her application. Her drive, energy and power made up for her lack of experience. She was enthusiastic about construction and being on the building site.

What is your advice to young engineers who question their own experience or competencies when looking at an advertisement for a job that they want?
Lotte: If you are passionate about it, you should always apply. The most important thing is to write in your application what you would really like to work with, and where you see yourself in the company. Many candidates write about their education and their competencies – instead, write about what interests you. Remember, it does not hurt to take a chance. Do not be discouraged if you get a rejection. Perhaps you were not a match for this particular job, but maybe another job is coming up, and then the company knows you.

Katja: Ask yourself what the worst-case scenario is. Maybe you will get a rejection, but if you do not try, you will always wonder what would have happened if you had applied. Jump in the deep end, and either you swim ashore or you find another job. Remember that the job advertisement is not an answer book, but a wish list. Lotte saw something in me even though I did not meet all the criteria. Maybe you will bring something to the table that the company did not even know they needed.


Name: Katja Fliedner Gantriis
Age: 26
Employed by: ZÜBLIN A/S
Education: Bachelor in Architectural Engineering from DTU
Graduated: 2015