I’m a quick learner

If you ever find yourself blurting out the words “I’m a quick learner” in an interview, you’ve already lost.

These words are the kiss of death.

Might as well pack up your bags and go home and re-evaluate the interview.

But, Robbie, isn’t being a quick learner a GOOD thing?

Yes, it is. It’s great actually.

Here’s the problem:

Nobody wants to pay you to learn when they can pay someone else who already has the experience.

Here’s what an employer hears when you say, “I’m a quick learner. I pick up things very fast!”


“Oh, what you’re saying is that you applied for this job knowing that you’re not that qualified for it? Instead of gaining that skill on your own through the many channels available to you, you decided to wait for me to teach you these new skills?

Why wouldn’t you learn this on your own if your employer didn’t teach you?

Also, this means that you won’t “get on the ground running”. There is a learning curve associated with hiring you.

And at this point, I don’t have the patience or time to teach someone. I’m already behind on this initiative. You’re a risk to hire because you might decide that this isn’t for you. Now, I’m left with a quick learner who has no interest in learning what I’m teaching.

I feel more confident with someone who has done this before because I know they are interested in the subject. I’ll pay more just to have that confidence.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re a quick learner.

You are now a risk to hire.

What matters is are you willing to learn these skills on your own if your previous employment didn’t get you the skills you need.

Also – who WOULDN’T say they are a quick learner?

Can you imagine someone telling you to “Actually, I learn slowly. You’re going to have to hold my hand through the first few months if you don’t mind. I know this is my job, but I didn’t have the energy to learn this on my own”.

What can I say instead of “I’m a quick learner?”

Well, here’s the problem.

There aren’t any magic words you can say to prove you’re a quick learner.

The magic words are: LET ME SHOW YOU WHAT I DID.

Nothing shuts up somebody quicker than “let me show you what I created.”

Here is where I lose most people.

I don’t have a degree in writing.

I’m not a certified career coach.

I haven’t attended a single program that gives even the slightest hint to being a certified career coach.

To be honest with you, there are no real reasons why you should be listening to me. I have zero accreditations of someone who should be teaching career advancement.

I don’t have a degree in marketing.

But here you are, listening to me.

If I wanted to get a job as a marketer, I could SHOW results.

If I wanted to get a job as a writer for a major publication, I could SHOW results.

If I wanted to become a career coach, I could SHOW results to my clients.

Would you hire me as a career coach if I told you I don’t know much about helping people advance their careers, but I’m a quick learner?

You would tell me to go jump off a bridge.

A big bridge with deep, deep water.

So here’s what you do when an interviewer asks you if you have experience in something that you don’t have experience with.

“No, I do not have experience in this. How important is this skill to the job? If this skill is a core component of the job, I have no issue with creating a report on it. Can I send it to you in a few days? What would you like to be in it?”

I can already feel you getting nervous reading this.

You’re not going to say it.

I know you’re not.

Only a few of you will listen to this advice.

Those few will continue to grow their career while the rest of you wait for the magic words to interview better.

You know what happens with the few that listen to this advice?

They will create the report and send it to the interviewer.

They know they probably won’t get the job anyway.

But now they have an answer to that question next time someone asks if they have experience in something that doesn’t show on their resume.

The new answer is:

“I do. I was interested in the subject, and I created an entire report on the subject. Can I send it to you after our interview? It goes into depth about X, Y & Z. It’s fascinating actually. I think you will enjoy it”.

There are no magic words to nail an interview.

The more you can show what you learned, the better off you are.

Fake it to you make it doesn’t work for many.

It’s too obvious that you’re faking it.

Show me proof.

I’ll take proof any day of the week than someone who is a quick learner.

Stop complaining about the catch-22 situation where you can’t learn new skills because no one will hire you to teach you those new skills.

What’s the easiest way to gain proof?
You create a company that you know is going to fail.

It forces you to learn Marketing.

It forces you to learn Product Management.

It forces you to learn Sales.

It forces you to understand what you’re good at and what you’re not.

Through this process, you now have proof and talking points for future interviews.

Wouldn’t it be great to stop saying “I’m a quick learner” and instead be able to say “Let me show you what I created”!

I sure think so.

PS: Read the only resignation letter template you’ll ever need.