Across job application TikTok, one strange tip has grown incredibly popular: Apply to jobs for which you’re not qualified.
While this may seem counterintuitive, given the current job market, the temptation to do this makes sense. For example, in the past, job hunters have pointed out how some listings that describe themselves as “entry-level” also say that they require eight years of experience.
As a result, numerous videos on fibbing your way into a job have gone viral. One user went viral after claiming that requirements for experience don’t mean what you might think, while another user sparked discussion after encouraging viewers to lie on their job applications and resumes.
This doesn’t always work out, as TikTok user Nina (@ninaawang4) recently recounted in a video with over 55,000 views as of Sunday.
In her video, Nina says that, while looking for jobs, she discovered a listing that required applicants to either have an MBA or be in the process of acquiring an MBA. Despite not having or seeking an MBA, she decided to apply, with a recruiter also recommending that she do so.
“I applied to the job,” she recalls. “I really don’t think much of it because I’m like, ‘They’re not going to give me this job because I don’t meet the bare minimum qualification.’”
To her surprise, she got a call asking her to come in for an interview. She did and, soon after, was told that she had the job. However, as she started to prepare for her position, she began to feel that something was amiss.
“I started to get this feeling that this was like—definitely, I was not supposed to be there and this is definitely a mistake of some sort,” she explains.
Still, she reminded herself that she had been honest about her lack of an MBA during the hiring process.
“The recruiter knew I did not have an MBA. The woman who called me to offer me the job knew that I didn’t have an MBA,” she says. “I was like, of course not this many people can gloss over this if it’s truly a mistake, right?”
As it turns out, it was a mistake.
“One fateful morning I woke up to a voicemail from another recruiter that was like, ‘Oh hey, can you call me back? I need to talk to you about your offer.’ And in that moment I knew, I knew exactly where this was going to go,” she details.
Nina was told that she could not actually take the role as she didn’t have an MBA—a fact she had been honest about in her resume and interview.
“I had to be like, ‘Yeah, girl! I knew that, and you knew that, too!’” she says.
To conclude her video, Nina advises against applying for jobs to which one is explicitly unqualified.
“Maybe don’t apply to the job that requires like, five degrees and seven years of experience if you don’t have that, because sometimes what happens is you end up pouring time, effort, and emotional investment into that position, and then it ends up that you are not allowed to actually work for them,” she says.
In the comments section, users reiterated that it was not Nina’s fault that she got as far as she did.
“100% their fault for not reading properly,” wrote a user.
“That’s on them for not really looking at your resume, not you,” added another.
Other commenters explained their experience doing something similar to Nina.
“I applied for a job requiring five years experience with none and the manager called me and said ‘what gave you the nerve to apply for this job,’” claimed a commenter.
“I had an interview go so bad after doing this and I blacked out and took a 2 hour nap immediately after,” remembered a second.
“It’s so mortifying being in the middle of an interview and realizing you’re so deeply unqualified and everyone knows,” said a third.
The Daily Dot reached out to Nina via Instagram direct message.