In a fit of dissatisfaction, I shotgunned a bunch of online job applications and unexpectedly got a bite. And now I've got an interview on Wednesday.
This is really my first interview for a real, legit, professional job and not a minimum wage grocery store deal or a college co-op. It's for an IT position in a very large company, somewhat similar to what I am already doing (desktop support, managing lab PCs) but with Linux, OSX, and security stuff thrown in.
Now, I did the Linux and security stuff in college but I graduated 2 years ago and haven't had the opportunity to use any of it in my current position (and things are very rigid and segmented here; even if I asked, I would not be allowed to dip my toes into any of it). We just got a Mac in our lab and I have some experience using them but little to none in any kind of sysadmin capacity.
I'm wondering what the best way is to deal with my lack of experience in those areas if it comes up in the interview. I am a quick study and if you give me time with the tools and some material to read, I can learn just about anything. It's been discouraging to see so many job postings with '5 years of experience in [tool you never had the opportunity to use anywhere but in school]', I guess I'm just worried that "I can learn it" isn't good enough.
The other concern I have is regarding pay. Where I am there is zero opportunity for advancement, and I'm lucky to get a 50 cent raise every couple of years, but there are no benefits whatsoever. I need to make more money (rent increases) and I want something that will give me the opportunity to earn more over time. The problem is I lowballed my salary expectations when I filled out the online application (I'm only just realizing this now after doing some number crunching). How would you recommend approaching this subject in the interview? The number I wrote was roughly $2k to $5k below what I'd really want/need. Also if I got this job I would have added transit expenses.
For reference, I've been at my current job for about 3.5 years (counting 2 co-op terms and 2 contracts), with another 2 years in a really low level support position in college, and "freelance" tech support since 2010-ish. Skill/knowledge wise I would consider myself on the low end of intermediate; learning opportunities for anything really interesting and challenging are limited at my current job.
Thanks for any advice.
Edit: Also, I am in Canada if that makes any difference.