Not accepting a position I'm under qualified for

My background is in communications and the jobs I have been applying for are PR internships. I don't specifically have any agency experience in college(a lot of my pr/marketing experience comes from volunteer work. I am seeking a pr intern role for a "pr boot camp"). I recently met with a staffing agency that was looking for a level 2 (jr PR position) for a well-known company. I personally had declined it because of my lack of experience, I didn't want to over sell my self and be overwhelmed in a position I don't have much experience in. Did I make the right decision? What do you think I should do the next time I am offered a position I'm underqualified for. Some have told me I should have taken the position and learned on the go. ​ I was also asked what possible salary I was looking for. Given that this is my first time negotiating a real wage out of college I wasn't sure how best to answer that for an intern/jr position. The figure that was reached was between $40-$45k

As a wise man once said: Go big or go home.
As a different wise man said: Fake it till you make it.

If they believe you are a fit, and you still want the job, go for it. The reality is that any experience you have always gets remixed with each company you join because of new processes, culture, way of communication etc. There is always a learning curve when starting a new job - even for seasoned pros.

I would give it a shot, being honest about the qualifications you do have and however it works in their process to not imply that you have other qualifications they list. I haven't had a lot of this kind of experience, but I think you just list what you do have and let them go from there. My anecdotal evidence about "going for it": When we first moved to Sacramento the newspaper was still the primary source of job offers. I saw one ad that I did not apply for on the assumption I did not have all the qualifications. Some, but not all. In addition to my own search, I went to an employment agency. I got a job very quickly. A week or two in, I realized this was the job I had not applied for directly!

+1 here. I think the best approach is to go for it.

Another piece of advice: My former boss once told me to "be a sponge", and when you're just starting out, you're going to be a newbie at any job you start. What matters is that you soak up everything you can so that you become a valuable member to the team.

If you want the job, you go for it and learn as you go. Don't worry about perfectly meeting qualifications. The hiring manager thinks you're qualified - and unless you lied about your skills and experience - you are qualified or within the realm of what they need. Sometimes, a hiring manager or recruiter will see your potential and hire for that, too. Next time, if you want the role, go for it and don't worry too much about years of experiences asked or other requirements (companies often shift those as they go through the hiring process so I never give those too much weight.) As for your asking salary, you're not negotiating yet. The hiring manager or recruiter asks that question in order to make sure you're in the ballpark of what the company has to offer. I think 45k makes sense for entry level PR, but I don't know the specifics of the role so that might be a tad low!

ahhh makes sense thank you Michelle!