Questions about your job responsibilities are work experience job interview questions. Interviewers, in general, are interested in your current position and job responsibilities. One of the main reasons to ask this is to assess how your skills and responsibilities align with the job requirements of the position you’re applying for.
It shouldn’t be hard to answer questions about your current responsibilities. However, during a job interview, some questions could catch you off guard. It’s therefore essential that you prepare for these types of interview questions.
Usually, questions regarding your current responsibilities are asked in the form of behavioral interview questions. You should be able to provide a clear and concise explanation of your current responsibilities and duties. The best way to do this is by providing work experience examples of times you successfully applied your skills.
In this blog, we discuss why interviewers want to know more about your job responsibilities and how you should answer them. Also, don’t forget to check out our popular interview topics if you have been invited to a job interview. In addition, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist.
Why Interviewers Ask Questions About Job Responsibilities
The most commonly asked question is, ‘Can you describe your current job responsibilities?‘. Even though the interviewer already has your resume and cover letter, they still would like to hear you explain more about your work experience.
These kinds of questions are usually asked at the beginning of the interview. By asking about your job responsibilities, the interviewers try to get an answer to:
- Start the conversation by asking you to tell more about yourself.
- Verify you’re not lying or exaggerating on your resume and in your cover letter.
- Analyze how your current responsibilities match the position that you applied for.
- Elaborate on your skills, abilities, and experience that you mentioned in your resume and cover letter.
- Assess if the position you applied for is the right step for you in your career.
Interview Questions About Job Responsibilities
During your interview preparation, it’s essential that you prepare yourself for interview questions that you expect. How do you know what questions expect? Research. Thoroughly analyze the:
By analyzing the job description, you get a good understanding of the job requirements. Think, for instance, of the required skills, abilities, and work experience.
Get a better idea of what the company is like. Think of the:
- Company strategy
- Mission statement
- Key people
- Products / Services
To get a better understanding of the company culture is a bit harder. Company culture is as broad as a company’s identity. This means a combination of the vision of the company; it’s values, norms, systems, and habits. It’s about how the employees behave on the job, what the job means to them, their work ethic, and if they are happy. This also means that there is a certain work standard expectation from everybody who works for the company.
In the job description, you can always find some information about the company culture. For instance, if the job requires you to deal with fast-paced environments or a position at a company that values creative thinking skills. Another example is if the job is not for people with a ‘nine-to-five’ mentality, which means you might have to work on flexible hours.
However, if you do not yet find all information you need, you can also prepare smart interview questions to ask during the interview.
Similar job openings
Look at similar job positions or reference material on job responsibilities, work experience, salary ranges, and any other possible job requirements of positions on a similar level.
Make an educated guess
Based on the information you got from your research, you can make an educated guess about what topics are most likely to be discussed during your interview. Create a list of topics and check our most commonly asked interview questions and how to answer them.
You can find example questions that are frequently asked and an explanation of why the interviewer asks you these questions and the best answers.
How to Answer Questions About Job Responsibilities
Discussing job responsibilities is all about demonstrating that you possess the required skills. Therefore, when the interviewer asks you behavioral questions, it’s important that you are able to provide relevant examples of work experiences.
Your goal should be to prove to the interviewer that you are the best candidate for the job. You do this by showing that you can handle the responsibilities that come with the new job based on your past experiences.
The most effective way to answer behavioral interview questions is to use the STAR interview technique.
STAR Interview Technique to Successfully Clarify Work Situations
It’s important that you prepare answer examples from your work experience as well to help you substantiate your answers. Examples of times you successfully used the required skills for the job help you give your answers more weight.
By using the STAR method, you can give the interviewer an answer that includes exactly what he or she is looking for. Also, it allows you to convey a concise answer that includes the skills that make you the right candidate to hire. Below, you find a breakdown of theSTAR acronym in steps.
Start your story by explaining the situation that you faced. The start of your answer ‘story’ should answer questions such as:
- What was the situation?
- Who was involved?
- Why did the situation happen at that time?
It’s important to provide context around the situation or challenge. Furthermore, make sure to provide relevant details.
Next, explain your specific role in the task ahead. Include important details, such as specific responsibilities. Focus on giving the interviewer an understanding of your task. This part of your answer should answer questions such as:
- Why were you involved in that specific situation?
- What’s the background story?
After you describe your task, it’s time to specifically discuss the actions you took to resolve the situation. Give the interviewer a step by step description of the actions you took. This part of your answer should answer questions such as:
- What steps did you take to resolve the situation you were in?
- Why did you choose to complete your tasks this way?
Finish your answer by discussing the results you got from your actions. Detail the outcomes of your actions and ensure to highlight your strengths. Also, make sure to take credit for your behavior that led to the result. Focus on positive results and positive learning experiences. This part of your answer ‘story’ should answer questions such as:
- What exactly happened?
- What did you accomplish?
- How did you feel about the results you got?
- What did you learn from the situation?
- How did this particular situation influence who you are as a professional today?
Answers to Job Responsibilities Interview Questions
Below you find a couple of example questions and answers regarding work experience. However, keep in mind that these are ‘general’ examples. Do not forget to structure your own answers in a way that includes enough detail to convince the interviewer that you’re the right person for the job!
Example 1 – Work experience question about you and why you want the job:
‘Based on your current work experience, which areas of your skills need improvement?’
‘At the moment, I’m working on improving my public speaking skills to become a more confident and compelling speaker. As I progress in my career, I’ve realized that if I want to become a top manager, I have to sharpen my communication skills too.
Whether I’m talking in a team meeting or presenting in front of an audience, I have to speak publically more often as I develop myself as a professional. By developing these skills to an expert level, it will give me more confidence as a manager and will make me and eventually my team more productive as well.
My current goal is to go from being a good speaker to a great speaker.’
Why this is a strong answer:
- The provided answer is related and relevant to the workplace.
- The answer directly answers the question of the interviewer.
- This answer is a skill-based answer, which is what the interviewer is looking for.
- The answer shows that you have a positive attitude and possess self-awareness.
Example 2 – Work experience question about you and why you want the job:
‘As a professional, what do you consider as your greatest strength?’
‘I believe my time management and organizational skills are my greatest strengths. I have experience handling several projects at a time that all have different deadlines. At my previous job, I was selected to be in charge of team assignments due to my ability to beat deadlines and complete work on time.
Being organized will greatly help me perform various tasks within the set period of time in this company.’
Why this is a strong answer:
- The provided example answer directly addresses your strengths, which is what the interviewer is looking for.
- This answer states your experience with handling different projects.
Note: There is a large chance that the interviewer will ask you follow-up questions about the projects you have managed and how you approach projects and deadlines in general.
Example 3 – Work experience STAR-Method:
‘Tell me about a time you managed an important project. How did you prepare for it?’
‘I’ve been involved in several important projects in my previous job as manager of the sales department. One time I was asked to set up a project team to work on a sales presentation to convince a new client to use our services. The pressure was on because it was a 5-year deal and a multi-million dollar contract that was at stake. For the company as well as for me personally, this was a big deal. As this deal would mean a lot for the company in terms of turnover increase, I understood that failure was not an option because it was a unique opportunity.
I gathered a team of the most experienced employees and selected them based on their individual qualities and strengths to make sure to balance the team out. Together with the team, a planning document was set up, and goals and milestones were determined. After that, I delegated tasks based on the knowledge and experience levels of each team member. Also, I hired a project manager to carefully monitor the progress on a day to day basis and report to me on the milestone progress.
Because I distributed the responsibilities according to experience and knowledge levels, everyone on the team was aware of their responsibilities and the importance of the project. The team delivered everything on time without requiring intense oversight. We finished our sales presentation ahead of the deadline and were able to provide the client with everything he asked for. The client told us that he was impressed by our efforts, and we landed the contract, which was the largest contract closed in that year. This was a great achievement for the team as it was an effort that could not have been made without the people on it.’
Common Job Interview Questions & Answers
Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!
- Career Change
- Career Goals
- Conflict Resolution
- Creative Thinking
- Cultural Fit
- Customer Service
- Growth Potential
- Honesty & Integrity
- Job Satisfaction
- Entry-Level & No experience
- Prioritization & Time Management
- Situational & Scenario-based
- Stress Management
- Telephone Interview
- Work Ethic