Talking about your previous work experiences is a common question every applicant should expect in an interview. This is because your previous experiences and how you handle them, and the lesson you learned from them can help to determine how you may handle a similar situation in the future. It can also predict how you may perform on the new job.
The interviewer asks this question to find out your skills, what you are good at and how good you are, what you like the most or the least, and why your job experiences make you the best candidate for that post you applied for. So how do you answer questions about work experience? Read all about it and find tips to ace your interview below.
Why are employers interested in your work experience?
Employers prefer to hire experienced workers who will continue to learn and contribute positively to the growth of their company. Your work experience plays an important role when applying for a job post since it can help to determine if you can contribute to the growth of the organization and how you plan on achieving this.
What do you do to help you answer this question perfectly before your interview?
Before going for your interview, prepare to answer this question by doing thorough research on the organization and the qualifications and requirements for the job post. Find out the work ethics of the organization, what skills you are expected to have or learn, and what will be your responsibility or what will be expected of you if you finally get the job.
Finally, what is the similarity or difference between the post you are applying for and your previous job? All these will help you to come up with a better way of presenting your work experience to relate to what the organization is looking for.
Example Interview questions that relate to work experience
Work experience-related questions in job interviews are, for instance:
- What are your qualifications?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- What was your biggest accomplishment in your career? What motivates you?
- Why do you want this job, and what can you do for this company?
- How would your previous coworkers describe you?
- What do you like the most or the least about your previous job?
- What are your strength and weaknesses?
How to answer questions about work experience
Here are some ways in which you can answer questions about work experience
Do not only identify the skills you learned in your previous jobs
Emphasize your skill sets as well. Since this is an opportunity to convince your interviewer that you are the best candidate for the job, instead of listing the skills you learned from your previous jobs only, describe a situation you experienced in a previous job. For instance, you can describe a time when you overcame a huge challenge, made a big positive change at your place of employment, or got a tremendous result after completing a task.
Relate your story to the position
Make sure that whatever your success story relates to the work you would be doing in the position you apply for, and do not focus only on the accomplishment but also on how you accomplished it. You can also talk about instances that help you to improve on skill and how the skill or idea can be of benefit to the new position you are applying for
Highlight your added value
Answering this question well also gives you the opportunity to highlight how you can serve the company better with the needed skill since you have the skill. Don’t give a short answer by stating the place(s) or addresses of your previous job, the duration, and the position held because it doesn’t give detailed information about what your role was. Rather, take the time to emphasize how you used those skills in carrying out your role and relate it to how it will help you fulfill your role in the position you’re interviewing for.
Then focus your discussion on how you can use the skills and knowledge you have mastered over the years from your previous jobs and the different experiences to help the company grow or function more efficiently.
Give a positive response when talking about your previous employer and coworkers
Do not insult or use words that will degrade your former boss or colleagues, especially if that is the reason why you are leaving, because the interviewer will see you as a person who runs away if you do not get along with others. Comment on what you like about your previous jobs that relate to the one you are being interviewed for.
When answering work experience questions, do not focus only on your experience but also on how your coworkers or how the previous organization benefited from your actions.
Job Interview Topics – 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