There are many reasons for having a gap in your resume, and it's best, to be honest about the intentions.
"I had a gap from 2009-2010 while I was on maternity leave and then another for six months in 2015 while I cared for an ailing parent. During that time I was vigilant in keeping up to date on the market so that my knowledge did not become redundant."
"If your employment gap is due to illness: "I took a medical hiatus between 2008 and 2008 under doctor's orders. I am fully recovered and have had zero health concerns since."
A potential employer will often base their offer on your current salary. You should be transparent about your most recent earnings and be prepared to back up any salary requests. If you are currently employed: "I am currently earning a base salary of $78,000, plus a car allowance of $900/month, and health benefits. I am looking for a competitive salary in my next position."
"I am currently earning a base salary of $78,000, plus a car allowance of $900/month, and health benefits. I am looking for a competitive salary in my next position."
"If you are currently unemployed: "My most recent position paid me a base salary of $45,000 plus overtime and health benefits. I am looking for a competitive salary in my next position."
Coming up with ideas to increase productivity, efficiency and save time and energy is a great way to make an impact on your coworkers and the company. Having the ability to see problems as opportunities is a skill that can make you an essential asset to a company. Think of a time you had a chance to make a difference by making a change in a process or procedure.
" I would say that at least once a month I have an idea, big or small, that I present to my manager. My most recent innovation was discovering a new way to use our automation software to work for us even more efficiently."
"I am always thinking of new ways to increase productivity and improve the methods I use to complete my work."
It is essential to keep a healthy work/life balance to prevent burnout. Talk to the interviewer about how you can maintain that appropriate balance for yourself.
"I find that with the right company, it's pretty simple to balance life and work. When I enjoy what I do, it doesn't feel like a chore. I am always sure that when at home, my family gets my attention first. I take time on the weekends to do things for myself and ensure that I regenerate before the work week begins."
"Not every day will be balanced, and I understand that. I find that I can achieve a great work/life balance most days when I take some time to do something for myself. Whether that be a quick workout, or cooking a delicious meal when I get home."
This question challenges you to think about how you act as a leader in your daily life. Even if you're not leading a team, you can still demonstrate the qualities of a leader! You can give an example of how you coached a coworker who was having difficulty preparing for a big presentation. Maybe you gave them confidence in their strengths by encouraging them, or perhaps you offered some helpful hints. You can be a motivator and a confident communicator in any situation at work! Share how you have positively influenced others through actions you've taken to support and motivate others at work.
"I demonstrate leadership qualities every chance that I get! I believe that everyone can be a great leader if given the right environment and opportunity."
"I naturally take on a leader and mentor-ship type of role with my co-workers. In one instance, I had a new coworker who was having some troubles fitting in. I took her out for lunch and talked to her a bit about the workplace culture and semantics surrounding the various departments. I wanted her to stay and enjoy her employment with us, so I took the responsibility of ensuring she was settling in well. I believe there are always opportunities for leadership - you have to keep your eyes open."
What does success mean to you? Tell the interviewer how you see progress and be sure to tie your answer into the success that you plan to bring to this particular position, should you be offered the role.
"I define success by my ability to reach the goals that are set out for me. On a personal level, the things I wish to achieve in my life. On a work level, the targets that are set out for me as well as the professional development that I seek."
"Success is the completion of any task you set out to do or any goal that you set for yourself. Success receives interpretation in many different ways but I know I have been successful when I feel that relief and contentment only accomplishment can bring."
Did you start working at a young age? Perhaps you have held some tough jobs earlier in your career? Many hiring managers agree that the best employees are ones with 'grit' and who have held a 'dirty job' or two in their lives. Talk to the interviewer about your early work experience.
"I have been working since I was just 14 years old. My first job was as a shop hand for my father who was a mechanic. I had to sweep, clean, greet customers and order parts. It was a great way for me to get my hands dirty and I was taught excellent customer service skills from an early age. Everything that I learned during that time has helped me to stay grounded and humble in my career."
"I started my career working in an office, so I was able to quickly understand how important it is to stay organized and maintain clear communication with everyone on the team. I believe my early experience will help me succeed in this position because it caused me to form good habits from the beginning."
Often we will leave the tasks that we don't like for last, in the act of procrastination. Other times, we will mindfully move responsibility for last because we feel that it makes the most sense. Help the interviewer to determine which personality type you are by answering this question.
"If given a choice, I would leave my documentation tasks for last. I say this because I like to spend my time with my customers so anything to do with documentation during business hours - I feel takes away from my client-facing tasks. I do understand the importance of it, though."
"I would leave my email to last! I find that once I am in my email, it's a never-ending whirlwind of small replies and to-dos. For this reason, and to remain focused and productive, I will schedule my email time periodically throughout the day."
Encouragement to others is a great skill to possess. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to encourage creative ideas in your team members.
"I like to encourage other people to be creative in their thinking and present ideas to the company, no matter how off the wall they may seem. Some of our most successful employees are ones who are confident in their ability to bring forward their unique ideas. I encourage participation through an open door policy and strong praise for those who show initiative."
"I encourage others by praising their great ideas and helping them to continue being their best self. Noticing the small things is important. People want to feel like their contribution is important to the overall workplace success."
Sometimes a great achievement is completing a difficult task and overcoming the obstacles that come up along the way. When faced with an impossible deadline and regular interruptions that cause you to have to switch gears every thirty minutes, completing a simple project can seem like climbing a mountain! You have a couple of options for how to approach this: Discuss an example of when you overcame obstacles to achieve something great, or share a significant accomplishment or award you received and talk about what was challenging about it. Either way, you are showing your determination and focus on reaching your goal. Think of a situation that highlights your strengths and qualities that will be helpful for the job for which you are interviewing. Try to keep it as career relevant as possible.
"My greatest career accomplishment is the fact that, in my current company, I gained a promotion faster than anyone in the organization's entire history. I received accolades from the VP of Sales in front of the entire company, which was an extraordinary moment. Exceed expectations, being promoted, and then financially ahead of where I initially expected, was exhilarating."
"One achievement that I am proud of is graduating University as an honors student while still working full time. This accomplishment showed me that I could dedicate myself to my career, and reach the goals that I set for myself. It felt great to accomplish so much and earn recognition for my dedication."
Most job descriptions will have a long list of requirements. Hiring managers are aware that, to find a candidate that checks ALL of the boxes, can sometimes be impossible. If you are missing some of the 'nice to have' or even the 'must have' skills listed in the job description, do not fret! Be open about your shortcomings and discuss with the interviewer how you plan to compensate for those.
"I realize that I may not check off all of the boxes for this position; however, I can assure you that I am a rapid learner. The main experience I am missing is in Azure, but I am very well versed in developing architecture and setting up of a cloud platform. I think that I can pick up the required knowledge quickly."
"I would be happy to clarify my experience in any skills. Could you tell me which skills you feel I am missing for this position?" (Once the interviewer responds, you can overcome that objection by better highlighting that specific experience, or discussing a related skill that you DO have.)"
GE Aviation is a subsidiary of General Electric. They are a top aircraft engine supplier, offering engines for the majority of commercial aircraft. The interviewer would like to see that you have experience in the industry; whether your aerospace experience comes from private or public entities. If the job description or job posting from GE Aviation points out a preference of one over the other, it is wise to focus your answer on that particular experience.
"I noticed in your job posting that you prefer to see experience in the public aerospace sector. I do have experience in both public and private; however, the most recent three years of my work experience is in the public sector."
"I can say that I have equal experience in both public and private aerospace matters. Is there a specific sector where you would prefer to see stronger experience? I would be happy to highlight that experience for you, further."
Show you preparedness for the interview by having an immediate answer. The only wrong answer here is, 'I don't know.' In most discussions, you will get one or two personal questions to see how you present yourself. You want to be able to articulate yourself well, responding politely and even passionately when appropriate. An excellent way to respond to this question is by sharing a story about a person who has been a positive influence on you and your career. If your dad motivated you to push through to finish your education, talk about how that impacted you. Who showed you that it was possible to overcome even the most significant obstacles? Who taught you the skills that brought you where you are today?
"My previous manager was a huge inspiration to me. Her passion for the aerospace industry was motivating and put the fire in me to climb the ladder in my career."
"I have always been inspired by my grandfather. He is the person who gave me an initial interest in the aerospace field. He is the hardest working person I know, and he taught me how important it is to read and continually grow. Because of him, I always seek to learn."
Career progression can be a touchy subject, especially if you feel that your career hasn't progressed as well as you would have liked. Talk to the interviewer about your career progression and what you would like to see in the future.
"Overall, my career has progressed a touch slower than I would have liked. I have held a couple of positions that didn't offer the growth and learning that I was expecting; however, I have bounced back nicely. I feel that this particular position would take my career exactly where it should be."
"Yes, I am happy with my career progression. I have always been the type to set out a detailed plan for myself and take the required action steps to get there. This position is most definitely in line with my expected career progression."
When a change occurs in the workplace do you view it positively or do you resist the change? Talk to the interviewer about how you adapt to change.
"When a change occurs I initially try to balance the pros and the cons before reacting. Overall I would say that I prefer to focus on why the changes will work. I am a positive person by nature."
"Some changes can be tougher to accept immediately than others. Once I understand the motivation or the goal behind the change, I can easily adapt."
We all like recognition in some way for our accomplishments in the workplace. Share with the interviewer how you would want credit for your hard work. Some options can be through bonus' or financial perks, public recognition, kind words, or promotion opportunities.
"I am very much an over-achiever and find that the best way for me to be recognized for a job well done is through words of kindness and recognition. I am easily encouraged, and the best reward for me is to know that my hard work makes a difference."
"I feel that most achievements are due to the great work of a team. If I gain recognition for my accomplishments, I always prefer that my team be a part of that recognition as well. Words of encouragement are always motivating."
The interviewer would like to avoid any hurdles during the offer and negotiations stage that would prevent you from being successfully on-boarded. If GE Aviation is a direct competitor to your current or most recent employer, then you should carefully review your employment contract to ensure nothing is hindering you. Be prepared to present the agreement in your late stage interview. If you are under a non-compete contract: "I am under a non-compete contract with Company ABC; however, it specifically states that I cannot share any trade secrets or recruit any of their current employees. There is nothing in the contract hindering me from joining GE Aviation."
"I am under a non-compete contract with Company ABC; however, it specifically states that I cannot share any trade secrets or recruit any of their current employees. There is nothing in the contract hindering me from joining GE Aviation."
"If you are not under a non-compete contract: "I am free to sign any offer letter that comes my way as there is no such contract with my current employer."
Many companies involved in Aerospace and Defense have sensitive information. Assure the interviewer that you are a trustworthy individual who can handle being under a confidentiality agreement with GE Aviation if hired.
"I am a highly trustworthy person. My background includes many years of experience working on sensitive projects. I fully understand the desire that GE Aviation has to protect their data and am more than willing to sign a confidentiality agreement."
"Yes, I am willing to sign a confidentiality agreement with GE Aviation, anytime in this process."
It is vital that you check the job posting or job description provided by GE Aviation to ensure that you have the proper educational requirements. If you do not bring the desired degree or certification, be prepared to defend your education and remind them why you are still the best candidate for the job! If you have the desired education: "I saw on your job posting that you are looking for candidates with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. I have my degree in Aeronautical Engineering from an accredited University. My education will be helpful in this role as it is directly related to your company's focus."
"I saw on your job posting that you are looking for candidates with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. I have my degree in Aeronautical Engineering from an accredited University. My education will be helpful in this role as it is directly related to your company's focus."
"If you do not have the desired education: "I have a Graduate Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Although my degree does not boast a primary focus on Aerospace, I do have significant industry training outlined on my resume."
If GE Aviation asks for your feedback on what they could improve on it is best to keep your answer positive and light. Be sure to start, and finish, your suggestion with a compliment on what they are doing right.
"I have conducted a great deal of research on GE Aviation before meeting you today. I like your branding, and your online presence is strong. If I could make a suggestion, it would be to have a confirmation email sent to all online job applicants. I found the site a bit difficult to navigate and was not sure that my initial application went through successfully. Luckily, your HR department was amazing, and they called me just a few days later for a pre-screen interview."
"If you could improve on anything, I would recommend updating the website a bit more frequently and adding a blog for aerospace enthusiasts. Aerospace and defense is a popular topic for research, and you could gain many website visitors by putting a greater emphasis on your online content."
GE Aviation has many competitors in a variety of areas of focus such as aircraft engines, avionics, sensors, environmental control systems, and electric power systems. These competitors include Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, Safran, Turbomeca, UTC Aerospace Systems; Honeywell; Jeppesen (Boeing), Rockwell Collins, and Eaton. It is essential to research GE Aviation before your interview. Through that research, be sure to study some of their competitors and why you feel GE Aviation stands out from the crowd. Visit the 'Press' and 'Blog' section on the company website to find out if they have received any recent awards or accolades.
"I have seen that you have a few competitors in your industry; however, after reviewing your website, online reviews, and seeing your multitude of recent awards I feel that working for GE Aviation would be a real honor and great step in my career. You stand out from the crowd for taking charge when it comes to innovation. For instance, the introduction of AiRXOS a new company helping to accelerate the safe, efficient, scalable integration of air and ground space for manned and unmanned vehicles. That is a very exciting move on GE's part."
"Your organization stands out in many ways. What impressed me the most was your safety record, employee tenure, and growth opportunity. When it comes to your competitors, would you agree that these are stand-out areas for you? I would love to hear more about your company's competition plan."
GE Aviation employs over 40,000 people in a highly sensitive industry. Most companies in the aerospace and defense industry need to be very cautious about who they hire - GE included. There is a chance that much of the information you are going to access could be confidential and dangerous if put into the wrong hands. Assure the interviewer that you are most willing to comply with any form of background check they require.
"I am happy to comply with any background check required. My record is clean, and I have a strong credit history. I do not participate in drug use, either. You can be assured that if you hire me for this role with GE Aviation, I will maintain a clean record."
"Yes, I am willing to comply with any background checks required by GE. I understand the importance of background checks."
GE's career slogan is 'Get yourself a world-changing job.' It is essential that you thoroughly research GE Aviation before your interview. Be sure to examine their careers section, any additional locations, and the variety of departments or business units they may have. You can then accurately assess the potential growth opportunities with GE Aviation. Discuss your career growth and desires with the interviewer.
"I saw on your website that you are looking for a Staff Quality Assurance Engineer. I am not yet qualified for that level of a leadership role due to lack of experience in managing deliverables and mentoring junior team members; however, it interests me. I would love to be considered for a role like that with GE Aviation in the future."
"My primary goal is to become a Software Engineer within the next five years. I am taking additional coursework to gain the required skills. Do you feel this is an achievable goal with your company?"
The interviewer wants to ensure that you hold strong knowledge, and genuine interest, in the aerospace and defense industry. If you are familiar with the industry, you will know about some of the latest industry breakthroughs. Briefly discuss which one has caught your interest the most.
"There have been endless breakthroughs in our industry; however, I would say the one that excited me the most was when I heard that GE Aviation has recently started incorporating 3D printing technologies into your engines and have incorporated the manufacturing process in the newly designed GE9x - what I believe is the largest jet engine in the world."
"The biggest recent breakthrough in our industry, in my opinion, was the introduction of 3D printing in aviation; however, there are so many from which to choose! May I ask which was your favorite breakthrough as of late?"
The interviewer would like to confirm that you have a genuine interest in the aerospace and defense industry. Perhaps you read aerospace-related books, follow particular engineering journals or subscribe to a blog related to this industry. Briefly share with the interviewer how you stay up to date on current events related to GE Aviation.
"I am always interested in learning more about this industry and the changes that are taking place. It's truly fascinating. Most frequently, I read the International Journal of Aerospace Engineering. There are also a couple of blogs that I follow including www.aviationweek.com and the GE Aviation newsletter which you cleverly call 'The Bike Shop,' named after the Wright Brothers' workshop."
"Staying up to date on aerospace-related events is quite easy with a couple of phone applications I have downloaded, and a few blogs to which I subscribe. I would love some new suggestions as well! Do you have any strong recommendations?"