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Name a few things you were asked to do in your most recent position that you weren't necessarily trained to do. How did you cope?

1 of 25 Competency Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Written on June 29th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
How to Answer

The interviewer wants to know how you approach a situation when you do not necessarily possess the knowledge to complete a task. Most of us ask others for help, or conduct research to find the answer. Highlight to the interviewer that you are competent when it comes to leading yourself to the right answer. Show that you do not get frustrated; rather, you take it as an opportunity to grow.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"When I first started my current role, I was asked to present to my team about an idea I wanted to implement that would save the company money and time. I had never done this before and the idea of presenting made me a bit nervous. I spent a good deal of time researching viable business solutions. I played around with PowerPoint and watched some YouTube videos on how to put together an engaging slide show. It turned out great and I learned a lot from the experience."

Admin
Answer example

"I worked for a lean organization that had a lot of crossover between HR, Marketing and IT. Often, I would be asked to perform the functions of a department for which I did not work. We are all on the same team so I would figure out what to do and get it done, then later recommend a process to better handle the type of situation in the future."

Manager
Answer example

"I was regularly asked to participate in internal ISO audits, which I had never done before, so I had to learn the standards and how to run an audit appropriately. I was also promoted to a team lead and had a direct report to monitor. This role was my first supervisory position, so I had never approved time sheets or handled employment-related concerns. I asked for advice when possible, and researched on my own time whenever necessary."

Marketing
Answer example

"I was not trained specifically on most of my job, so it's all self-taught or intuitive. I have taught myself PhotoShop, and that's been helpful in both social media and email campaigns. I have also taught myself WordPress which is the basis of the new website I created, and manage, for my employer."

Retail
Answer example

"I had minimal training going into my new role. I received training on the POS system but nothing formal surrounding sales scripts, the return policy, or merchandising. Through many online tutorials and YouTube videos, I taught myself how to sell! I also memorized the return policies in the first week."

Sales
Answer example

"Having worked in a startup, I am no stranger to "figure it out on the fly" type of mentality, almost to the point where I was figuring things out as I went more than I was implementing the training I had received. One example that comes to mind was dealing with a seemingly exciting prospect who went dark. I decided to hop in the car and show up at their door to have the conversation face-to-face. This tactic was unheard of in my company, but my gut said I had to do it. It turned out very well, and I was able to overcome a ton of objections that would have taken dozens of phone calls."

Teacher
Answer example

"I'd say the best example of tackling something not explicitly in training would be working with students with exceptionalities. Sure, I have training in theory, but every single child is different as it is, so when there is an additional layer like a diagnosis or challenge to overcome, the learning in the college classroom is quite different than application in the daily class. I've found it's best to read their file, talk to their previous teachers and family as necessary, and then take it as it comes, just like any other kiddo."

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career. Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
Published: 06/29/2018
*Specific career answer examples vary on published date

More Interview Questions

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Name a few things you were asked to do in your most recent position that you weren't necessarily trained to do. How did you cope?
1.
How do you handle stress?
2.
I was asked to help lay concrete. I had not poured concrete before but the journeyman I was with was a great instructor. I would not say I am proficient but I have poured concrete a few more times since the first time.
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