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Experience Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your next job interview, here are 10 interview questions that will test your experience levels.

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Question 1 of 10

How do you keep up-to-date on new technologies and trends in this industry and career?

How to Answer

One way that a potential employer will gauge 'fit' is by ensuring that you are passionate about your particular industry. The best way to show your natural interest in your role is to study up on industry trends, newsworthy events, and policy changes. Show the interviewer that you are still excited about your industry by openly discussing how you stay on top of industry trends.

Written by Rachelle Enns

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10 Experience Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. How do you keep up-to-date on new technologies and trends in this industry and career?

      How to Answer

      One way that a potential employer will gauge 'fit' is by ensuring that you are passionate about your particular industry. The best way to show your natural interest in your role is to study up on industry trends, newsworthy events, and policy changes. Show the interviewer that you are still excited about your industry by openly discussing how you stay on top of industry trends.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "I keep up to date on new technologies and trends in the accounting industry through a variety of sources. I follow three different blogs, Accounting Coach, The Accounting Onion, and the Bloomberg BNA Accounting Blog. I also read multiple articles online per week."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Admin

      "My current employer sends a daily email regarding the company and industry updates. This email is helpful, and I am sure to read it thoroughly every day. I also have Google alerts set up so that I am up to date on new trends and happenings in the industry."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Manager

      "I follow several blogs on the topic of effective leadership, am a member of the XYZ association. I also follow some industry leaders on LinkedIn. I am fascinated with technological change and will always strive to stay on top of the latest advancements in our industry."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Marketing

      "In the marketing world, there are always news-worthy changes and events taking place. I am a member of a few marketing and communications related associations in our city. I also write a blog of my own, focused on marketing trends and algorithm changes, so I do a lot of research for each blog post."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Retail

      "I read a lot of fashion magazines and tune into channels such as "E!" that focus on the latest and greatest happening in design. Fashion is a genuine passion for me, so you will never find me out of touch with what's happening in the fashion world."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Sales

      "Being in software sales, I know that the biggest mistake a person can make is getting too comfortable. This industry changes overnight, as soon as there are new breakthroughs in technology. I have some alerts set up and am part of a few LinkedIn networks that discuss up and coming trends in SaaS."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Teacher

      "Teaching methods are always changing, whether formally or informally. I am part of a few teachers forums and also started a teachers club in our city where like-minded educators meet on a monthly basis to discuss challenges and policies related to the public school system."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

  • 2. With your experience, what contributions do you believe you will make to our department?

      How to Answer

      Of course, you plan to make an immediate impact on the organization when they hire you! Talk to the interviewer about the contribution that you are going to make should you be the successful candidate. As an experienced professional, you know that the more tangible, the better so - if you have the time to prepare an actionable report, that is even better. Discuss what you plan to do in the first 30-90 days of being hired.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "After meeting with you, and getting to know your organization on a deeper level, I am confident that I will make a strong contribution to this years' sales goals. I understand that you have set ambitious goals for the company and I can get you there through my existing network and a strong portfolio. With a budget of $4M per year, I expect to reach that goal and exceed it by 15%, realistically."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Admin

      "Earlier in our interview, you mentioned that the precious administration lead left the digital files in disarray. My plan will including tacking this issue right away. I also plan to contribute by soaking in all of the training that I receive so I can be a solid resource to your team right away."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Manager

      "I understand that employee retention is of concern to you. With the high expense associated with hiring, training and the like, I plan to take an immediate look at your onboarding strategy and suggest changes as I see fit. In my current position, I have increased the average employee tenure by four years, and I plan to bring those same significant improvements to your organization."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Marketing

      "I have a unique background as both an agency based Marketing Director and a Professor at the local college. My mix of agency work and exposure to an educational setting will prove very helpful in training your existing marketing team and attracting new talent."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Retail

      "I feel like my experience on the customer side of this equation will help me build a strong rapport with your customers from the start. I have walked a mile in their shoes, and I do understand the dilemmas that you have described for me today. My first plan of action would be to address any outstanding customer disputes and put them to rest."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Sales

      "I have earned President's Club for six years running in my previous organization. From those efforts, I learned a great deal about building a pipeline of business, and cold calling far above the standard expectations. I will bring that same level of tenacity here and assure you that I will be a solid example to your junior associates at the same time."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Teacher

      "My years of experience as a Spanish and French teacher will bring fresh course options to your students wishing to learn a second or third language. I also have resources and connections related to the implementation of high school exchange programs which could prove beneficial to your high-achievement students."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Community Answer

      "I believe that I will bring in the transferable skills, so first, I would look at the strategy and how it aligns with our sector strategy and bring in the purpose for our employees to boost the engagement. I will also look at the standardization across different technology centers and get the best tools shared for the efficiencies. I will look for some key KPI's which can then help measure and improve across the centers."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It seems you are discussing strategy, which is good! I recommend that when you mention transferable skills, you also dive into the details of what you believe those most essential transferable skills will be.

      "I believe that I bring essential transferable skills such as...(describe). Utilizing these skills, I would first look at the strategy (what strategy?) and how it aligns with our sector strategy and bring in the purpose for our employees to boost the engagement. I will also look at the standardization across different technology centers and get the best tools shared for the efficiencies. I will look for some key KPI's which can then help measure and improve across the centers."

  • 3. How do you think your early career will help you succeed in this position?

      How to Answer

      Perhaps you started working at an early age, allowing you to learn valuable lessons sooner than most. Maybe you have held some tough jobs while putting yourself through University. Many hiring managers agree that the best employees are ones with 'grit,' who have held a 'dirty job' or two in their lives. Talk to the interviewer about your early work experience and how it will benefit you in this specific role.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "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 executive career."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Admin

      "My early career as a server taught me great work ethic, the importance of active listening, memorization, and positively shaped my communication skills. I look forward to applying these skills to this role with your company."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Manager

      "Every position that I have held has built upon the previous, in the form of bigger responsibilities and also more significant problems to solve. My first job was as a dishwasher where I thought up a system that made my dishwashing 30% faster, causing less stress on the kitchen and of course - making my job easier. As a Production Manager, I still look for ways to increase productivity."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Marketing

      "My very first job was a paper route when I was just ten years old. I would get up at 6 AM, rain or shine, and deliver my papers. My end goal was to buy a new bike for myself. I reached my goal and quit my job immediately after, funny enough. The idea of it all is that I, already at the age of 10, understood goal setting. I still set timed goals for myself on projects and am very headstrong when it comes to meeting those goals."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Retail

      "Early in my career, I was a bartender at a busy club. I had to ensure that customers were taken care of promptly, given the right amount of change, handed the correct drink order - all with a smile on my face! That lesson in multi-tasking, while maintaining a positive attitude, has remained with me all through my retail sales career. Boxing Day, Black Friday, and Door Crashers? No problem!"

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Sales

      "My first sales job was a door-to-door position selling novelty items to offices. Yes, it was as awful as it sounds. We would meet as a group, and the team lead would cram us all into the company car, drive us to a heavily saturated business park, and we would split up, going door-to-door. Most of the time I was yelled at and rejected, but then the odd sale would save my day. This position taught me grit and courage - two characteristics that I still bring to work with me every day."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Teacher

      "The most memorable early work experience that I have was the summer, between my Grade 10 and 11 years, working as a camp counselor for my church's summer camp. The kids were so out of control, and I just wanted to go home. I remember calling my dad, telling him I couldn't do it. He told me that I needed to finish what I started and that the kids were counting on me to make their week great. He was right! I made the best of it and still keep his wise words in mind, even on the toughest days as a teacher. These kids count on me to deliver my best, every day."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Community Answer

      "As I said, I learned the power of empowerment at the childhood stage while working in my father's business. I will empower all the unique hearts/minds on the team and utilize their passion for the bigger purpose. The other thing I learned was around commitment and improving productivity, which I believe is the key to be successful in any role."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good! It sounds as though you have some excellent mindset-based approaches that should benefit any team.

      "I learned the power of empowerment at a young age while working in my father's business. Taking these skills, I will empower all the unique hearts and minds of the team to utilize their passion for a bigger purpose. In my earlier career, I learned a great deal around commitment and improving productivity, which I believe is one of the most prominent keys to success in any role."

  • 4. Judging by your resume, you appear to be overqualified for this position. What would keep you here, if you were offered the position?

      How to Answer

      Sometimes, hiring an overqualified individual can mean that they will leave when a better opportunity arises. Hiring managers become especially wary of hiring over-qualified staff during times of recession or low employment rates when many people apply for jobs for which they are much too qualified. Talk to the interviewer about why this position would be satisfying for you, long-term, despite you appearing to be overqualified. Assure the interviewer that, even if you are overqualified, you will still find an opportunity to learn and grow.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 5. Do you have experience in corrective discipline and terminations?

      How to Answer

      Terminations and corrective discipline measures can be very difficult to do but, with experience, they do get more comfortable. Talk to the interviewer about the extent of your experience with terminations and discipline.

      If you do have the experience: 'I have been a part of individual terminations and group lay-offs throughout my career. I am comfortable with these types of tasks.'

      If you do not have the experience, here is an example answer: "I have not been in a position to perform terminations or hold corrective discipline meetings; however, I would be willing to perform these types of tasks with a small amount of training and research."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 2nd, 2018

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  • 6. Tell me about a significant crisis you have faced in your most recent position. How did you overcome the crisis?

      How to Answer

      Being experienced, and in a senior role means that you will face significant dilemmas in your career that could potentially affect many employees or the company as a whole.

      Some crisis you may have faced could include:

      - The bankruptcy of your organization
      - Major Layoffs
      - Significant budget cuts
      - Negative Press
      - A major product recall
      - Cybersecurity hacks
      - Natural disasters
      - Senior level misconduct

      Give an overview of the situation, ensuring that you do not breach any NDA or confidentiality agreements surrounding the issue. Highlight the part that you played in recovering from the crisis and your overall attitude and mentality through the situation.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 7. We believe there is always room to grow. Tell me about one professional qualification you would like to obtain.

      How to Answer

      No matter your level of experience, there is always an opportunity to grow and learn. Regardless of your seniority level, you can choose to become better at your job, every day. Perhaps you have industry governing associations that offer certifications and training. Your city's University may have related courses that will boost your recent knowledge, and there are a plethora of online courses available on platforms such as Udemy or Teachable. Show the interviewer that you are not too proud to continue your education, even if you are the CEO!

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 8. Being in such a prominent role, how do you balance your work requirements with your everyday life?

      How to Answer

      Many people believe that the more senior the role, the more relaxed their lives will get but we all know that isn't the case! Discuss with the interviewer how you ensure that you have a steady balance between work and life. Hiring manager's don't want to hear that you are a workaholic because that can equal burnout. Discuss how you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 9. What is your favorite book on leadership and business?

      How to Answer

      This question offers a unique opportunity for you to start a great conversation surrounding your favorite books and other resources about your industry or job title. Once you have offered up your favorite book on leadership and business, be sure to ask the interviewer for theirs in return. This question offers an opportunity to gain a new resource for yourself!

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 2nd, 2018

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  • 10. How do you react if your board or senior leadership team ask you to do something with which you do not agree?

      How to Answer

      Moral dilemmas do not disappear as you climb the ranks of an organization or your industry. In fact, they can become even more complicated. This hypothetical question is a blend of behavioral and honesty based. If you have ever been asked by your board, or senior leadership team, to take part in something that you were not comfortable with, you can use this real-life example. Be sure to avoid speaking poorly of anyone, or naming names. You want to remain professional and trustworthy.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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