This is the time to discuss the talent you offer, and employers want to see that you know yourself and work within your strengths. Jump right in offering your key strength! Maybe you are really good at mingling with large groups of people, speaking in front of large crowds, building connections with employees, or getting a challenging team member to see eye-to-eye with you. Next, talk about how you use this strength in the workplace! Maybe you use networking skills to build rapport with the organization at community engagements. Perhaps you have received excellent reviews for your training sessions due to your knack for building relationships with your staff. Whatever your strength may be, link it back to how it positively impacts the company.
"My strengths as a trainer are really around tailoring large amounts of information into a fun, learning experience and using multiple delivery methods to make it a collaborative and engaging process for my audiences. This comes in handy when preparing sessions and improving upon them. I have great fun building relationships along the way."
Confidence is key! Interviewers love hearing that you are confident and also open to constructive feedback. Tell the interviewer your confidence level while giving presentations, and share how comfortable you are speaking in front of groups of people.
"As a Training Specialist, this is my niche, and I often receive feedback that indicates my success in presenting information. As any great leader serious about their development, I am open to constructive feedback and have accepted it in the past. It is important to have fun with your work!"
The interviewer would like to know more about what drives you to be in this line of work. When answering this question you can absolutely incorporate a personal story. You could also talk about what inspired you to become a training specialist in the first place.
"When I was in my first career, I personally had a tough time with learning my role. I had a training specialist who would take additional time out of her day to help me. She made sure I didn't fall behind. When I looked back, years later, and realized how important her role was in my career success it really inspired me to follow the same career path. I want to be a training specialist because I understand the importance of making a difference in someone's professional life. And, I am really good at it because I genuinely care."
Think about a time you successfully trained, mentored, or coached someone. What made that time so rewarding? Begin by sharing your training experience providing a high-level overview of who you were training and what subject you were providing training on. Was it a training for a group? Or, was it a training for an individual? Then, share what made it so rewarding causing it to be such an enjoyable experience! Finally, share any roadblocks or challenges you faced along the way as well as how you overcame them.
"As a trainer, I train my coworkers all of the time and find the process very rewarding. I enjoy the process of taking a blank space and filling it with meaningful content that makes people be better at their jobs. There are often challenges to the process but our ability to embrace them quickly determines a large part of our success."
There are so many reasons! And, interviewers simply want to hear that you understand how your role as a Training Specialist fits in with the bigger puzzle of the organization.
"Training creates efficiencies in the workplace and develops mentors to continue your work while sharpening their own development. A focus on training creates a pipeline of talent for backfilling open positions and it helps to create more cohesive teams! It is everything!"
As a Training Specialist, there will be times when your training courses don't live up to your expectations, and interviewers want to hear that you learn and grow from these experiences. Go ahead and share a training course that didn't live up to your expectations. Describe who you were training as well as the training topic. Next, share why you were disappointed with the outcome, what caused the disappointment, and most importantly, what you learned from the situation. Finally, share what you would do differently the next time to lead to greater happiness with the outcome of the course.
"We recently launched a new program that had a training course developed already with it. Not realizing, we delivered the content to the organization and then came to understand it did not really meet the needs of our associates. The information was broad and did not include specific deep dives that were necessary for our team to fully understand the new program. We had to switch gears to reinvent the training and relaunch our efforts. Testing these things in advance will prevent them from happening on the scale it did."
The interviewer wants to learn more about your training style and methodologies. Everyone's approach will vary a bit, and that is okay! The interviewer simply wants to hear that your approach makes sense. Go ahead and share how you prepare a training course. How do you determine how to present your materials? What steps do you take to plan the training? What tools do you use to conduct research? And, how do you ensure your training is geared towards your audiences' level of learning?
"First we identify the need for the course. Then, we decide how we want to deliver the information and in using what medium. I depend greatly on the people doing the role to help me develop the content and we are always fine-tuning it along the way."
Do you have a unique approach to your training? Do you utilize a common style? Are you energetic or more reserved? Do you like to do most of the talking, or do you like to have group interaction? Do you enjoy lecture style, or do you prefer group activities? Do you have a motto that defines your training? Are there common technologies that you like to utilize in your training? Go ahead and share your training style! Feel free to ask friends and colleagues to help you define your style too. Sometimes, your co-workers and friends know your style better than you!
"I would describe my training and leadership style as fair, demanding and supportive. I value creating a learning environment that is engaging and collaborative, but also takes the role of training seriously."
Being a successful Trainer is important, and interviewers want to hear that it is easy for you to think of a successful training program you have developed. Think about a training session when you left feeling fantastic about the session! This makes a perfect example! Share what type of training program you developed, who you presented the training too, and what made that session so successful.
"I am super proud of a company leadership development program I put in place. It was designed to teach people business and give them a broader understanding of why their roles are so important to the next person in the company."
Simply provide your perspective on training and development.
"Training is teaching a specific skill, process, or knowledge base. Development is a broader expansion typically learning more in-depth application or working on personal professional growth. Training tends to be more short-term focused while development tends to be more long-term focused. Both are critical components of our overall success as professionals."
Through assessments and comprehension testing! There are all sorts of ways to assess an employee's performance and understanding of course content. Simply share 2-3 common tools or ways that you like to assess performance. Perhaps you utilize a team trivia game to see how employees are picking up on the material. Maybe you like to send out a survey following your training sessions. Whatever works best for you, simply share it with the interviewer.
"In my current organization, we partner with leaders in the performance management process to assess their performance and potential for future growth. This is based on a number of factors around KPIs and soft skills/development. It is a process that is taken seriously and give much thought along the way."
Absolutely! The interviewer needs to hear that you can handle a little pressure. Simply tell the interviewer that you are accustomed to meeting deadlines, having a busy workload, and working under pressure. Be sure to mention that you never let the pressure get the best of you, and you know how to delegate work to the right people to help you manage your workload.
"Pressure is where my best work kicks into overdrive and I shine. There are many pressures in training and development of an organization. I have learned over the years to embrace these moments and take them as opportunities to shine with my best work."
The interviewer is gaining an understanding of what type of training you will need when you start in the role. Provide the interviewer with an overview of your highest level of completed education including where you attended school and what degree you received. If you have attended any recent training seminars or conferences that are directly applicable, feel free to talk about those too! Next, share 2-3 key takeaways from your education. You might talk about your education preparing you to multi-task and manage a busy workload. You may discuss your education preparing you with different training methodologies. You might even mention that your education helped prepare you for complex team projects. Next, share that your education has provided you with a good foundation, and you understand there will still be things to learn once you are on the job. Be sure to mention that you look forward to learning all that you can!
"I have a BA in Communications and an MBA in business management. Both have prepared me for communicating information in a business setting. I am currently taking a course that infuses technology into the process, which is very exciting!"
Interviewers want to hear that you have control over your classroom while still creating a fun learning environment. Additionally, they enjoy hearing that you ensure your students are held to high-quality learning standards. A great approach is sharing your typical style (strict or more relaxed). Then, share that you ensure you always have control over your classroom through gaining the respect of your students. The learning environment should always stay orderly. Next, share that you always want to ensure the learning environment is fun while staying productive. Finally, be sure to mention that it is your responsibility to ensure your class is meeting high-quality standards to keep the company at a high-performance rating, and this style (strict or more relaxed) allows you to do this.
"I think it is to everyone's benefit for a trainer to bring structure in their leadership style to training. When you hold people accountable for learning early in their employment and often along the way, you naturally create a culture where development is the norm."
Every training specialist will have their own approach. The interviewing team simply wants to hear that you have a plan that is logical and well thought through. Go ahead and share how you would approach the preparation of a training manual for a department. Do you talk with members of the team or supervisors to determine what content should be included? How often does the manual get updated? Do you keep it electronically? Do you include a lot of graphics and charts?
"People are your greatest asset and I utilize them in the process of preparing a training manual for a department. People don't know what they know and it is my role to work with them to extract data around work processes and procedures that relate to the way the department operates on a daily basis."
Now is the time to make your requests known! Odds are, the interviewer will make extra effort to ensure the tools are available to you if you are selected for the role. We recommend listing absolute essentials as well as mentioning some nice-to-haves. You might consider supplies, game/activity equipment, computers, as well as software and presentation boards.
"Training is the tool that equips people for success. I often utilize computer-driven online learning and engaging training supplies in each of my classes. We take it one step further and share social experiences of the training process on our corporate intranet and internal social network."
The interviewer wants to hear the one unique thing that sets you apart from every other candidate who has applied for this position. Talking about ourselves in this way can be challenging. We recommend reaching out to a few colleagues, family members, and friends. Ask them for their opinion. You'll probably be surprised at the consistency in their responses! Their answers will give you the response to the question. Tell the interviewer what sets you apart, and explain how your colleagues, family members, and friends have encouraged you with your gift in this area.
"I am skilled and well versed in multiple learning and development techniques. I have the experience to bring to your organization and am willing to give everything I have to offer to ensure your business's training is flawless."
The interviewer is trying to gain a better understanding of your experiences. Begin by sharing where you have worked in a training capacity, your job title, and typical training you offered. Mention how many people were on the training team, and share how long you were employed there. As an added bonus, mention one thing that you really enjoyed about each role. It will open doors for the interviewer to see your passion for the field!
"Early in my career, I had a great trainer teach me how to do my job. They took the approach of 'training the trainer'. It shaped my career in the direction of training. I spent the past 5 years as a training coordinator. In all non-training roles I have held, I have always taken the initiative to drive training related projects that better benefit the overall organization."
The interviewer wants to ensure your greatest weakness is not a vital part of this job. Pick one of your weaknesses that is not a necessity for the role. Be candid and humble in your answer recognizing that you really aren't great at something and acknowledging your need to improve. Be sure you have an action plan in place for improving on this weakness too. Perhaps you are watching videos about the weakness, reading the latest-and-greatest book on the subject, or maybe you are taking a seminar at a nearby community center in the near future. We are all human and all have weaknesses, so don't be afraid to share yours!
"One of my greatest weaknesses, or blindspots, is I often get very excited about multiple projects at any one given time. This becomes an issue when managing multiple project groups and bandwidth. I rely heavily on my team to keep me on track with the most pressing projects before moving on to working on projects that are less pressing and instrumental for the business."
The interviewer wants to hear that you think about your schedule before just jumping into it. It is good to start off with mentioning how you always keep your calendar up to date, your email inbox organized, or your trusty to-do list right next to you. This will show the interviewer that you always know what is on the docket. Then, jump into how you identify that top priority! Perhaps you spend 10 minutes each Monday morning identifying which items have deadlines that week. Maybe you start each day off by categorizing each item with a 1, 2, or 3 explaining that a 1 is for urgent items/emergencies, a 2 is for promises you made to do something that day or deadlines that are looming, and a 3 is for things that could wait until tomorrow.
"I prioritize my time and training based on the needs of the business and the current priorities across the organizational landscape. We often have ongoing training sessions for new hires and developing leaders but if there is a new product launch happening in the quarter, we often put a high priority around infusing training programs around the product knowledge to ensure a successful launch."
Odds are - it depends on how big of a decision it is!
"I make small decisions quickly every day. For example, deciding what outfit to wear, what breakfast cereal I want to eat, or what time I want to leave my house each morning. Other decisions take a few minutes of thought such as putting my to-do list into a logical order for the day. I need to take into account project deadlines and how long the project will take to complete. And, some decisions take a few days, weeks, or months to make. For example, if I am tasked with selecting a new training software, I will need time to review demos, talk to other customers of the product, and analyze our budget before making a decision. It just depends on how large the decision is!"
Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They also may handle human resources work in a variety of other areas, such as employee relations, payroll and benefits, and training.