Handling Frequently Asked Interview Questions

When you walk into the room for a professional interview, you can expect to be asked a broad range of questions from the simply odd to standard behavioral queries. Answering these questions well means preparing yourself before hand. First, you should be as familiar as possible with the position. What are the qualifications? What are the basic requirements for the job? Before introducing yourself to the hiring manager, you should know these basic pieces of information so that you can better gauge why each question is posed.

Next, research the company. Is it a large enterprise? Do supervisors usually promote from within? Is it a for-profit business? What is the overall mission of the organization? More often than not, a positive work environment involves a group of employees that work well together. As such, the hiring manager needs to see if you are likely to respond positively to the company’s established atmosphere. You will be able to give more satisfactory replies if you understand what is needed from you as a company member.

Lastly, what is the current state of your industry? How does your company fit into the industry? You may have training and work experience that applies to a broad range of positions and industries. However, a Human Resources department in a corporate setting is likely to deal with very different issues than a construction company’s HR unit. Should the hiring manager present you with a scenario, you will be more prepared to answer the questions if you are already aware of common industry practices and issues.

How Much Training Do You Think You’ll Need to Become a Productive Employee?

The trick to answering the “How much training do you think you’ll need to become a productive employee?” is identifying the keyword: productive. Without a doubt, the hiring manager wants to offer the job to someone who will be effective and do great work for the company. Of course, the interviewer wants to make a sound investment in a candidate that is prepared to serve the enterprise immediately and in the future.

Before you can satisfactorily answer the question, you will need to think about your own experience and how difficult the position will be. If you have years of experience in a similar job, you will be more likely to dive right into the company environment and be productive quickly. Think over these questions as you prepare a response for this query:

  • Are there any skills you need to develop and work on before you can be effective in the new company’s structure?

  • Are there any similarities between this position and your last job?

  • Does the company have a system of operation that you are not used to?

  • How long do you think it will take to learn the enterprise’s procedures and methods?

    • Do you adapt to new environments quickly?
    • Have you received similar training before?

    Answering the Question of Training and Productivity

    When you encounter this question of training, you want to be honest in your response. If you get the job and take twice as long to adapt to the company’s methods, your supervisor will notice that you were not truthful in your interview. This creates a negative impression, which is not a great way to start your career with that enterprise. Especially if you plan to advance within the business, focus on giving an honest response.

    You’re instinct will probably be to state that you can be productive immediately. In some positions, that frankly might not be true. Even in simple fast food jobs, you will have a day or two where you are simply watching what others do and learning how to do those tasks on your own. Your hiring manager will already know how much training you will receive, so don’t imply that you will be immediately effective if you know that you are looking at a few weeks of orientation.

    When you respond, you should present a persona of calm confidence. If you feel that you will be immediately productive and valuable to the company, say so. Hiring managers are not only drawn to positive attitudes, but they also admire individuals who are self-assured. If you want the job offer, believe that you deserve it. This belief will be made apparent in your body language and more than likely, reflected in your speech.

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