When you go into a room for a professional job interview, you should be prepared to answer a broad range of questions from the unexpected to the mundane. The hiring manager wants to learn as much as possible about you, so he or she may ask, “How did you learn these skills” If the interviewer poses this question, you’ve probably already had the chance to talk about your relevant skills. Now, the hiring manager wants to gain insight into how you learn from others and your experiences. For instance, do you take smarter risks in the aftermath of a mistake Are you observant enough to pick up industry nuances from interactions with your coworkers
Points to Emphasize
With this response, you really want to show how you learn from any situation as well as your dedication to professional growth. Talk about your most relevant skills and proficiencies.
- Mention any influential mentors or supervisors from past work experiences.
- Focus on any team-oriented situations that were particularly instructive.
- Concentrate on the positive outcomes of job-related obstacles and challenges.
- Emphasize situations that are comparable to what you might encounter in the new position.
You might have learned the most from your professional mistakes, but focus more on positive experiences and outcomes. Try to display how you are currently ready for the position.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
There is not a wrong answer to this question, but there are still some mistakes you should avoid as you put together a professional response. Keep these tips in mind when you are constructing your reply:
- Avoid anecdotes about personal mistakes or mishaps.
- Do not talk about situations or skills that are irrelevant to the company or position.
- Avoid placing all responsibility for your professional growth on other individuals.
- Do not draw attention to unprofessional experiences or environments.
Hiring managers admire confidence and enthusiasm so take care to incorporate both into the way you respond.
Here is an example of a good answer to the question of how you acquired your skill set:
As an accountant, my internships were extremely instructive. My supervisor for my second internship took care to show my colleagues and me how to stay organized and manage our time efficiently. However on the job, I learned a variety of helpful tips and tricks from my various team members as we resolved issues together.
Remember, this question is an opportunity to imply that your ability to learn and grow will be an asset to the company. As such, tailor your response to convey these positive attributes to the interviewer.