When you walk into a professional interview, you will likely encounter a large range of questions about your abilities and your career so far. Before you go into the room, think about your greatest professional accomplishments and what skills you used. This will help prepare you in case the hiring manager asks, “What were the keys to your career advancement” The interviewer wants to know if you intuitively understand what it takes to be effective in the profession. Plus, if you can provide relevant examples, the hiring manager will have a better understanding of what you are capable of as an employee. Take this into consideration as you build a response to the question.
Points to Emphasize
Make sure you are very familiar with the job description before stepping into the room. As you respond, draw attention to how your abilities align with the demands of the position.
- Concentrate on what makes you most effective in your position.
- Focus on skills that will also help you within the context of the company’s work environment.
- Highlight moments when you resolved a major conflict or issue.
- Mention projects and tasks that are comparable to what you would expect at the company.
Always try to be positive and confident in your answer.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Sometimes, the greatest key to advancement is learning from a big mistake. However, you should focus more on your triumphs and skills.
- Avoid attributing too much success to the help of others.
- Do not draw attention to professional mishaps or mistakes.
- Avoid assuming that the hiring manager knows the details of your last position.
- Do not downplay the importance of your accomplishments.
The interviewer will be familiar with the industry, but that doesn’t mean he or she will know all the elements of your last position. As such, give a brief summary of what your responsibilities were if you think it is relevant.
Here is an example of a good answer to the question regarding the keys to your personal professional advancement:
In the financial investment field, I would say constantly developing your intuitive understanding of the market is absolutely imperative. In school, you learn how the structure is built and how it moves, but with experience, you can start to predict it. For instance, I used to have many occasions where I had an impulse I couldn’t explain. Now, I can explain what minute details drive the market.
Remember, you should sell yourself and your knowledge. Leave the interviewer with the impression that you are the best candidate for the position.