If you’ve already managed to secure that interview, then you’re one step closer to getting the job you’re after. The important thing is to be prepared to leverage your experience in a job interview, so you can prove you’re the right person for the job.
Even if you haven’t worked in a similar role before, there will be a transferable experience you can work into scenarios and relate to the skills and strengths the job requires. Employers will appreciate that you’ve taken the time to think about this in detail and this can go a long way.
Here are eight effective ways to leverage your experience in a job interview.
1. Research the industry and company
An interviewer may ask as to how you see his company’s position in its industry, who its competitors are, what its competitive advantages are, and how the company should proceed. As a result, don’t try to research a dozen different industries in detail. Instead, focus your job search on a few industries, and this helps you to leverage your experience.
2. Set professional goals
Ask help from a manager in developing goals that maximize your strengths. Discuss these strengths with your supervisor, and focus on strategies that will help you improve and be more productive at work. Take the time to address these goals throughout the year rather than simply at the end of the year.
As you continue to use your strengths to achieve your professional goals, solicit feedback. No matter what position you play in the company, it is important to focus on your strengths.
3. Prepare scenario questions
Scenario questions are very typical in a job interview. Study the job description and look at the examples of tasks. If the job role is varied, you may be asked to provide a scenario where you’ve had to prioritize different tasks and conflicting demands, for example. Prepare detailed examples of these types of scenarios and include plenty of relevant information. If you’re using experience from a role that’s different from the one you’re applying for, make sure you clearly explain the situation.
4. Talk about specific knowledge and training
You can also leverage your education and training and use specific examples from these. If you’re applying to work in a ministerial position, for instance, you could reference your experiences studying at an online ministry college. Aim to showcase any specialist knowledge that’s relevant to the role and backup this up with detailed examples.
5. Come up with examples that show particular strengths
You may also be asked strength-based questions. These are to determine whether you have the right personal characteristics for the role. For instance, if the person specification requires someone who’s good at working under pressure, prepare an example of your experience that shows this. Other typical strengths may include accountability, reliability, and helping others.
6. Show evidence of your strengths
Identify the strengths that you use the most in your current job. Identify which behaviors and beliefs enable you to apply these skills to your advantage. Then, consider what evidence you could provide that shows your strengths in the workplace. Plan to generate more successful outcomes once you’ve identified how your strengths positively impact your job.
7. Research the company culture
Go beyond the job description itself and research the company culture. This will help you come up with examples of your experience that will show how you would fit in with this. It’s good to take initiative and show that you’ve researched the company by referencing their mission statement and values in your answers. It’s worth researching any recent humanitarian work the company has been involved in or other business collaborations. You may also want to look into their competitors.
8. Prepare relevant questions to ask
At the end of the interview, you’ll be given the opportunity to ask questions. Plan one or two that will directly relate to your experience and how you want to progress in this area. If you have experience in marketing, for example, you could ask about any new marketing initiatives. Ask about professional development opportunities as well. If you forget any questions you can always ask them in a follow-up email.
It’s essential to be prepared to leverage your experience in different ways in an interview to ensure you stand out as a suitable candidate.
Tips for leveraging your strengths
Here are some ideas to help you leverage your experience strengths at work:
1.Focus on you
Comparing yourself to others may not be an effective method of identifying and utilizing your own strengths. Instead, use self-reflection to determine how to best apply your unique gifts and talents.
2.Think about hard and soft skills
When determining your strengths, keep in mind that soft skills are as important as hard skills. As you analyze your abilities, try to identify a mix of both.
3.Fill in your strength gaps
Surround yourself with people who have strengths that differ from yours. This is especially important if you are in charge of leading a team. Leaders do not need to be strong in every skill; instead, they must identify their own gaps and bring members into the team who can benefit the group.
4.Define your core values
Reflecting on your deeply held beliefs will assist you in determining the foundation on which you can build your strengths.
Review your resume and consider each job position you’ve held and how you used your strengths to overcome problems and make the companies you worked for better places. You must be aware of and understand your own strengths in positioned to focus on them during a job interview.