Experience questions are asked at job interviews to try to predict your future behavior patterns and determine if you’ll fit in at an organization. Here’s how to prepare your answers to past experience interview questions.
Job Interview Answers for Experience Questions
This article lists 16 types of experience questions asked in interviews and provides a detailed answering format for ‘What was the last project you led, and what was its outcome?‘
Answers To Experience Questions About The Past Predict Future Behaviour and Decision-Making
Past experiences show interviewers how you behave. These questions are referred to as behavioural questions. These job interview questions are based on the idea that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour.
How to Answer Past Experience Questions
Past experience interview questions should be answered by using what your mamma gave you – good common sense! Prepare your answers and practice them until you can say them naturally. You need to feel the words inside of you, then you will sound natural. Show your humanity, dignity, humility and logical thought processes.
Think about your answers carefully and even though you plan, don’t make it sound as if you’re giving a canned response! Sound natural, relaxed and chatty. Many questions unpack your level of experience and maturity; answer honestly.
Prepare for interview experience questions about previous jobs
Practice answers to the following job interview experience questions:
1. What was the last project you led, and what was its outcome?
- give a positive example and know that they will likely immediately ask for an example of where things went wrong and how you handled it.
2. Give an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.
- they want to hear how you believed in something so much you were prepared to do whatever it took or about how you offered unconditional support to your boss/colleague.
3. Can you describe a time when your work was criticized?
- They want to hear how you used criticism constructively to reflect on your actions.
- They want to hear that you handle situations maturely even if you disagree, but that you also have conviction and won’t do something you feel compromises you.
4. Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it?
- No whining! Explain how you offer motivation and leadership
5. Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?
- Describe kindness, compassion and the willingness to listen
6. What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?
- Personal or professional, your story should illustrate how you persevered after the failure and managed the situation to achieve a positive space
7. How do you handle working with people who annoy you?
- Show that you’re not reactionary to every situation but that you can step back and see the bigger picture, after all, that annoying person could be you or maybe your rock when you’re under pressure.
8. If I were your supervisor and asked you to do something that you disagreed with, what would you do?
- If it conforms to company policy you’ll surely suck it up! 🙂 If not, you’ll illustrate how you would diplomatically decline.
- They want to know you’re a team player and won’t disagree because it’s ‘not in the job description
Don’t forget, these interview questions assess your past experience and skills.
9. What was the most difficult period in your life, and how did you deal with it?
- Personal or professional, select a story that says something about your inner strength. They want to know that you know how to dig deep within yourself and find strength when times are tough. This is something that builds your compassion towards others.
10. Give an example of a time you did something wrong. How did you handle it?
- Everyone screws up sometimes. Keep this story professional, don’t tell about that time you cheated on your partner! Show how you owned up to it and made it right.
11. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with conflict on the job.
- Tell a story of how you turned a hostile situation into a win-win one.
- Don’t sound like a saint, describe something negative you learned about yourself.
12. If you were at a business lunch and you ordered a rare steak and they brought it to you well done, what would you do?
- Show an ability to judge the situation and to compromise for the sake of business efficiency.
13. If you found out your company was doing something against the law, like fraud, what would you do?
- Your answer should illustrate your ability to be diplomatic and to follow company policy – assuming the policy does not support criminal intent!
14. What assignment was too difficult for you, and how did you resolve the issue?
- they want to know how you dealt with the challenge constructively and didn’t just wimp out.
- they want to know that you started learning new skills in order to avoid being disadvantaged in the future.
15. What’s the most difficult decision you’ve made in the last two years and how did you come to that decision?
- they want to know how you weighed up the pros and cons in order to act decisively.
16. Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.
- Show you’re the kind of person who can get the support of others and rope them in, work late etc.
- Have a quick chat with the supervisor and rank them in terms of priority, then give it your best shot.
How to Give The Best Answers to Questions About Experience At Interviews
Use the STAR approach to answer experience questions
Answering experience questions effectively
The STAR method is a structured approach to answering experience questions. The STAR method stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. By following this method, you can provide a clear and structured response to behavioural interview questions.
‘What was the last project you led, and what was its outcome?’ answer using the STAR method:
In my previous job, I was given the opportunity to lead a project to revamp our company’s customer service program.
The goal of the project was to improve the overall customer experience by implementing new strategies to address common complaints and issues. The project team consisted of five members, including myself, and we had a deadline of six months to complete the project.
To achieve this goal, I first conducted research and analysis to identify the main issues customers were facing. Then, I developed a comprehensive plan that included training for customer service representatives, new feedback systems, and a revised escalation process for handling customer complaints. I communicated this plan to my team and ensured that everyone understood their roles and responsibilities.
Throughout the project, I held regular meetings to monitor progress and provide support to my team. I also maintained open communication with our stakeholders to ensure that the project was aligned with their goals and expectations.
As a result of our efforts, the customer service program saw significant improvements in customer satisfaction ratings, and we were able to reduce the number of customer complaints by 20%. Our team was recognized for our success by upper management and received a bonus for our contribution to the company’s overall success.
By using the STAR method, you can clearly articulate the situation, task, action, and result of the project you led, showcase an ability to manage a team, problem-solve, and achieve goals.