7 Experience Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)
Updated 31 October 2023
A job interview gives you an opportunity to show your educational qualifications, skill set, motivation for the job and previous work experience to potential employers. Often, a hiring manager asks questions about your previous work experience to envision you in a specific role and decide whether you fit the organisation's culture. If you have an upcoming interview, practising different experience interview questions can help you feel more confident during the actual interview. In this article, we outline some commonly asked interview questions about experience, explain how to answer them and share sample answers to help you prepare for your interview.
Experience Interview Questions With Sample Answers
A hiring manager might ask various experience interview questions to evaluate your technical skills and understand if your experience is suitable for the job. Here are a few questions and their sample answers to help you prepare for an interview:
1. Tell me about a criticism you received at your previous job.
An employer might ask this experience-related question to understand how you receive feedback on your completed work. It also gives them some details about your weaknesses. When answering this question, acknowledge the criticism you faced. It also helps to show that you can accept your mistakes. When answering this question, show the plan you made to fix your mistake.
Example: “In my previous job role, while I met all my project deadlines, my team lead criticised me for finishing the project on the same day it was due. This made things overly complicated for other departments. To rectify this fault, I started using a to-do list and a digital planner to finish every project two days before the due date. It helped me improve my productivity and strengthened my time management skills.”
2. Tell me about a time when you made tough decisions in your previous job
Employers ask this question to understand how skilled you are at resolving workplace conflicts. Your answer can reflect your ability to stay calm and take decisions in the company's best interest. When answering, be honest and explain what happened and how your experience helped you handle the situation.
Example: “I was working on a product launch of an air purifier, and the company moved the deadline because they wanted to release their product before their competitors. Our testing continued to show that food was burning as soon as the heating element was touching 200 degrees Celsius, and we could not determine why. I was worried about the competitor releasing their product before ours. So, I informed my project manager about the situation, and he allocated additional funds for testing, and ultimately, we could solve the problem before the launch.”
3. What experience do you have that relates to this job role?
This question is a more specific experience question. Most employers ask this question to understand how your experience can help you perform your work-related duties. In your answer, list your experiences with the job description. You can even give details about a part-time position or internship you have completed.
Example: “I have been working as an executive assistant with Subhra Private Limited for six years. As the current executive assistant to the CFO, I perform calendar management, assemble research reports or coordinate international travel for two offices. Last year, I created an email filtering system that enhanced office communication by 35% and reduced missed messages by 67%. I understand that this role requires meticulous planning and organisation. I want to use my experience and superior organisation abilities to achieve a faster communication process in the office.”
4. What did you like least about your previous job role?
This question gives the hiring manager an opportunity to know what type of work you like and helps them decide whether you are a good fit for the job role. Your answer can help the managers determine the level of your experience and the range of your soft skills. When answering this question, avoid blaming your previous employer.
Example: “While I enjoyed working in my previous company, there were scenarios where the work did not give me the chance to learn new things and expand my skill set. I could not use my skills to my full potential, resulting in demotivation. I wanted to focus on my professional and personal growth. Currently, I am seeking an opportunity in your company because you offer professional development training and seminars. I am eager to take part in the effective communication courses being offered.”
5. Describe your leadership experience in the previous role.
A hiring manager enquires about your leadership experience to know how well you can direct or manage your team members. When answering experience questions related to leadership, show that you have the desired skills to help a company achieve its goals and objectives. Hiring managers want to know how well you can lead other people.
Example: “In my role as a senior sales manager at Reyansh Investment Firm, I had to increase the size of the investment portfolio from one quarter to another. Using my six years of experience, I identified methods to help the firm attract new customers and increase the investment size. I developed a presentation highlighting the tactics that the sales team can use. During the presentation, I encouraged team members to share their thoughts and ideas on increasing the investment portfolio. In the next quarter, the investment portfolios size increased by 25%.”
6. How have you grown your skill set in your last role and how would you use that in your new role?
This question helps hiring managers understand a few things about you and your work ethic. It gives them insight into your ability to learn from experiences, triumphs and challenges. When providing an answer, highlight how you mastered the skills through experience and how your accomplishments can help you in this new position.
Example: “My last role improved my copywriting, editing, organisation and planning skills. Moving from an intern copywriter to a journalist, I created interesting news pieces. This helped me use various writing techniques to create stories for a leading newspaper. I am now adept at creating shorter stories, and I can now organise my work to meet stringent deadlines. The last role helped me take better notes, and I can use these skills for interviewing people. I am confident that my skill set would help me excel in the role of a senior journalist."
7. Have you managed an important project in your previous role? How did you prepare for it?
Employers can ask situational questions to understand your previous work experience. Asking about past projects helps employers understand your ability to work on critical projects. This can help you understand how you address unexpected timelines and meet the project's deadline. It also helps the hiring manager know your approach towards accomplishing a project.
Example: “Throughout my career, I worked on important projects. When I was working with MM marketing, I handled their biggest client. The client wanted an attractive multilevel marketing campaign to promote their upcoming product line. I started by delegating the task to each team member based on their skills. We developed a robust campaign for their social media campaign. I effectively collaborated with the entire team to develop, create and produce promotional content and material. The campaign successfully reached over 2,00,000 people through social media and 2,50,000 through other outlets.”
Tips For Answering Experience Interview Questions
Here are a few tips for answering questions about work experience:
Practise speaking your answers loudly: After selecting which parts of your experience you want to share, try practising your answers aloud. This can help to build your confidence and make sure that you provide enough information to impress the hiring manager.
Say more than a yes or no: While some questions about your experience might require a simple yes or no, provide more insights about your experience. For instance, if the manager asks you whether you have experience using a project management tool, rather than saying yes, give details about how you used the tool in your previous job role.
Prepare alternative responses: It is important to prepare alternative responses if the manager asks about another aspect of your experience. Know the experience section of your resume and be ready to discuss anything mentioned there.
Be honest in your answers: Be honest about your past job experience during your interview. Rather than exaggerating the situation, state the exact process you followed to solve a workplace problem or situation.
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