How to Talk About Work Experience in a Right Way | Ideal Interview Answer
Hi all! Today we would like to continue our series of articles with the most frequently asked interview questions for various positions in IT and talk about a universal question or even an employer's request to talk about his work experience.
The fact is that we are firmly convinced that the answer to such a question should be perfect, it should not contain stupid mistakes and shortcomings in your story. What mistakes and shortcomings are we talking about? This is what we want to devote this article to.
In our articles, we like to talk about the fact that it is always necessary to prepare an answer plan for questions that come up so often, literally in every interview. And the question asking to talk about work experience is no exception. You must clearly and confidently talk about your work experience, because in fact, you are talking about your duties at the previous place of work, which means that these duties, if you performed them well, you should know by heart.
It happens that there were a lot of responsibilities at the previous place of work. This is especially normal when we talk about IT. For example, in my previous job as a technical support engineer, I had so many different tasks and responsibilities that without training I wouldn't be able to name half of what I did.
This is where a plan comes in. You can know everything by heart and speak like a true speaker, but no matter how confident you are, one unexpected question from the employer in the course of your story can ruin your story. The story turns into something incoherent and illogical. Sometimes, HR specialists specifically ask you questions during your story to look at your soft skills.
We suggest that you be prepared for such checks and questions. A plan can help you pick up where you left off, remember what you wanted to say when you were preparing, or just make your story more coherent. After all, you must admit that you cannot call a person eloquent when he jumps from the last place of work to the first, and then to the last, and then returns to the first again and ends with the last place of work. It even sounds funny.
It is not necessary to write a story about work experience in its entirety, it is enough to make a plan or even a table of key points and be sure to mention the company, the period of time you worked there, position and responsibilities. We will talk more about responsibilities later. Your plan table might look like this:
Ideal Work Experience Plan Answer
If there are no questions about the company and the position, then what responsibilities should you talk about. I have done about 100 interviews in my life and this massive experience taught me how to talk about my responsibilities in two parts.
In the first part, describe the responsibilities of the team.
My team was engaged in the technical support of our meta search engine, we ensured the correct interaction between our numerous clients and partners - hotels, interacting with the API of each of the hotels presented in our search engine (We are talking about the work of a technical support engineer for the booking.com hotel search engine). Here, firstly, you should tell about what role your team or department occupied in the whole company, what was the value of your team and what would have happened if not you and your colleagues.
In the second part, tell us about what place you occupied in your team.
In the team of technical engineers, I was primarily responsible for communication with a partner. I organized meetings with the technical team of hotels, negotiated with them about integrations into our metasearch engine, and also made business decisions on this integration, starting with the formation of documentation for API integrations and ending with which priority of the hotel in the search engine will be displayed to the user.
As a result of my work, I connected the following partners to the booking.com metasearch engine... By the way, the last partner from the list had the most difficulties. For example, we could not set up our APIs in any way, as there were difficulties in communicating with the partner's technical team, because they are primarily responsible for their hotel business, and not for the technical side of the issue. But we very quickly resolved this issue, for this we just needed a face-to-face meeting, where we told the partners how we work and how the integration of our meta search engine works.
In the second paragraph, be sure to tell us about your personal achievements in the team, about what you, and only you have achieved. HR professionals love this very much. They are also very fond of concrete examples of the difficulties that you encountered in your previous job and how you coped with them. Be sure to tell me about it. Also remember that the second part should always be larger than the first. After all, it's you who gets the job, not your entire team.
We would also like to talk about the personal attitude to the interview. We are well aware that the advice - do not worry - is very stupid. Of course, you will be worried, everyone is worried. Therefore, we will say differently - communicate at the interview on equal terms. There is absolutely the same person sitting in front of you, this person is the same employee of this company as you can potentially be, which means that you treat this conversation as a conversation with a colleague.
You will still worry. This cannot be avoided. However, in conditions of such equality and equal conditions, it will be easier for you to endure uncomfortable questions in your direction or awkward pauses in the interview. This attitude to the interview liberates, and you feel more confident.
Job Interview - The Simpsons Meme
There is another trick that I once tested on myself in an interview. It was one of my very first interviews and then the employer asked me - in school from 1 to 10, how nervous are you. This answer will help us to correctly evaluate your answers from your point of view, and not from ours. Hence, my advice - if you are very nervous, then tell the HR specialist directly - I am very nervous at 9/10, so please take this into account when deciding on my candidacy.
But you should be careful with this advice. If the atmosphere of the conversation is friendly, takes place in the format of a simple conversation and tea drinking, then this can be said, however, if you get a job as a project manager, where eloquence is 80% of success, then it’s better not to say that. Again, it all depends on the atmosphere in which communication takes place.
Today I tried to tell my methodology of how I prepare for an interview question that always occurs and for any position. My sole purpose here is to show and prove to you that a confident and properly structured answer to this question is a lot of points in your favor when deciding to hire a candidate.
The main thing in the story about work experience is to show that you perfectly delved into what you did, that you understood why you did it, for what and what your role in the company and team was. Be sure to think about the answers to these questions - this will be the best preparation for the interview.