There are many questions employers may ask in an interview, ranging from behavioral-based questions to competency-based questions.
However, none is more important than questions about your previous experience and how it will benefit you in the role you are going for.
When answering a question like, ‘How is your previous experience relevant to this role?’, you must show a clear understanding of the role you are looking to fill and have an idea of how you can benefit the company if hired.
Interviewers ask about previous experiences to see if you have the competencies and necessary skill set to fulfill the requirements of the role.
Answering or speaking effectively about your previous experiences can be a bit challenging but preparing for an answer before the time of the interview can be helpful.
Remember, the goal is to impress your interviewer. We would be discussing and providing tips on how to answer questions relating to the relevance of your past experience to the role you are applying for but first, let’s look at why this question is asked.
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Why Do Employers Ask How Your Previous Experience Is Relevant To A Role
Employers usually ask this question to get a better understanding of your professional background and the type of skills you offer as a candidate.
These factors are vital in evaluating your ability to perform a role successfully and provide value to the establishment.
Read also: How to Overcome Objections in an Interview
When you provide details of your previous experiences, employers can assess whether your current qualifications have prepared you to meet expectations and match the requirements of the role you are looking to fill.
It is also worthy to note that interviewers may ask this question in different variations depending on the formality of the conversation and the flow of the interview.
Even though the question may come in variations, the goal of asking this question remains the same. Below are some alternatives you may encounter in an interview:
- Tell me about your experiences in similar roles.
- Describe your related work experience
- Do you think your experience is a good fit for this position?
- Has your previous experience prepared you for this role?
- Why are you qualified for this position?
How To Answer ‘How Is Your Previous Experience Relevant To This Role?’
To answer this question effectively, there are a few strategies you should take to optimize your response. Here are some steps to guide you;
One of the major reasons employers ask this question is to evaluate your existing skill set. You can respond by outlining the skills you developed through your experiences.
Endeavor to make relevant connections about how these skills apply to the role for which you’re interviewing.
Read also: How Long Do Job Interviews Last?
2. Minimize The Differences Between A New Role And Your Previous Experiences
The primary purpose of answering this question is to show your employers how your experience has prepared you to excel in a new role.
When answering, do well to keep contrasts between your previous experiences and the new role you are looking to fill to a minimum. Instead, try to align them by stating similarities.
3. Describe Your Achievements Using Quantitative Metrics
While telling your interviewers about your former role, mention the achievements you have made as a professional.
Describe these successes using quantitative metrics like statistics and numerical data.
Using quantitative metrics tends to be more engaging and can help your employers have a better understanding of your competency and skills to facilitate their expectations for a particular role.
4. Be Specific When Stating Your Accomplishments
Being particular with examples of your accomplishments as a professional can help your interviewers better understand the value you offer.
You can use this strategy to create an opportunity to explain how your experiences prepared you to succeed in a new role.
5. Let Them See Your Growth Trajectory And Career Goals
To round up your response, mention your growth trajectory and the career goals you have for yourself; it can work in your favor. This action shows commitment to your field and that you have been intentional about your career.
Sample Answers About Your Previous Experience
“In my most recent role as a content writer, I was able to develop an advanced skill set in content management and search engine optimization (SEO).
I worked with a diverse array of clients and used these skills to help them grow their online traffic. I believe I can apply these skills directly to the role of content supervisor to help your company succeed in meeting clients’ expectations.”
“Over the past five years that I’ve served as a teacher, I took the initiative to revamp our curriculum so our students could overcome learning barriers and exceed the standards we set out for them.
Two years after implementing the new curriculum, I performed an analysis and found that our students’ test scores improved by a 64% margin with an average score that placed them well above competing schools.”
“I worked as a daycare assistant at a childcare facility during my sophomore year of college. From that point on, I knew I wanted to become an early childhood educator.
I focused my education to help me accomplish this goal and for the past few years I’ve been preparing by working as a teaching assistant at a local preschool.”
Preparing for an upcoming interview can be stressful and tasking but it always pays off in the end when you use the right tools.
Do well to review sample questions relating to your job experience. Has this article been helpful? Kindly share and drop your comments below.