500 Questions: About Your Skills, Part One

How well can you multi-task?

The interviewer wants to know if you can manage multiple projects at the same time. Draw on previous experience that demonstrates your ability and strengths in this area. Describe your professional character, including thoroughness, diligence, and accountability. Demonstrate how you gather resources, use time-management techniques and go the extra mile.

Do you have any experience with budgeting?

The interviewer will want to know that you can handle the budgeting aspect of the job. Show that you can, and at the same time maintain a positive relationship within your department.

How much experience have you had with computers?

In today’s business world, you need to have computer skills. Describe what computers and what software you are familiar with. Hint at your knowledge of the Internet. If you are not computer literate, but are applying for a position that requires computer skills, be prepared and willing to mention your enthusiasm for attending any classes or training.

Describe a situation in which you’ve applied your skills to solve a problem.

Quickly define the problem for the interviewer, then focus on how your skills enabled you to tackle it. Explain what actions you were able to take and what was the outcome.

What would your colleagues tell me about your attention to detail?

Here the interviewer is interested in the candidate’s dependability and follow-through. Are you responsible? Have you contributed productively to a team effort without getting caught up in unnecessary detail? Do you use your time efficiently? If you do, mention specific praise given by one of your peers.

What unique benefit do you bring to our company?

Address this question by describing what value you could be expected to bring to the position are applying for. Consider your unique abilities and how they best apply to this position. Align your answer to the qualifications needed to the position for which you are applying. Emphasize your ability to add “true value” (beyond what is expected) to the job with your unique abilities.

Give me an example of how you saw a project through, despite obstacles.

Demonstrate how you gather resources and foresee and manage obstacles. Focus your answer on the solution and execution, not on the obstacles themselves.

Describe your ability to solve problems in the workplace. What would you do with problems you couldn’t solve?

Describe your accountability, professional project responsibility, and work history. Show the interviewer that you react well with different types of people and situations. If you have worked on a team project in a previous job, talk about the experience and what skills you have gained.

What new skills or ideas do you bring to the job that other candidates aren’t likely to offer?

This question addresses the candidates’ motivation for adding “true value” to the job. If you are running neck and neck with another candidate, your ability to prove that you offer what they need, and then some, could land you the job.