How To Answer “What Did You Learn From Your Previous Job?”

Grasping what you have achieved from your previous employment can be a great help for an interviewer to know what you have to offer to this company. Hence, it is normal for them to ask “What have you learned from your previous job.”

It is essential to understand that you are not being questioned about what you did at your last job. Rather, you are being asked about what are the skills or experience you have gained, what have you learned about yourself and what you have learned about the industry you were involved in. Having attaining relevant skills will make you more desirable during the interview process, and it will provide you with a better advantage over other candidates.


Don’t cover your answer with made-up stories

If the lesson you have described is what you have experienced does not sync with the time you worked at your last job, it’s considered a made-up story. If you have been in the job for just several months or a year, those elevated explanations might lead your interviewer to think that you are faking a story. Instead describe skill set you have learned, such as how to maintain company assets or how you manage a team of co-workers.


Avoid feeling or sound hesitant during the interview

Hanging on to the interviewer’s question without any responses for the first few seconds can be nerve wrecking. If you are in this stage, try not to lose your composure. You might just end up feeling nervous and agitated as you tried to think to construct your answer.


Talk about the company culture

Describing your previous workplace culture goes to show that you have a keen interest in how things are running around the company and the people. For example, you can answer like this: “Working in a setting to achieve monthly objectives taught me how to plan and strategise ahead. I realise that there isn’t always a shortcut way to getting things done. This lesson shows me how to adapt in this workplace setting because I will be prepared and steadfast in ensuring everything is planned properly.”


Related: How to Handle Interview Stress to Secure a Job?


Talk about your experience with your co-workers

Most interviewees describe that they enjoyed working with their co-workers but it doesn’t expand or dive down into the details. Instead of giving a tame answer, make a viable point about your relationships and skills to interact with your previous colleagues. Make specific mentions about the lessons that you learn and how it help you thrive in this position that you are interviewing for. Take for example, “I am a patient listener and good communicator has been the recipe for my success as a sales manager. For instance, my willingness to listen to my teammates has helped me to inspire everyone in my team and improving our sales record.”


Talk about your typical work week

When preparing for this answer, think about the position that you want to apply for and how your previous position can relate to it. Focus on the major tasks and talk about how you go through those daily tasks every week. Emphasize more on tasks that are essential in the new positions, go in detail with duties that display your organizing skills. Provide real-life examples, such as how you deal with negotiating with prospects and explain one particular technique to convince them to buy into your product or service.

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