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Sample Answers to Interview Questions that Test your Abilities

What your interviewer wants to know? The skills and abilities on your resume are the reason you’ve got your foot in the door of the interview room. Now the recruiter needs to see if your abilities align with the requirements of the position. While your resume usually provides a good indication of hard skills you’re accomplished in, it doesn’t generally speak to the soft skills you’ve developed so far in your career – skills like communication, problem-solving, time management, and flexibility. Read on for guidance on how to answer hard and soft skills interview questions.

Skills-based interview questions

In preparation for your interview, note the skills you’re most proficient in and for which you have situations to explain how you’ve put them to good use. These skills must relate to the position you’re applying for, so reread the job posting to see what the role requires. The following examples of questions and answers will teach you how to describe your skills in an interview.

  • What skills do you bring to this job?

Take this opportunity to combine a description of your hard skills with your soft skills so your interviewer has a comprehensive picture of who you are. Relate your skills to the company’s business model to show how well you’d fit in with their culture.

Sample answer: “After completing my degree in Language Studies, I decided to use my ability to communicate in multiple languages to volunteer in poorer areas overseas. I was impressed by the relief your company provided to distressed communities and feel that my linguistic abilities and determination to give back to society are in line with the company’s mission.”

  • What did you like or dislike about your last job?

When answering this question, check your body language and attitude as these are indicators your interviewer will be assessing. Keep your tone positive, even when describing something negative.

Sample answer: “I enjoyed the flexibility my last company offered its employees as it allowed me to work with a degree of autonomy. I did wish that my previous position included more customer interaction that would’ve helped me hone my persuasive speaking skills.”

  • What is your idea of the perfect job?

This is not the time to talk about the beach bar you’d love to own on an exotic island somewhere. Your interviewer is assessing what motivates you and whether the company can provide a culture you’d thrive in.

Sample answer: “I’d love to work in an environment where I can put my problem-solving skills to the test by working in collaboration with others who offer innovative and unique perspectives. Brainstorming sessions once inspired me to a point where I was able to streamline a process that increased productivity by 24%.”

  • What impact will your experience have on this job?

While companies in today’s climate are reducing the need for extensive work experience, your experience could be the deciding factor between you and another candidate. Use quantifiable data to show how your experience would benefit the company.

Sample answer: “Having worked in a remote area for more than 12 years, I often dealt with problems that required quick thinking with limited resources. After analyzing your public financial records, I believe I could reduce expenditure by up to 35%, thanks to my creative yet thrifty solutions.”

Final thoughts

When you’re tested on your technical skills, an interviewer will want details of situations where you applied those skills and the outcome of projects you’ve worked on. With your soft skills assessment, you’ll be expected to explain scenarios that highlight various personality traits. Along with skills-based interview questions, check out these unique questions you may be asked.

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