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Training Specialist interview questions and answers

Use these sample Training Specialist interview questions as part of your hiring process to select qualified candidates for your HR department.

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Training Specialist interview questions

Training Specialists conduct skills gap analyses, plan and coordinate learning programs and deliver curriculums and instructional materials. They’re responsible for all activities around employee development; from in-house seminars and learning activities to outsourced training programs and professional courses.

As this is a senior-level role, it’s best to hire professionals who have experience organizing training sessions from scratch. Use open-ended and behavioral questions to test how they’ve managed learning activities in their previous positions. If you’re interested in specific roles (e.g. how to train salespeople), customize the following questions to learn more about candidates’ industry-related experience. Also, make sure to ask about candidates’ availability, if your position requires traveling.

Your best candidates will have solid communication and presentation skills. They’ll also be familiar with event planning. A background in HR (academic and/or professional) is a nice-to-have, as your future hires will be involved in career-pathing and employee performance. If it’s relevant to your role, look for professionals who are familiar with e-learning platforms and simulation programs.

Operational and Situational questions

  • What would you do if you realized you forgot to order educational material two days before a company-wide seminar?
  • What’s the best method to improve a sales staff’s negotiation skills?
  • What training sessions would you suggest for new hires? Describe how you would organize these sessions within their first day/week/month.
  • How would you motivate employees to take an optional course on safety in the workplace?
  • How would you persuade executives and the CEO to invest more in employee learning and development initiatives?

Role-specific questions

  • What’s your experience with e-learning software?
  • How do you customize training sessions, including activities and materials, when trainees are of varying levels of seniority? (e.g. both managers and junior employees)
  • How do you identify training needs? Walk me through a skills gap analysis.
  • How do you determine an educational program’s effectiveness? What’s the best way to evaluate how training impacts employees’ performance?
  • What’s the difference between mentoring, coaching and on-the-job training? When would you choose one over the other?

Behavioral questions

  • Describe an in-house training program you’ve organized. What resources (learning material and technology) did you use?
  • Describe a time when you outsourced employees’ learning. How did you determine the best partners and programs?
  • How do you discuss career path options with employees? What do you do to identify their strengths and weaknesses?
  • Mention an example of a program that failed to address employees’ needs. What went wrong and what would you do differently next time?
  • What’s the most challenging training scenario you have faced? What did you do?

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