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How to answer – How did you improve your skills?

job interview question about skillsMany prospective employers will ask you in an interview how you improved your skills, and what you have done on your own to develop your skills.

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This is vital information for employers who can only afford to hire people who are eager and willing to stay current with advancing technologies.

You might think this doesn’t apply to your job, but consider that everyone from fast-food line workers to emergency room medical personnel must quickly adjust to new computer programs and other technologies in the workplace more and more frequently.

Your new boss needs to know that if you train on one system today, you can adapt to another tomorrow if needed.

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While technology skills are vital to nearly every job, your employer wants to hire people who will keep up with industry demands in all areas. If you interact with customers, for example, your employer needs to be assured that you will correct any behavior that customers perceive as unfavorable.

This means that you have to demonstrate flexibility and cooperation in your attitude, both in past employment and in your interview. If you are a new graduate, for example, you can talk about extra-curricular activities that helped you improve your interpersonal skills, or how you took a teacher’s advice to improve your skills to complete an assignment successfully.

To prepare for this interview questions, think back as far as you can for examples from your life. People who interview you don’t just want slick responses to their interview questions, they want to see a pattern of positive behavior.

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They expect you to demonstrate that you not only have this quality, but that you understand the importance of being willing to continually improving your skills and that you have a sincere desire and ability to develop stronger and more varied skills over time. The more you can show that you have inherent personality traits that make you a lifelong learner, the more valuable you will be to prospective employers.

During an interview, an employer may want to know not only how you improved your skills in the past, but how you plan to do so for them if they hire you. Even if they don’t ask you this question, being prepared to bring this up yourself can earn you big points.

If you have done your homework, then you already know what challenges this employer faces. Are there specific ways in which you can suggest improving your job skills to help the employer? For example, show that you are willing to research and analyze solutions creatively, and that you have a record of implementing cost-effective and innovative solutions.

These are all ways for you to turn this potentially intimidating interview question into a job offer.

No matter how experienced you are, and how many great examples you have of how you have worked to develop and improve your skills in the past, you will need to prove it by demonstrating an open and flexible attitude. Be friendly, honest, and professional in your interview, be prepared for this question, and any employer would jump at the chance to hire you.

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by Don Georgevich

Need help with your interview? Contact Don