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Career Corner: Answering Work Experience And Training Interview Questions

When you are asked about your work experience or training in a job interview, start from the beginning and move through to the most recent experience or training. In preparation for this, it is helpful to use your resume as a guideline. While you are speaking, keep an eye on the nonverbal signals the interviewer is sending you, to judge if you are giving too much detail or not enough.

What have you learned in your training that is relevant to working in this shop?

  • Talk as specifically as you can about your training, and what was covered. If it was an ASE accredited course, then make sure to say that as well.
  • Explain the specific systems you were taught. Talk specifically about what was covered on electrical systems if that was included in your training.
  • Highlight the hands-on component of your training and talk about the specific items or systems you were able to actually work on in the shop.

What previous experience do you have that qualifies you to work on these vehicles?

  • Any hands-on experience is good to bring up. If you started out learning from your dad while working on the family car in the driveway, then say so. If you started by working on your own car and modifying it, then speak about that. Part-time or temporary work should be included as well.

Tell me about a challenging situation that you faced in a shop or elsewhere and what you did about it?

  • This question is asked because hiring managers want to know how you think and how you react when faced with a problem situation. This is a life skill, and an important one.
  • Use the “STAR” problem-solving approach to answer this question.
    • What was the SITUATION
    • What was the TASK to be accomplished
    • What plan of ACTION did you take
    • What was the RESULT

Why should I hire you over a more experienced technician?

  • With your recent training, share that you have been exposed to newer technology and systems. You have probably spent more time understanding web-based technical information systems and current diagnostic equipment.
  • Hopefully, you will be engaged in your new role, and starting out in your career, are anxious to move it forward, and are in the learning mode.
  • Be humble, but confident.

Tell me why I should hire you for this position?

  • This is the million-dollar question, and usually the last question an interviewer will ask. It is critical that your answer is a strong one that makes a great final impression.
  • This is the time to “recap” the interview and talk about the highlights. Do not get into lengthy discussions here. More is less with this question, so you should:
    • Pick out the highlights in your training and work experience and share them briefly.
    • Talk about your passion for working with your hands.
    • Talk about your work ethic.
    • ASK for the job as your final statement at the very end. Examples of how to say this:
      • I know I can do this job if given the chance.
      • I would love nothing more than to work for you and this company.
      • I am confident if your hire me that I can do a great job here.  

Article sponsored by TechForce Foundation.