Can You Do the Job?

Here are some questions the employer might ask to find out if you can do the job

1. How does your previous experience apply to this job?

What the employer really wants to know:

Do you have knowledge about the job and can you relate your experience to it.

What you want to do:

Give a specific example related to this job and indicate an understanding of the work setting.

“I have experience handling a high volume of customers in a work setting very similar to what you have here.”

2. Which of your duties and responsibilities in previous jobs were most difficult for you?

What the employer really wants to know:

Are the things most difficult for you an important part of this job?

What you want to do:

Tell them something challenging in your last job that’s not a duty in this job.

“I think it was probably the responsibility for ___” [something not in this job]

Next, reinforce the skills you bring to this job.

“…and one of the things that most interests me about this job is that I can focus more on ___” [things you do well].

3. What are your greatest strengths? How are your strengths related to this job?

What the employer really wants to know:

Are your strengths important in this job?

What you want to do:

Give an example that you know is related to this job. “I am experienced in managing a number of different tasks while staying calm and organized.” Then, you explicitly make the connection to this job. “Since I will be reporting to several different people in this job, I think that strength will be really important.” Question 1D: What are your most significant accomplishments?

What the employer really wants to know:

The employer wants to know if you think in terms of results rather than just duties, and whether the accomplishment you describe would benefit this organization.

What you want to do:

Describe one of the accomplishments you developed in the Skills Mine that is most related to this job. [Be prepared to give a second accomplishment if asked.]

“While I was chairperson for the Neighborhood Association Board, I analyzed the procedures we had been using to operate the various functions we sponsored each year. I was able to streamline these procedures for more efficient operation, and was able to reduce the annual operations budget.”

Next, say how you could duplicate the accomplishment in this job.

“The process I used to analyze the procedures could easily be used in your organization, and I expect I would find areas where we could save time or money or both.”

4. What kinds of equipment can you operate? What kinds of software can you use?

What you want to do:

Answer these questions very specifically, and include any equipment and software that might be applicable to this job. You don’t have to be an expert at something to be able to use it.

5. Describe your level of skill with the equipment or software.

What you want to do:

Your level of skill could be described as expert (can train others in this), moderate (can perform basic functions capably), or beginner (learning basic functions and can perform some functions capably).