Job Interview Answers to Questions About Your Abilities

Assessing the Interviewer's Intent

Woman at job interview
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Job interview questions tend to fall into three categories: knowledge, skills and abilities. The best way to prepare yourself is to anticipate the questions that will be lobbed at you and practice ahead of time.  Some may seem simple on the surface, but look a little deeper and you'll discover the employer's intent. The following interview questions about your ability to do the job can help you prepare.

Job Interview Questions About Your Abilities With Sample Answers

Question: Tell me about a time that you worked conveying technical information to a nontechnical audience.
Intent: The Interviewer wants to know how you relate to people outside your area of expertise.
While I worked for Mr. Smith in the accounting department, I was selected to explain the financial section of the employee's paycheck to all new hires. After my first two sessions, I realized I needed to reframe my information so the new hires would have an accurate understanding of the impact of their decisions as it related to their pay. I worked with colleagues in human resources and marketing, and developed a training outline that was implemented at the other locations throughout the company.

Question: Tell me about a time that you worked with interpreting and presenting data.
Intent: If you are in a non-technical profession, this question is designed to see if you are comfortable with information not directly related to your position.

While at the GHI corporation, one of my job assignments was to work with the IT department to prepare the annual meeting brochure complete with financial data, graphs and related SEC requirements. I became proficient at designing graphs that gave an accurate picture of the financial data, as well as editing the legal information into a more readable format.

Question: Why do you think you will be successful at this job?
Intent: The interviewer is concerned as to whether you see this as a career move or stop-gap employment.
As my resume reflects, I have been successful at each of my previous places of employment. Given my research about your company, the job description outlined, and the information we've exchanged today, l believe I have the skills and experience to fulfill what you're looking for and I'm eager to contribute as an employee.

Question: Tell me about a time that you participated in a team--what was your role?
Intent: Companies, for the most part, do not want "Lone-Rangers"--they are looking for employees who will adapt to the company culture and get along with others.
In high school, I enjoyed playing soccer and performing with the marching band. Each required being a different kind of team player, but the overall goal of learning to be a member of a group was invaluable. I continued to grow as team member while on my sorority's debate team and through my advanced marketing class where we had numerous team assignments.

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