Job Interview Questions About Your Responsibilities

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When you are asked questions related to your current or previous positions, it's important for your response to include specifics about what you did in your previous position(s). Keep your answer positive — it's a good idea to bring up improvements or accomplishments, but best to stay away from mentioning frustrations or disagreements with co-workers.

Since this is a very common interview question, make sure to prepare for it ahead of time, and have a good sense of how you would summarize your responsibilities for each of your positions.

Generally, the focus will be on your current or most recent role.

How to Answer Interview Questions About Your Responsibilities

The best way to respond is to describe your responsibilities in detail and to connect them to the job you are interviewing for. This means that prior to your interview, you should carefully review the job description for the new position.

Then, tie your responsibilities at your current or previous positions in with those listed in that job description. By doing this, the employer will see that you have the qualifications necessary to do the job.

Focus most on your responsibilities that are directly related to the new job's requirements. For instance, if you are interviewing for a role that requires management skills, emphasize projects you've led, events you've planned, and people you've managed.

Be descriptive and engaging in your summary of responsibilities — most likely, the interviewer has a copy of your resume available and is looking for you to go beyond the information listed on that document.

However, avoid going too granular on the details: company-specific jargon can overwhelm an interviewer. It can be a difficult balance, but strive to give a thorough description of your responsibilities, and use different language from what's on your resume.

Mention any specific instances where you benefited the company, solved a problem, or had a major accomplishment.

Results-oriented answers are beneficial here. You can say things like "I created a schedule that stopped late delivery, earning the company's award for best team player" or "On a day-to-day basis, I was the primary point of contact with clients, working to ensure that their needs were met, while escalating urgent matters." 

While you want to frame your responsibilities in a positive light it's also important to be honest. Don't embellish your job title or duties, because you don't know who the hiring manager will be checking with when they check your references.

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