Careers advice > Answers to interview questions: work experience

Answers to interview questions: work experience

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We’ve been looking at interview questions and answers. Now we take a look at the questions you can expect about your work experience and knowledge.

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And don’t miss our other interview answers!

1. Questions about you

2. Questions about why you want THIS job

3. Competency-based questions


Why do you want to leave your current job?

The interviewer is looking for any ‘red flags’ in your answer. They want to make sure that you’re not a troublemaker or a shirker. After all, some people find it difficult to cope with a situation at work and think that a new job is the answer. Often, it isn’t!

Your answer should make it clear that you’re a strong performer in your current role and are now looking for a NEW OPPORTUNITY. Emphasise the opportunities and challenges that this role will provide.

GOOD TIP: Avoid any negative comments about your company or any of the people you work with. This will only make you look unprofessional. Bitchiness is NOT a good look!


How do you think you will fit into our company?

The interviewer wants reassurance that you have thought about the culture, environment and business goals that this company has. They want to know that you will fit in.

Think about the culture and work environment at your current employer, and identify key differences and similarities with the new company. Reassure the interviewer that you don't see any differences as a problem.

GOOD TIP: Think and be ready to discuss how you have adapted to new bosses, colleagues and jobs as you have undertaken different roles.


Tell me about your current job?

They want to know about your job and how it has prepared you for the job you are being interviewed for. Are you motivated to move to this job or are you moving away from a job you dislike?

Make sure the examples you share are all relevant to the job you are applying for. Possible examples could focus on problem-solving, customer service and creating action plans.

GOOD TIP: You want to make sure that your examples are positive and end with what attracts you to THIS job.


What do you dislike about your job?

They want to make sure that you are not someone who complains too much. You need to come across as someone who remains positive when dealing with things they dislike.

They will listen to see if you come across as difficult to work with. Start by highlighting the positives and explain how you have worked around your dislikes. Your ‘dislike’ should relate to circumstances, such as not having enough resources, rather than to any conflict with others.

GOOD TIP: DON’T mention problems with people and ensure you come across as someone who is upbeat and positive.


Why did you leave your last job after just one year?

Interviewers are concerned about job hoppers - people who don't settle but move from job to job. In a recession many jobs are short-term and so this may not be a negative reflection on you. But the interviewer needs to be convinced.

If you have changed jobs more frequently than average, be ready to explain the reasons why. If it is a case of a job not working out, be ready to explain. It could be that you moved for a promotion but within weeks you realised the company was in difficulty, with your job at risk, hence now looking for a new job.


Answers by Denise Taylor, award-winning career psychologist with Amazing People 


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