Interview questions and answers: Give an example of your job skills

This interview question, 'Give an example of your job skills' tends to be asked at entry level through the junior levels of employment. The idea is to get a clear picture of work experience levels. Unfortunately for these inexperienced interviewees, some interview answers are anything but clear.

Junior staff should expect this interview question, in some form, general or specific to a particular job skill. Don't underestimate this basic interview question. Make sure you get it right. The main problems are usually that interview answers don't relate to the job criteria, or are confused, or both. The result is a mess.

How to define your job skills

A 'job skill' is something like customer service, data entry or sales, etc, a description of the type of work.

The job criteria are stated in the job advertisement. Remember, the interviewers are trying to identify your skill levels in relation to the job.

If you want a job in sales, you obviously need to give an example of sales, or in some cases, other sales-related work.

Matching examples to job criteria

There's a very simple way of handling this interview question:

  • Have a look at the essential skills for the position
  • Think of examples of your own work which you can use for those skills
  • Decide which skill allows you to give your best example of your work in these areas.

Giving a clear interview answer

Your interview answer has to be clearly understood by the interviewers. Your interview answer has to be structured properly.

Interview answer structure:

  • Name the job
  • Describe the skills
  • Explain what you do
  • Give an example

Name the job

Literally, say what you do: 'I'm a sales assistant..'

Describe the skills

Again, a literal description: 'I sell men's clothing and shoes…' meaning retail sales work, as the type of skill.

Explain what you do

This is how you do your job: 'I help and advise customers with their purchases, do the cashier work, and related shop work, like setting up displays, and checking the receipts, doing the cash book entries'.

Give an example

This is a clear example of your skills at work: 'I work the morning shift as a cashier/salesperson, then spend the afternoon in stock work and administration.'

This sort of interview answer is so clear the interviewers get a good picture of your skills. Your example is a simple description of your level of skills.

Important:

Always check to make sure you've given a complete answer to this interview question. There are two basic risks, and they reduce the value of your interview answer seriously, if either case occurs:

Your interview answer may lack details.
Your interview answer may have left out some information.

You can ask the interviewers if they have enough information, or if they'd like more detail. (In many cases, if you're not sure, you can ask this regarding any interview question.)