Job Question And Answer: How Long Will It Take You to Make an Impact on the Company?
Why Interviewers Ask This Question
Managers understand that it will take time for new hires to adjust to a different work environment. They may ask “How long will it take you to contribute to this business?” to learn how quickly you can move through the training process and start working on your own. Your answer can give them a sense of how fast you can learn and how soon you can begin benefitting the business.
How You Should Respond
When answering the question, “How long until you can contribute to the company?” discuss a situation in which you started a new job or project, learned the required skills and started playing your role in a short amount of time. You can also list a few aspects of the career that you still need to practice before you can start making a positive impact.
What Answers To Avoid
If a hiring manager asks, “How long will it take you to become an asset to our organization?” avoid overpromising or answering with a specific time frame. Those types of responses can put unrealistic expectations about your abilities. Steer clear of answers such as:
- “I can pick things up almost instantly.”
- “I know the business well enough that I don’t need any training.”
- “In less than a week, I will be ready to work on my own.”
The following examples can give you some ideas about how to answer the question, “How long will it take you to contribute to the business?” Rather than just memorizing these samples, apply your own experiences to this question to create a satisfactory response.
Sample Answer 1- Home Health Aide
“It may take me a little while to get used to each patient’s routine and individual needs. I will also need to become familiar with the different homes I’ll be working in, and learn where all the cooking, cleaning and medical supplies are. Once I figure that out, I can start using my skills to benefit the clients and the company.
Sample Answer 2- Sporting Goods Store Cashier
“At my last cashier job, I completed my entry-level training in about a week and a half. In that time was able to memorize what brands the store carried, learn how to use the registers and understand the company’s coupon and return policies. Since your store has similar products and practices, I just need to learn the operating system for your registers before I can work on my own.”
Sample Answer 3- Coffee Shop Barista
“I have some experience working as a server, so I’m already familiar with the cashier and customer service aspects of the job. Working in restaurants also helped me develop a few tricks for remembering orders. I’m confident that I can use those same skills to memorize the menu items and their ingredients fairly quickly.”
A Quick Tip
Prepare for the question “How long will it take you to contribute to this business?” by doing some research on the job you are applying for. Look over the necessary skills for the position, and compare them to the abilities you already have. Showing expertise in the required areas can let hiring managers know that you will be able to benefit the company soon after you are hired.