Job Interview Question & Answer: Questions About Performance at Past Jobs
Reason for the Question
Hiring managers often ask interviewees about their previous training to determine if they need additional instruction. Discussing areas of improvement with a potential employer can be challenging, but it’s important to tell them the truth about your skillset.
How to Respond
When answering a question like, “What would your last manager say you need to work on?” it’s important to frame your response positively. Instead of focusing on your shortcomings and lack of training, explain that you’re aware of the work you need to do. Showing a manager that you’re open to improving yourself and learning new skills goes a long way during a job interview.
Responses to Avoid
Avoid dishonest or exaggerated responses when discussing what further training you require. Telling a hiring manager that you have certifications or skills you don’t possess is not a good idea. Supervisors need to know how well you can do the job, making honesty the best policy.
Sample Responses to “If I Were to Ask Your Last Boss What Training You Require, What Would They Say?”
Read through the following examples to help you develop your response to this question. These examples should serve as a guide only, so remember to include your specific circumstances.
Sample Answer 1 – Bartender
“During my last job as a bartender, I spent a lot of time stocking the shelves, so I didn’t get to learn as many drink recipes as I would have liked. If you asked my previous manager what training I still need, she’d most likely say expanding my knowledge of mixed drinks.”
Sample Answer 2 – Computer sales associate
“I’ve always been good at helping people find the right computer, but I didn’t receive a lot of training on offering credit promotions. I usually had to ask for help when it came to pitching financing options to customers. My last manager would tell you I need a bit more training on that aspect of the job.”
Sample Answer 3 – Pet store associate
“If you asked my last manager about training, she’d tell you that I need to spend more time learning about what foods each animal eats. Many of the pets we sold had certain diet restrictions, and I often had to look them up in our guidebook to be sure I was giving them the proper nutrition.”
Things to Keep in Mind
Always be truthful when answering a question like, “What kind of training would your previous manager think you need?” A few other things to remember:
- Use specific examples of when you felt you needed more training.
- Show a willingness to learn and improve skills related to the job.
- Avoid blaming your training experience on a previous supervisor or coworker.
While it can be hard to admit what you don’t know, it’s best to be straightforward about your work experience. Use your response as a chance to build trust and communication with your interviewer.