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Job Interview: Skill-Based Questions

This lesson is a part of an audio course Complete Job Interview Preparation by Felix Peeters

I've said this before- skill-based questions are there to verify that you have the required knowledge, skill, and experience to do the job you are applying for. There are only a few you need to prep, and I'll prep them with you:

The first one in this category: what are the most important skills to be successful, let's say sales rep. Please note that they could also ask you: do you have experience with customer-relationship management tools. But the question is more interesting if they ask you to list the skills. Well, the answer depends on the role but in any case: give 3 examples. For this one, you could say:

  • A good sales rep has great communication skills to effectively convey the key message to a client.

  • On top of that, you have to be structured, analytical, and detail-oriented to plan your day and track your performance on targets.

  • Lastly, you have to be a fast learner, because product knowledge is crucial, and because the product changes, you have to be willing to keep learning.

You can make that work for any kind of job, the point I want to make here is: sit down, prep and answer and study it because it's such a popular question, and quite easy to prepare for.

The second skill-based question: how would you organize a market study for product X. Here, can I draw your attention to the "How would you..." in the phrasing – it's clearly a behavior-question style but a skill-based question as well. So here, I advise you to use the STAR method. Describe the situation: "If I would be a part of the marketing team" the go-to task, "and I were asked to perform a market study on product X to (mentioning the goal here) to, for example, inform next year's go-to-market roadmap," I would, now mention your actions and end with the result. This takes practice, but once you have it in your fingers, the only challenge is recognizing those behavior question styles, even when the question itself is a skill-based question.

Question number 3 in the category skill-based: "What tools are most important for profession X." Here, I'll let you work that out for the role you apply for, but make sure to… mention 3 tools and mention why. For example, a graphic designer has to master photoshop tools, to be able to work out both fast mock-ups and final creatives of campaigns according to the clients needs. Right? Mention the why, and list 3. I wish you good luck.

Question 4 in the skill-based category: "Which recent trends will shape the fashion industry?" Again, please insert the relevant industry, but here you answer with 3 examples, you base this off the research you do on the company and the industry it operates in, and you get bonus points for tying the trends to the companies current response to these trends. Example: One trend would be the shift from fast-fashion to mass-customization, which your company, in fact, is currently making fast progress in.

Ok, those were the 4 skill-based questions I'd like you to have prepared before walking or dialing into the interview. Between lesson 5, the fundamental questions, and lesson 6, the skill-based questions, we've now seen 10 questions already. And we have 10 more for you. We start with the behavior questions in the next lesson, which is lesson 7.

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Written by

Felix Peeters