Once an interviewer has understood what the applicant did in his last position and what his / her responsibilities were, very often they would try to assess the candidates attitude toward the position.
- Which elements of the job did they enjoy?
- Did they enjoy the role at all?
- What was the applicant most involved in?
The responses to these questions will assist the interviewer to gauge if the position offered suits the applicant.
Some interviewees will find it difficult to an answer this question since they did not find their last position enjoying or fulfilling at all. They feel they may have to lie about their experience and that may put them in a spot. Further, a positive response is not by default a good one.
Emma is interviewed for an engineering position in an Information Technology company.
The interviewer asks Emma, "Which elements of your last position did you enjoy the most?"
Emma: "I enjoyed the versatility of the job, the team was great and the atmosphere was very pleasant – it almost felt like home."
This is definitely a positive response and the interviewer has an impression that Emma enjoyed her work. But, Emma's response revolves around emotional aspects; what did the interviewer learn about the professional aspects? The interviewer did not elicit any information on how Emma contributed to her work or what were the tasks she enjoyed working in most.
A more adequate answer could have been, "I enjoyed the managerial aspects of the job, the ability to motivate people and my influence on decisions taken in the organisation."
Focus on your accomplishments and achievements. If you enjoyed working in a team or managing than emphasise the fact that you liked having the ability to influence others; emphasise the fact that you enjoyed meeting your goals and deadlines; emphasise your satisfaction when successfully facing challenges.
Try to avoid or at least minimise the emotional elements, such as "enjoyed the atmosphere and the people". This is important yet it does not contribute a lot to the interviewer's understanding of the professional side of your job. This may present you as someone who is more concerned with their own comfort than with the actual job at hand.
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