Response: I have held 3 jobs at various levels so far, and I have learned many things during my tenure. One important thing I have learned is that as you grow up in your position – the responsibility keeps increasing. You will be more and more responsible for not only your actions but team’s performance, there are more variables than only doing your job right, higher you grow the longer you have to deal with people around you and be open to the ideas from personnel from all levels. It is not just doing it right but helping everyone on the team do it right is what ultimately leads to success of a concerted effort in any project. Being effective as an individual and at the same time being a team player, time management, people management, giving timely constructive feedback and being open to feedback and to the ideas that can come from any corner – are the key things I have learned in my career so far.
Notes: Relate the skills that are more important to the current role. In above example, the person has had three jobs, which may mean that he is applying for a Manager or higher role which involves project management, people management and being the best in his technical grounds. This has been demonstrated without ever directly calling out any technical names, specific people or projects – it shows all the skills that were learned at the same time projecting the ‘ripeness’ for the job being applied for.
Variations of this question:
- What are the things you know now that you did not when you started your career? (the above answer has to be tweaked a little to project things like anticipating problems, importance of being proactive and technical expertise that has been gathered).
- What are the key skills you have developed during your working experience?
Trap alert: Do not ramble about the skills that are not relevant to the job you are applying for. You may have become the ‘go to person’ for Java Applet Technology but that wouldn’t count to anything if you are applying for a Team Lead role that will not entail any programming at all (you will be expected to have technical expertise in the field).