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Interviewers want to assess how well your most recent professional experience aligns with what is expected from you in the role you applied for. In this episode, I show you a simple, 5-step approach to help you focus on the right things when talking about what you do at your current job.
Hi and welcome to today’s episode, which is about the common interview question, “What do you do at your current job?” With this question, the interviewer wants to assess how well your most recent professional experience aligns with what is expected from you in the role you applied for. And it is crucial to prepare an answer that demonstrates the value you can create if they hire you. Let me show you a simple, 5-step approach to help you formulate a compelling answer.
Step 1: Identify your focus areas.
At your current job, you most likely have several responsibilities and perform various tasks. The secret to answering the question is to choose the right focus areas. To do that, I recommend you list all the tasks and responsibilities at your current job. Then, re-read the job description and highlight those items on your list that best align with what is required for the position. Aim at identifying 2-3 responsibilities and 3-5 tasks. For example, let’s say you applied as an account manager and the job description says that a successful candidate will ensure profitable growth for the company by increasing revenue with existing customers and winning net new clients. If you have successfully done this at your current job, then this is definitely something you would want to focus on in your answer.
Step 2: Your main achievements.
For each of the responsibilities identified in the previous step, summarize your main achievements in 2-3 sentences. If possible, quantify the results to show the interviewer the value you create at your current job. In our previous example, you may have won a new customer and increased the revenue to $3M within 3 years while also significantly improving the margins of another customer you took over.
Step 3: Your tasks.
Now that you have shown the value that you can create, it is time to briefly talk about the tasks you perform on a day-to-day basis. In step 1, you identified those that best match the job description. So now, briefly summarize these in 1-2 sentences.
Step 4: Your closing statement.
The previous steps aim to summarize what you do at your current job, focusing on what is most relevant for the position you applied for. Since employers hire candidates because they expect them to create value for the company, I recommend closing your answer with one single sentence that states the results you can produce, thanks to the experience at your current job. Again, this should be linked to your findings from the first step when you identified your focus areas. For instance, in our previous example, the company was looking for someone to achieve profitable business growth. By simply mentioning that, based on your experience, you feel confident that you can help them with that, you make it easier for the interviewer to connect the dots and see the value you can create for them.
Step 5: Formulate your answer.
Combine the results from the previous steps into a compelling answer. For instance, “In my current position as an account manager at company x, I am responsible for 2 of our major accounts with yearly revenue of $3M each. One of these accounts I built entirely from scratch. We had no business with them when I started 3 years ago. The other customer had revenue of $2M, and when I took over as account manager, the margin was way below the targets. My team and I were able to identify new business opportunities with this customer and turn them into one of our company’s most profitable accounts. Apart from the direct interactions with my clients and identifying new selling opportunities, my tasks also include setting and directing account strategies, leading the account teams and planning and managing forecasts. I feel confident that I can utilize my experience to help your company achieve profitable growth within the enterprise business.”
These were the 5 steps for answering the interview question, “What do you do at your current job?” Check out the links in the episode description if you want me to help you prepare for your upcoming interview.
That’s all for today. Thanks for listening, and I hope this was helpful to you.