Interviews centered around internships or even entry-level jobs may have a plethora of questions aimed at career goals. These types of questions are meant for interviewers to understand why you have applied for their position. Since they cannot base you completely off of your little to no work experience, hiring managers resort to evaluate your knowledge. With this, they want to see what your expectations are and if they align with the job description and mission statement. Here is how to answer the popular interview question, “What do you hope to gain from this experience“?
We can almost guarantee you will be asked this in your next interview, so let’s prepare a unique yet professional response that is sure to land you the job!
Following these steps will make your interviewer better understand what you’re hoping to learn under their guidance. There are 5 methods to go about doing this, which we will explore below.
Discuss what motivated you to apply for their position—describing how your interests align with the skills posted in the job description. For example, elaborating on how you’ve taken courses related to what you’re applying for and how working with them will let you expand your horizons. Hiring managers aim to prod sincere passion from you for this question. In other words, this is your opportunity to spill your interests in the position, all while explaining what you hope to learn from them.
Example: “Drawing has always been my passion since I was young. I was mainly self-taught, but I had to apply after seeing how much promise your position has. I sincerely wish to gain a better technique in drawing illustrations from your top designers. Their art styles are captivating, and I wish to learn from a company that exhibits quality work”.
Many internship programs or entry-level jobs are easily accessible due to their low requirements. By highlighting the company’s mission statement, you’re expressing a desire to learn from them and only them. Dig more into the company’s background to find out if their style suits you and leverage that in your response. The reason why prioritizing their brand is essential is because you’re competing with a larger pool of applicants that may or may not be more qualified in terms of experience. Discuss how learning from them will bring you a unique experience that can’t be found anywhere else. Emphasizing the brand is a great way to expand on what you hope to gain from this experience.
Example: “XYZ Brand is known for setting ambitious goals and overcoming obstacles with tenacity. This type of experience is a strength I would like to learn. Overcoming obstacles with proven results can help me grow in my career, which is something that your brand excels at”.
While it’s crucial to leave a good impression, having candor helps hiring managers to realize that you’re setting realistic expectations. Mention how you can achieve soft skills such as effective leadership, teamwork, or communication by working with them. Simple yet realistic goals will appear a lot more convincing than a candidate promising to elevate the company despite having no experience.
Example: “I feel like I would be able to grow professionally under your guidance. I admire the way your company cooperates to achieve certain objectives, and teamwork is something I would like to enhance”.
This question offers the perfect opportunity to highlight your strengths. Often times, applicants seek jobs that play to their strengths. If you fall into this category, now is the time to highlight areas you are strong in! You can also speak about how you wish to further expand your strengths and build strong relationships with your coworkers.
Example: “I hope to gain an even stronger understanding of teamwork and collaboration. I have been exposed to various teams in my previous experiences and have developed strong communication and collaboration skills. I feel as though this position could offer me an opportunity to really perfect my team-building strengths”.
As we all know, your resume will never embody the entirety of who you are as an applicant. This is a major reason that employers rely on interviews to get to know their applicants! Use every interview question as an opportunity to expand on your resume or mention something that is not included in your cover letter.
Example: “I have a strong background in customer service and retail. However, with the new protocols brought on by COVID-19, I am looking to further develop my customer service skills virtually, through phone calls, social media, and customer emails”.
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