Interviewing to Get the Job : “How have you improved your on-the-job performance within the last year?”

Interviewing to Get the Job : “How have you improved your on-the-job performance within the last year?”

By Sharon Boerbon Hanson

In the tech field, it’s natural to interpret this question as “How have I improved my technical skills?” but it is crucial to remember—before answering—that a job is a blend of tech and non-tech abilities.

If you have acquired a new certification or taken a workshop that relates to this position, do mention that.

Speak to how you improved your performance by enhancing your non-tech skills. Perhaps you coached your child’s baseball team – you improved your communication skills, patience, time management. Maybe you volunteered for a local charity and enhanced your work-life balance to make you a more rounded employee. Perhaps you began a cooking class that developed your leadership and team work abilities. All those are skills employers want in a new IT hire.

Two important aspects to keep in mind:

  1. Relate your improvement to the job you are interviewing for which you are interviewing.
  2. Think creatively about how your non-tech, non-work activities have strengthened your professionalism.

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Sharon Boerbon Hanson is associate executive director of Advance IT Minnesota, a Center of Excellence that promotes awareness of and excellence in IT careers in order to ensure business success. She has over 25 years’ experience marketing and brand-building, and has been a resume and interview coach 15 years.