The interview question- “tell of a time when your active listening skills really paid off for you- maybe a time when other people missed the key idea being expressed-” is a very straightforward one that is asked pretty commonly. These types of interview questions focus on one particular skill.
This question is phrased as such that makes it easy to answer in a way that makes you sound like a standout job candidate. However- as with any specific question- it may take a bit more thought to come up with a good answer. Being prepared for a question like this will lead to a successful job interview.
How to Answer the ‘Tell of a Time When Your Active Listening Skills Really Paid Off for You – Maybe a Time When Other People Missed the Key Idea Being Expressed’ Interview Question
Don’t Just Talk About the Specific Instance: This question is aimed at getting you to reflect on a very specific example. That is how “tell of a time when” interview questions are. You can go beyond just telling the story- though- and do the work of connecting it to your performance on the job. For instance- if you recall a time when you were in class and a professor asked a difficult question based on an earlier part of the lecture- and you were the only person in class who was able to answer- that’s great. You can then take that story and add to it by talking about how you think it’s important to listen to the minute details of instructions- because in order to do a job well you have to follow every step. This way you can market yourself at the same time as answering their question.
Think of Strong Examples Ahead of Time: Many job interviewers ask a “tell of a time when” question in one form or another. While you can never predict if a specific question like “tell of a time when your active listening skills really paid off for you – maybe a time when other people missed the key idea being expressed-” will be asked- you can be prepared for interview questions of a similar format by looking back on your highlights from school and previous jobs before you go into an interview. One good way of doing this is to look over your resume before an interview. Have your specific strong points fresh on your mind so that you are already coming into the interview ready to talk about past experiences. This way- even if you have to think for a moment- you won’t be caught entirely off guard.
Try to Relate to the Job You Are Applying for: In the case of this interview question- you may have a few different examples that come to mind. The question you should ask yourself before sharing is: does this example show the interviewer that I am experienced in their profession? For example- suppose you are trying to get a good cook job and you have prior food prep or cooking experience in fast food. You could talk about how food preparers had to listen to drive through orders while simultaneously watching the screen for in-house orders. If you did a great job at always getting orders correct- or even if you improved consistently over your time working there- it will definitely impress someone in the food industry who knows how fast-paced that kind of work can be.
Sample “Tell of a Time When Your Active Listening Skills Really Paid Off for You – Maybe a Time When Other People Missed the Key Idea Being Expressed” Interview Answers
1. In science class- we were not told that we had to take notes- but I have always felt that it was important to listen as carefully as possible and take good notes. One day- we were given a practice problem that utilized a formula from a unit we had covered a couple months prior. While most other students were frantically looking over the current chapter for a solution- I noticed a pattern in the word problem that was much like the earlier unit and was able to come up with the formula from my notes. I was one of the few who were able to solve the problem.
2. Working as a cook at my first restaurant- we would sometimes get almost a dozen orders at once during busy hours. Not only did I have to get each one done while keeping in mind special requests- but they had to be completed in the order received. I learned to not only actively listen- but to efficiently multi-task the proper and speedy preparation of orders while listening for new ones.
You need not worry about the “tell of a time when your active listening skills really paid off for you – maybe a time when other people missed the key idea being expressed-” interview question. Having read the above advice- you are now prepared to have a great job interview.