Tara O'Brien

It's a trap: Getting yourself out of tough interview questions

To follow on from the theme of my last blog, I would like to address another typical interview question, one that is often a stumbling block around which there is a lot of confusion about what is 'the right answer'.

Tell me about the feedback from your most recent appraisal/review?

“To follow on from the theme of my last blog, I would like to address another typical interview question, one that is often a stumbling block around which there is a lot of confusion about what is 'the right answer'. Tell me about the feedback from your most recent appraisal/review? “

Of course there is no right or wrong answer, a prospective manager is seeking an insight into your current working habits and behaviours, by asking for feedback gained from your current manager they should be able to gain a good understanding of your key strengths and your development areas, which in turn should assist them to identify if you are a good team / cultural fit and if they are the right kind of manager to help you grow, develop & take your career to the next level.

Keeping in mind again the points that I mentioned in my previous blog:

Your prospective manager needs to know that you have a good level of self awareness and that you both take on board constructive criticism and learn from it.

He / she needs to know where your development areas are to help him / her decide if they, as a manager, are the right person to help you improve them & to take you to the next stage in your career.

Your new manager needs to continue to develop themselves & by developing you, they continue to learn & develop their own skills.

Talk about the positive feedback you have received, it's important to highlight your strengths and where you can add value to your future team, sell yourself but don't brag!

Be honest about your areas for development but more importantly be constructive, don't talk yourself down, once again use the STAR format (Situation, Task, Action, Result), explain the feedback your received, tell the interviewer how you felt / reacted to this, talk about what you did to work on this area of development and describe the outcome. This may be an ongoing area of development and if so, talk about your long term plan for self improvement and possibly even where your prospective new manager / company can help.

Don't look at this question as a trick to catch you out, but as an opportunity to demonstrate how self aware you are as an individual and how much you value your personal & professional development! 

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