previous experience relevant to role - support your career (2023)

It’s common for employers to ask about your previous professional experiences in an interview so they can evaluate whether you have the competencies to fulfill the requirements of a role. It can be challenging to speak effectively about your work experiences. If you’re preparing for an upcoming interview, it may be beneficial for you to learn how to discuss your experiences and how they’re relevant to the role for which you’re interviewing. In this article, we discuss why employers ask this question, outline how to answer it and provide example answers to use as a reference point.

“How Is Your Previous EXPERIENCE Relevant To This ROLE?” Interview Question & Sample ANSWERS!

Examples of the Best Answers

Example Answer #1

My years of experience have prepared me well for this position. You mentioned that customer service is a big part of this job; I spent three years working in a high-volume call center, answering customer calls, and identifying solutions.

Why It Works: This answer references specific experience and skills that are valuable to the job (and probably appear in the job description).

Example Answer #2

I developed extensive skills working with customers even when they were distressed. Im excellent at deescalating situations and finding a way to make the customer happy. Our customer satisfaction rating rose 10% during my tenure at my previous employer. Since the role of your marketing department is to improve customers impressions of the company, my experience would be a great asset to your team.


Why It Works: In this response, the candidate quantifies their success in a prior role. By being specific, they give the interviewer proof of their ability to do the job. The candidate also explains how they could help the company if they were to be hired.

Example Answer #3

I worked as a kennel assistant at a local animal hospital during the summer before my freshman year of college. It was there I discovered what I wanted to do as a career. I decided I would go to college and focus on becoming a small-animal veterinarian, so thats what I did. I have been working at the same animal hospital ever since.

Why It Works: This reply demonstrates experience in the field, career growth, and loyalty. It shows that the candidate is thoughtful and intentional about their career.

What the Interviewer Wants to Know

Hiring managers, recruiters, and employers ask these questions to get a better understanding of how your background and work experience relate to the position they are looking to fill.

Your previous experience serves as an indicator of whether or not you will be a valuable asset and a good fit for their company.

(Video) Interview Tips - "How has your experience prepared you for this job?"

Avoid answering too broadly. Try using specific examples of how past work might prepare you for the new role. The closer a match you are to the job requirements, the better your chances of being selected for an interview.

Watch Now: 3 Ways to Answer “Tell Me About Your Work Experience”

What Not to Say

Don’t memorize your responses. It’s important to practice answering questions, but you also want to sound relaxed and natural, so dont try to learn your answers by rote. Instead of practicing your responses line by line, just focus on the key points to emphasize to get your point across to the interviewer.

Don’t lie. Its also important to be honest and accurate. Dont embellish your job, because you dont know who the hiring manager will be speaking with when they check your references. Even if they don’t follow up in depth, you don’t want to spend the rest of your career waiting to be found out—or to talk your way into a role for which you’re currently unprepared.

  • What can you do for this company? – Best Answers
  • What can you do better for us than the other candidates for the job? – Best Answers
  • Why should we hire you? – Best Answers
  • Why are you the best person for the job? – Best Answers
  • How do you handle failure? – Best Answers
  • How do you handle success? – Best Answers
  • What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make? – Best Answers
  • Why do you want this job? – Best Answers
  • 3 example answers about your previous experience

    It may be helpful for you to review a few examples of answers to this interview question that employ the strategies outlined above. Here are three example answers to questions about relevant previous work experience that take different approaches to help you better understand how to formulate a successful response:


    Mention your growth trajectory and career goals

    As you finish your response, it can be helpful to mention your full career trajectory and the goals you have for yourself. When doing so, consider describing how the role youre interviewing for fits into your professional goals. This can help show that youve been intentional about your path and have a commitment to the field in which you work.

    Discuss the skills you developed through your experiences that apply

    Employers frequently ask this question to evaluate your existing skill set. You can formulate your response by outlining the skills you developed through your experiences. Try to make connections about how these skills apply to the role for which youre interviewing.

    Skills development and application

    When discussing your previous experience, it can be helpful to discuss how your past roles helped you develop the skills you need to succeed in the role for which youre interviewing. Try to mention skills outlined in the roles job description so that you can make valuable connections between your existing qualifications and those an employer desires in a candidate.

    Example: “In my most recent role as a content writer, I was able to develop an advanced skill set in content management and search engine optimization (SEO). I worked with a diverse array of clients and used these skills to help them grow their online traffic. I believe I can apply these skills directly to the role of content supervisor to help your company succeed in meeting clients expectations.”

    7 sample answers to “How is your previous experience relevant for this role?”

  • I’ve worked in a retail store before, spending my days advising customers, trying to deliver a great customer service. I know that a job in a call center is different, but at the end of the day it is also about communication with people, trying to understand their needs and wishes, and finding the right words to motivate them to take a desired action. I honestly believe that my job in a clothing store has prepared me for this position, and feel confident that I will handle the job, and achieve good results.
  • Speaking honestly, it is not very relevant. Because the only job I had so far was one with a fast food restaurant during my studies. I worked as a cashier and helped with basic food preparation. Still, job is a job, you need to arrive on time each day, stay vigilant during the shift, and take care of your duties, but obviously it hasn’t prepared me much for this role with your company… But I’ve heard great things about your corporation and the training program you have in place. I believe that I have the intelligence and abilities to learn how to do the job well, and will become a valuable member of your team, though I lack relevant experience. But perhaps sometimes motivation and drive can beat experience.
  • I’ve lead XYZ project in my last job, and took care of ABC duties, as a part of my managerial role. Reading your job description and researching about your company, I got an impression that my skills and experience match the requirements for this job–please correct me if I am wrong. I dealt with all challenges such projects propose, including tight deadlines, adapting to changes on the go, and a constant need to re-evaluate the milestones and hire new employees. I didn’t do badly in my last job, and honestly believe that my experience is highly relevant for this position, and will help me greatly.
  • Well, I’ll be working mostly with XYZ software in your company. You should know that I’ve been working with this software for seven years already, including ABC modules, and I’ve managed to master the functionality. Hence, at least in my opinion, my experience is highly relevant for the job, and I can’t wait to use my existing knowledge to help to improve the processes in your company.
  • My previous experience isn’t relevant to this job, because I have no previous experience. But you do not have to be the smartest girl in the city to become a great receptionist… I will certainly have to learn to work with the software you use at the reception desk, and also learn how to adhere to the code of conduct you have in place for your receptionists. But this is not some specialty knowledge, and shadowing my colleagues in work, and questioning them about the job, I am sure I can learn to handle my duties in no time. What’s more, I believe to have what it takes to be a great receptionist–excellent communication and organizational skills, and desire to go above and beyond for the guests. In my opinion, everything is much easier with this attitude.
  • As you can see on my resume, I’ve had completely different jobs before. My experience isn’t relevant, but that’s exactly the reason why I am here. I experienced a burnout, and I need a career change. I know that I will have to learn a lot of things to do a great job in your company. But I am ready to put in the extra effort, and motivated to learn to do new things. Starting from scratch is never easy, but I am confident I will handle the job, and hope that you will give me a chance to prove my abilities.
  • In my opinion, everything relates to everything. It may look like my experience isn’t relevant, but I believe that regardless of the place of work, we experience the same tricky situations everywhere: conflicts with colleagues, trying to meet a tight deadline, overcoming some challenges, struggling to meet the monthly goals, etc. Just like I experienced these situations in my previous jobs, I will experience them in your company, just the circumstances will be different. What’s more, I know that your company has excellent processes in place for everything, and employees should work according to them. So in my view it makes no difference whether my achievements and operational experience to date have prepared me for this role. What matters is a willingness to learn and to follow your way of doing things, to adhere to the processes. I can assure you that I am willing to do so, and motivated to learn new skills…
  • How Would You Describe Relevant Work Experience?

    Now that we know what relevant experience is and where it can come from, it’s time to put it on display. The question is how do you identify what kind of relevant experience the hiring manager is looking for, and how do you make your experience look relevant. Use these tips to highlight your relevant experience on a resume:

    Make a list by studying the job description

    Job descriptions are essentially a wish list written by HR, so they’re priceless in figuring out how to describe yourself and your experience. Go through each and every line, looking for the key skills, duties or qualifications described. This will become a list of skills and experience you want your resume to highlight.

    Pro Tip: Try to use the same keywords from the job descriptions to have the best chance of passing the employer’s ATS.

    (Video) Interview Questions and Answers | NO PHONES | HIRING NOW | HIGH PAYING JOBS 2023


    What should I say for relevant experience?

    You can describe your relevant work experience by doing the following: Consider your past work experience and customise it to fit the requirements of the job you are currently targeting. Focus on and describe any relevant duties and responsibilities you undertook in your previous position.

    What experience can you bring to this role Example answer?

    “I can bring positivity, experience, a creative approach to solving problems, and the ability to embrace change enthusiastically. I can bring drive, a passion for this industry, and the ability to always treat your clients and customers in a way that will ensure they become long-term advocates of the business.

    How do you answer previous experience?

    Here’s how you can do that: First, stick to the following work experience order: job title, position, company name, description, location, achievements, responsibilities, dates employed. This ensures a maximum readability and makes it easy for the HR manager to jump to the relevant keywords they’re looking for.

    How do you mention relevant experience?

    (Video) We are seeking relevant work experience to support your career!

    Here’s how you can do that: First, stick to the following work experience order: job title, position, company name, description, location, achievements, responsibilities, dates employed. This ensures a maximum readability and makes it easy for the HR manager to jump to the relevant keywords they’re looking for.

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