There are a lot of stock questions you’ll face in most of your interviews. Even if you prepare well, it can be easy to lose steam with these seemingly innocuous questions. So if an interviewer asks you to describe your typical workday, make sure you can provide an answer that adds value and shows why you’ll be the ideal candidate.
Describing your typical workday allows you to highlight the skills you’ll bring to the job, how your experience relates to the role, and how well you handle juggling multiple responsibilities. Make sure you’re providing a meaningful and exciting answer to earn that coveted role!
Read the job description
It should go without saying that you should do a good amount of research before any interview, and answering this question is no exception. Even if you’re interviewing for the same type of role with multiple companies, each organization has its own quirks and culture. Their job descriptions also will be different based on individual needs.
So you need to study the job description to have a strong idea of what skills, qualifications, and duties the interviewer is seeking. Look for repeated words and terms to see the most valuable traits for the job. Then, just like when highlighting these keywords on your resume, you’ll know what to mention when describing your workday.
“It is a great idea to review your resume before entering the interview process. When answering the question, you will want to elaborate on the skills you have previously shared while providing new examples.” –LiveCareer
Highlight your best skills
By doing prior research and focusing on those terms, you can find the overlap, according to The Muse’s Regina Borsellino. By finding the intersection of the skills they’re seeking and how you’ve used them in your current role, it creates an easy roadmap to highlight those skills.
The skills don’t have to have a direct overlap, but there’s likely some common ground if you were chosen for an interview. This is why developing your soft skills is so important. You might use them in different ways between roles, but those skills will come in handy during future roles. Regina uses the example of interacting with donors and interacting with customers as similar enough skills to highlight.
Keep it brief
Make sure not to lose your interviewer’s interest by droning on. Your answer shouldn’t take the length of a full workday!
Find the right structure that hits the important points, whether that’s chronological order or by what takes up most of your day. Start with the most important (and impressive parts) of your current role and go from there. LiveCareer says not to just make a list of every duty you have. Instead, focus on how you use your skills to accomplish those duties.
Indeed adds that not only will your answer show how your skills apply to your new role, but how you answer the question will show your time management and work prioritization skills. Knowing how to juggle your tasks is just as crucial as the skills you use to complete them.
“I have key responsibility for maintaining several core products, two of which I was personally involved in developing. So usually the first part of my day is taken to make sure these products are running correctly and applying any necessary fixes, if needed. Yet the greater part of my day is taken with our recently launched new product development for the accounting department. Here are some of the details about that new product…” -example from CollegeGrad
Include highlights and accomplishments
Don’t forget that every interview question isn’t made for a simple informative answer. Every question asked is an opportunity for you to be persuasive in showing why you’re the right candidate for the job. You’re not just telling your interviewer what your workday looks like. You’re using it to show how it makes you the best candidate. So be sure to mention your accomplishments and highlight every duty in a positive manner.
Alison Doyle says that the best way to keep your answers specific is to use real-life examples. And those examples should show off your best accomplishments with those skills. This is a good time to use the STAR method to quickly show a problem during your workday and how you solved it. The interviewer will see you’re solution-orientated and can get things done for them, too.
You want a potential employer to know that your previous experiences have prepared you for this potential new role. Make sure you’re looking to add value to the organization when you tell them about your current workday. By focusing on the skills you have, the accomplishments you’ve made, and relaying how those experiences will help the new company, you’ll position yourself as the right person for the job.