Interview questions and advice for Training Specialist

Training specialist trains new hires, conduct orientation sessions, help the employees to improve on their skills, and evaluate the effectiveness of training in general.

It is an interesting and rewarding job, but you will have to pass a difficult interview to get it.

The typical interview process for training specialist consists in three sessions.

A brief phone interview with HR manager or HR generalist (screening questions), a face to face session with HR manager or external recruiter (behavioral and technical questions) and a personality test (optional but common in big companies).

You probably already know the screening questions (if not, check them here), so in this article we will focus on behavioral and technical questions. Let’s start!


Common interview questions for training specialist

How would you identify the skills an employee needs to improve on?

You can suggest different ways of doing this. To conduct regular surveys with the employees, to let them complete IQ and personality tests, or short case studies to uncover their weaknesses, to monitor their performance and compare it with internal data, and with the data you can get from your competitors. Individual approach is the key in this case.

How would you train a new sales person?

You can say that you would engage experienced sales people from the company in the training. You can also say that you would do a basic orientation only and let the training for the experienced salesmen from the company. Alternatively you can suggest hiring an external sales coach to conduct the training.

Can you create some study materials for new hires?

Say that you can, and give an example how you did it in the past, or how you would do it. Elaborate on your answer, saying how important it is to have a high-quality study materials that will help new hires to easily understand their job, and their position in the hierarchy of the company.

Why do you think you can be a good training specialist?

You should say that you have good communication skills, can recognize the weaknesses and the strengths of other people, and know how to help them to improve on their weaknesses. You can also say that you love the nature of the job, and that you have relevant experience (if true). You should show some confidence while answering this interview question. Show them that you believe in your skills, and they will start believing in them too.


Behavioral questions

Apart from the technical questions, you will have to deal with the behavioral questions, questions that examine your attitude and approach to various situations that do happen in a job of a training specialist. For example:

  • Describe a situation when you were under pressure in work.
  • Describe a conflict you had with your colleague, someone you were training.
  • Describe a situation when you reached a goal and tell us how you achieved it.
  • Describe a situation when you had to motivate someone in work.
  • Describe a situation when you did not agree with the opinion (or decision) of your superior or supervisor, and knew that they were wrong.
  • Describe a situation when you faced a particularly demanding problem or challenge in your job.
  • Describe a time when you struggled to communicate something to your colleague, one of the new hires. How did you manage to get your message over?
  • Describe a difficult decision you had to make in your professional career. How did making this decision affect you?
  • Describe the biggest failure of your professional career.

If you struggle with answers to the behavioral questions, or do not have much time to prepare for the questions, you can have a look at our Interview Success Package (great answers to behavioral interview questions for both people with and without previous working experience).

Alternatively, you can check the following articles:

  • Interview preparation tips – What to wear, what to bring with you, how to act, physical, mental, and informational preparation for an interview.
  • Questions in detail – long analysis of certain questions that job seekers are afraid of, such as “why should we hire you?”, “what are your weaknesses?”, etc.

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