This type of employee growth is beneficial for both parties (whether it’s the coach/mentor or the apprentice/student) and for the company; that’s why the interviewer might be interested in hearing your insights on this new trend. He or she might ask you to share an experience where you became a mentor or a coach of someone; how did you influence that person, and what improvements did you see in that person’s knowledge or skills after you coached him or her?
Why is the interviewer interested on your coaching and mentoring skills?
- Because he wants to know if you’re capable of teaching and sharing your knowledge with other people;
- Because he wants to see if you’re willing to teach and share your knowledge and skills to other people;
- Because he wants to gauge your coaching/mentoring/teaching skills; and
- Because he wants to assess your ability to interact with other people, especially if these people become your apprentice/s.
How do you answer this question?
- Prepare your answers beforehand. Think and try to remember if there was an instance in your life where you were able to help someone achieve his or her goal because you mentored him or her. Especially if you are applying for a managerial position, you should have at least experienced mentoring someone already. However, if you are applying for an entry-level position, you can share your experiences with your juniors when you were in college. Was there ever a situation when you were able to help someone because you coached him or her? If so, prepare to explain that story.
- While answering, keep your response direct, brief, and simple. Don’t include unnecessary comments, especially when they have nothing to do with you being a mentor. What really happened is what you’re going to tell the interviewer. Don’t add superfluous details or exaggerations just to enhance your image.
- Focus your explanation on the improvements you saw in that person after coaching him or her. You can actually list the improvements that you noticed even before the interview so that you will feel well-prepared. Put emphasis on how much you think your guidance helped that person, but don’t be too conceited about it.
- Justify your answer by providing examples. State other situations where that specific person (your apprentice) was able to use what you taught him or her. Answers are more believable when they have justification, so remember to prepare an explanation for your answer.
Having a coach or a mentor can help promote your development as a worker. On the other hand, being a coach or a mentor can help you achieve self-fulfillment. There’s nothing better than knowing that you were able to help someone be successful.