12 Interview Questions About Being Able to Coach (With Sample Answers)
No matter what they do, what industry they work in, or how skilled they are, professionals can get helpful feedback at different points in their careers. During a job interview, a hiring manager may ask candidates questions to see how well they can learn from their mistakes and deal with constructive criticism. If you have an interview coming up, you might want to be ready for questions about how coachable you are. In this article, we look at 12 interview questions about being coachable and give you sample answers you can use to prepare.
Sample answers to questions about being teachable at an interview
Consider going over these 12 coachability interview questions and sample answers to help you get ready for your next interview:
1. Tell me about a time when you learned something new from a coworker. What did they teach you, and why did that teach you something important?
For many jobs, learning new skills is important because it helps you stay relevant and up-to-date on the latest industry practices and knowledge. A potential employer could ask you this question to find out how well you can learn and remember new things. It also shows how you feel about learning new skills, so it might be important to show how open you are to these kinds of experiences.
Example: “When I started my job as a medical technologist, I had just finished college, so there was a lot I didn’t know yet. My coworkers taught me a lot of new skills and ways to do things. That experience was important because I learned new skills that helped me do well at my job. After that, I looked for other ways to learn.”
2. Tell me about a mistake you made at work that you had to tell someone about. How did you fix your mistake? What did it teach you?
Mistakes can happen at work at any time, no matter what you do. An employer might ask you this question to find out how honest and responsible you are and how well you can learn from your mistakes. This also shows how good you are at solving problems.
Example: “While working as an IT support analyst, I was working on a client’s computer and accidentally deleted some of their data. I told my more experienced coworkers right away about the mistake because it was a big deal. They helped me figure out how to solve the problem, which taught me that it’s always best to ask for help.”
3. Think about when you last needed help at work. What made you want to ask for help? What help did you need?
This is a question an employer might ask to see if you are self-reliant enough to ask for help when you need it. Even though being independent is important, sometimes it can be helpful to ask for help. This makes sure that you can meet important deadlines and quotas.
Example: “When I last needed help, I was working on a big project with a deadline coming up. Because I took on extra work, I didn’t have much time to finish the project. I asked my teammates for help with the project so I could finish it on time, and they asked me to help them with tasks for future projects.”
4. Tell me about a time when someone told you how well you did on a project. How did you do what they told you to do?
After you’ve worked hard on a project, a coworker or manager may give you good feedback on how you did. If a potential employer asks you this, it’s probably to see how you handle criticism. It also shows them how you think about advice and how you follow it.
Example: “After I finished making a mobile app, people who used it had different things to say about it. They mostly cared about how easy it was to use the app, and their feedback helped me make changes that fit their wants and needs better.”
5. Tell me about a professional area where you know you need to get better and how you’ve tried to do so.
A hiring manager might ask you this question to see how self-aware you are and how well you can see your own flaws. A coachable worker must be able to see where at work they need to improve. Most of the time, employers want to hear answers that are honest and show that you want to get better.
Example: “Throughout my career, I’ve learned that I can always get better at organizing. Even though I meet deadlines, I’m not always as organized as I could be. This can make my workdays more stressful than they need to be. To fix this, I’ve started putting my tasks in order of how important they are on a schedule.”
6. If a team project you led went wrong, how would you take responsibility?
Employers ask this question because how you answer it often shows how good of a leader you are. To be a good leader, you usually need skills like management, responsibility, organization, and communication, among others. When you answer this question, it’s important to show that you’re a leader who can admit mistakes and take responsibility for them.
Example: “When I was a project manager, one of our deliverables was late because of an unexpected mistake in our workflow. Since I was the manager, I told the senior leaders and other important people that I was responsible for the mistake. Then, I made future workflows more flexible so that an error wouldn’t cause a project to be late.”
7. Can you tell me about a time when the feedback you got didn’t make sense to you?
Sometimes, you might not agree with what your coworkers or managers say. Even if you have good reasons, it’s often important how you talk about and deal with those reasons. If an employer asks you this, they might want to know how you keep your cool when you don’t agree with them.
Example: “I once made a new software interface for our users, but my boss at the time said it wasn’t easy to use. Even though I disagreed, I was still willing to hear what others had to say. I decided to use some of my manager’s ideas and convinced him that other parts were also important.”
8. Tell me about a time when someone showed you how to do something hard that you thought you could do on your own. What did you think or feel about that?
During your career, you may need help from a coworker to do something you thought you could do on your own. Asking someone to teach you how to do something can help you learn and get better at it. Employers often ask this question to find out if you are willing to ask for help.
Example: “As an administrative assistant, I was often asked to do extra work every day. I once tried to do something I didn’t know how to do, but I couldn’t do it without help. I asked a supervisor for help, and they showed me an easy way to do this task that I now use often. I’m glad I asked for help when I did.”
9.Do you like being coached, or do you prefer to figure things out on your own?
An employer might ask you this question to find out how you like to work and how well you can follow directions. A good answer to this question shows how the two ways of working can work together. A professional should sometimes get coaching, but they should also try to think critically and come up with their own solutions.
Example: “I think it’s just as important to be able to solve problems on your own as it is to have a coach. Both of these ways of doing things are important because different situations call for them. When I’m first learning how to do something, I usually prefer to be coached, but when problems come up, I use problem-solving strategies to make sure I finish my work on time.”
10.Can you tell me about a time when you took charge of a project using what you had learned from someone else?
This is an important question that a hiring manager or recruiter might ask because it shows how well you can not only learn information but also use it in real life. This shows that you can always learn from your training and experiences, which can help you get better at what you do and improve your skills.
Example: “When I first started working in database management, I didn’t know how to do many of the tasks, which made my work less than perfect. I asked a more experienced coworker to show me how to better manage our databases when a new project came up. It made a big difference in how much I got done, and I later made changes to her system that she really liked.”
11. What do you do when it’s the first time you’ve ever done something?
Employers ask candidates this question to see how well they can come up with creative solutions to problems on their own. You could talk about how open you are to feedback and help from others as a way to approach a task you don’t know much about.
Example: “When I start a task I’ve never done before, I try to first think about how it might be like other tasks I’ve already done. Then I use what I know now to try to finish it. If that doesn’t help, I ask a coworker to show me how they do the task.”
12. What was the hardest criticism you’ve ever gotten, and how did you deal with it?
It can be hard to take criticism, but sometimes you need to in order to grow professionally. This is a question an employer might ask to see how well you can take criticism. You might want to talk more about how you dealt with the criticism than about what you did wrong.
Example: “The hardest criticism I’ve ever had to deal with was at my last job as a project manager. The software for our client took too long to come from the team I was in charge of. People in charge of this situation were not happy, and because of that, we almost lost a client. After they said bad things about my work, I made sure that my team of software developers and I never missed another deadline again.”