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What training do you need?

This question is asked for a number of reasons. It determines whether you’re familiar with the job and career, for example knowing where you are in a career as a computer technician and how to move forward. It also helps the interviewer understand your desire to continue to improve in a general way – for example if you indicate a need for some formal training in communication. People who improve become more valuable to a company than people who remain stagnant.

For all jobs, but particularly for those in professions with clear levels of expertise and requirements, make sure you’re familiar with the career program. Understanding where you are in the process, as well as where you have to go, will allow you to ace this question. Even if the particular job doesn’t require a certificate or certain level of education, expressing a desire to improve impresses a new potential employer.

For this answer it’s best to incorporate thee elements:

? Training you’ve achieved to this point
? Training you need to move forward
? Value of the training to the organization

Computer Programmer:
“I realized early that not only are my prospects improved with training, but performance company-wide improves as more and more people gain training and certification. I’ve already achieved an MCSE, as you can see, in addition to my degree in software engineering. I’ve already enrolled in classes for an MCDBA. In fact, it was one of the reasons I was so interested in this position, because you provide a stipend for training and bonuses for achieving certifications.”

General – Communications:
“There’s no doubt this position involves heavy communication skills. It will help me sell more, and deal more effectively with my peers and superiors on the job. I minored in communication along with my business major in college, and now I’m taking a course on Web 2.0 community building. From what I see, I can implement some of that here as soon as I start the job.”

Carpentry:
“I’ve already apprenticed and passed my state certification. I look forward to gaining my master carpentry status after some time on this job. Then you can put me on the bigger jobs and bill more in general for my time.”

Truck Driving:
“I already have my CDL, of course. But I’m just starting a truck driving safety course, which I notice many of your drivers have already completed. That will give you a discount in insuring me while driving your trucks.”

Whatever you do, don’t make up training you’ve already had. Don’t try to dodge the question with some bogus training such as needing to learn to tone down an obvious strength. “I’m learning how to control my desire to work – I’d never leave the office if someone didn’t remind me I have to go home.” Interviewers will see through that in a second.

It’s also a good idea to add some non-job specific training at the end of the answer. Such training won’t necessarily apply directly to the job, but might improve you as a person, which is a benefit to an employer.

  • Achieved a brown belt, going for black. This shows a care for physical fitness and mental sharpness.
  • About to begin SCUBA certification courses. Employers like hobbies that show a well rounded employee.
  • Have enrolled in a CPR class at the local hospital.

Unfortunately, as one job candidate didn’t seem to realize, some training is just too specialized. “I train in my spare time to become an astronaut.”

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