How to Answer “What Skills Do You Want to Develop?” (With Sample Answers)

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Why do employers ask "What skills do you want to develop?" in a job interview?

Employers often ask this question to gauge your commitment to professional development and continuous learning. They want to know if you are proactive in seeking out opportunities to improve your skills and if you have a clear plan for your career growth. This question can also reveal if you are a good fit for their company's culture and values.

How to answer the question

  1. Be specific: Instead of listing general skills that you want to develop, mention specific skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a marketing position, you could say that you want to develop your skills in data analysis or content creation.
  2. Show enthusiasm: Express your enthusiasm for learning and growing in your career. This will show the employer that you are motivated and eager to take on new challenges.
  3. Be realistic: Don't overpromise on what you can achieve. It's important to be honest about your current skills and abilities, and show a realistic plan for how you will develop them over time.

How to prepare for the question

  • Research the job and company: Before the interview, research the job and company to get a sense of the skills that are most important for the role. This will help you tailor your answer to the specific needs of the employer.
  • Think about your career goals: Consider what you want to achieve in your career and what skills you will need to develop to get there. This will help you create a long-term plan for your professional development.
  • Reflect on your past experiences: Think about the skills you have already developed through your education and work experience. This will help you identify areas where you have already made progress and areas where you have room for improvement.

Common Mistakes

  1. Not being specific: Mentioning general skills that you want to develop, such as "communication" or "leadership," can be too vague and may not demonstrate your understanding of the job requirements. It's important to be specific about the skills that you want to develop and how they are relevant to the job you are applying for.
  2. Not showing enthusiasm: Failing to express enthusiasm for learning and growing in your career can make you seem uninterested or unprepared for the role. It's important to show the employer that you are motivated and eager to take on new challenges.
  3. Being unrealistic: Promising to develop skills that are beyond your current abilities or that are not relevant to the job can make you seem dishonest or unprepared. It's important to be honest about your current skills and abilities, and to show a realistic plan for how you will develop them over time.

Sample Answers

  1. "I am particularly interested in developing my skills in data analysis and visualization. As a marketing professional, I believe that these skills are essential for making informed decisions about campaigns and strategies. I am currently enrolled in a data analytics course and I plan to continue learning through online resources and workshops. I am excited about the opportunity to apply these skills in a real-world setting and make a positive impact on the company's marketing efforts."

  2. "One of the skills that I am most interested in developing is public speaking. I have always been a bit nervous about speaking in front of groups, but I have been working on my presentation skills through Toastmasters and I have made a lot of progress. I am confident that with continued practice and exposure, I can become an effective public speaker. I believe that this skill will be valuable in a number of areas, including client meetings, team meetings, and company presentations. I am excited about the opportunity to continue improving in this area and to contribute to the company's success."

  3. "I am passionate about developing my skills in project management and team leadership. I have had some experience leading small teams in the past, but I recognize that there is always more to learn. I am currently enrolled in a project management certification program and I plan to continue learning through online courses and real-world experience. I am excited about the opportunity to take on more responsibility and to contribute to the success of the team and the company."
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