Whether the trainer is presenting sales training, management training, finance training or customer service training the core skills and abilities for a successful business trainer are the same. These trainer interview questions explore those essential competencies or behaviors needed to determine and meet employee development needs and to facilitate and present successful and effective training courses.
Trainer interview questions and answer guidelines to help you get the trainer job you want.
What specific skills do you bring to the trainer position?
Refer to the essential skills and behaviors that every successful trainer needs. These include technical skills such as knowledge of adult learning principles, business core competencies such as knowledge and understanding of basic business principles and organizational behavior and personal competencies such as planning and organizing skills, information gathering and analysis, communication and presentation skills, coaching skills, adaptability, creativity and resilience. Support your answer with work related examples.
Give me an example of a learning intervention you implemented which was successful. Why do you think it worked well?
Take the interviewer through each step of the training process from identifying the training needs to designing the right learning intervention, to presenting the training program and evaluating the effectiveness of the intervention. Highlight the key skills you used from problem assessment to decision-making to presentation skills to evaluation skills.
Trainer jobs will vary from company to company, industry to industry and according to the level of the trainer position but there are a number of common key competencies for a professional trainer.
What has been the most difficult training situation that you have had to deal with and what did you do?
Training employees can present many challenges. Some common difficulties include lack of manager or supervisor support, disinterest and lack of motivation from the employee, lack of engagement from participants and poor learning transfer to the job. The key to answering these trainer interview questions is to explain how you analyzed why the difficulty occurred and what actions you took to improve the situation from redesigning the training to conducting feedback workshops with participants and supervisors.
How have you gone about identifying employee-training needs in the organization?
Finding out training needs includes communicating with managers and supervisors, conducting surveys, talking to the employees and observing on the job performance. Analyzing performance management feedback and organizational, departmental and operational needs. Give a specific example.
Tell me about a recent training program that you ran. How did you make sure that the skills were successfully transferred to the work situation?
Learning transfer is an ongoing process. Ways of assessing the degree of transfer include observation, talking to supervisors, customers, and colleagues and getting feedback from the employee. Focus on key requirements for training transfer starting with a training program that is properly linked to real work life experience to manager and supervisor support and reinforcement back on the job.
Describe a recent on-the-job training activity you facilitated.
On the job training presents its own challenges including distractions, lack of structure and nervousness from the employee. Take a specific example and discuss how you managed the difficulties.
What do you consider the key criteria for training to be effective?
When answering trainer interview questions about effective training relate it to actual examples. Effective training means the employees are engaged in the training learn new skills, ideas and knowledge. The process enhances employee self esteem and instills confidence and motivation. The participants are able to transfer effectively what has been learned into the work environment. The training meets the employee’s development and training needs and helps fulfill the organization’s goals and objectives.
What training methods have you used and which have proven the most effective in your experience?
Professional trainers use a variety of methods including role-playing, simulation, lectures, case studies. Assess the training needs of the employees, determine which skills and knowledge need to be learned and then decide on the most appropriate training method for imparting these specific skills, abilities and knowledge. The method must match the participants’ profile and needs and the learning material.
How do you keep current with the latest developments and ideas about business training?
Focus on your motivation for professional development and learning. Do you attend seminars, subscribe to relevant publications, do research on the Internet etc?
What is the difference between training and development?
The basic difference between training and development is: Training helps to make the employee of a company to be more effective and efficient in the present role and responsibilities of the job i.e. fulfill short term needs of any company but development helps to improve the overall personality dimensions of an employee to take up any future assignments if any and better equipped to handle any critical situations might occur i.e. fulfill long term needs of any company.
How would you ensure that the training is effective for an employee within the company?
The training is effective in all means if it
- Imparts new skills
- Inculcates new ideas, knowledge and concepts
- Is practical oriented
- Not an information dump
- Aligns the training needs to fulfill the organizational short and long-term goals
- Conducts the post evaluation to ensure the satisfaction levels to refine the future training needs
What are the different methods you could use in training employees?
There are different training methods like on –the – job techniques, off-the-job techniques, role playing, simulation, internship, apprentice ship, lectures, case analysis, laboratory training methods etc.
What are the key issues that should be addressed in the design, conduct, and evaluation of training programs?
The following are the key issues to be addressed for a successful training program:
- Place (indoor/outdoor)
- Audio visual aids
- Relevant training materials
- Time schedule
- Non – visual aids
What is the role of a trainer in a company?
The role of a trainer is to develop a competency and skill sets in an individual to perform his/her effectively and efficiently in the work place. The trainer should communicate to the trainees about what is expected out of training in a simple and professional way.
The trainer plays a pivotal role from start to end of the training that includes the following:
- Training plan
- Timing of different training sessions
- Choosing the relevant training methods
- Preparing the training materials and aids
- Conducting training sessions and
- Evaluating the post training session
What qualities does a company expect in a trainer?
The qualities of a good trainer are as follows:
- Methodical and well-planned
- Highly knowledgeable and competent enough
- Possess relevant industry experience
- Good in communication/presentation and
- Be practical enough to make the overall training session fruitful to the trainees.
As a trainer, what are the steps you would undertake to make the long training session not boring to the employees?
The following are the steps to be undertaken to make the long training session not boring to the trainees/employees:
- Give appropriate breaks to refresh
- Use both audio-visual aids as and when necessary
- Keep avoiding mono dialogue session; make the session highly interactive
- Include management games like ice breakers etc. to energize the whole team
- Introduce different learning principles like showing live industry examples and case study analysis
How would you end your training session?
The well-experienced trainer would end the training session with the summary of the whole session/story/real life business example/ feedback mechanism to evaluate the usefulness of both the training session and trainer as well.