How did you get your last job?

  | James Innes


How did you get your last job?

Alternative and related questions:

How did you locate your last job?

The meaning behind the question:

This is a surprisingly popular question among interviewers. The reason is that, while seemingly a very simple little question, your answer can give the interviewer insight into numerous different areas. It can help them to assess how much initiative you have, how determined and tenacious you are, how driven you are and how much you plan and control your own career.

Your answer:

You need to realise that there are two different ways of interpreting this question – and you need to make sure you cover both bases. First of all is the question of how you actually managed to locate your last job (recruitment agency, network contact, speculative application, head-hunted, etc.) Then there is the question of how you went about securing the job – how you convinced the employer that you were the right person for the job. You need to aim to portray an image of somebody in control of their own destiny – not someone who just goes with the flow.


It was actually quite complicated. I was keen for a new challenge and had already started looking around when I saw in the local newspaper that they were opening a new branch in the area. I sent in a speculative application to the HR department at their head office and they wrote back to say that they would only be recruiting through their preferred recruitment agency. So I called them up immediately and, having run through a few key points on my CV, managed to persuade them to at least interview me. They also interviewed a spread of candidates from the recruitment agency but, after a second interview and then a third interview with the Marketing Director herself, I was ultimately offered the job.

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