50 Learning and Development Interview Questions (With Tips)
Updated August 2, 2022
Learning and development managers are professionals who are in charge of training an organization's employees in a variety of areas. For those applying to this type of role, interviews are great opportunities to express the skills, qualifications and enthusiasm necessary to excel at the job. If you're interested in applying for a position in this field, it's beneficial to prepare for interviews by reading through potential questions you might need to answer.
In this article, we explore lists of common interview questions for learning and development managers and provide some sample answers to help you practice.
There are some common questions that interviewers in many industries ask their job candidates to get to know them and the way they think. Interviewers are usually interested in both the content of what a candidate is saying and how they say it, such as whether they are behaving in an engaging and professional way. Thoughtful preparation can help you answer different interview questions with confidence, courtesy and clarity. Here are some examples of general interview questions:
Why do you want to work for us?
How would your friends and coworkers describe you?
What is unique about you?
What motivates you to succeed?
What has your greatest professional accomplishment been?
Tell me about your strengths.
What is your biggest weakness?
How do you handle stress?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
How does this position fit into your career path?
Tell me about a time when you had to take initiative.
Tell me about a time when you had to respond to a crisis.
Tell me about a time when you had to multitask.
Tell me about a time when you had to accept negative feedback.
Why did you leave your last job?
Questions about experience and background
Interviewers often ask questions related to the candidate's experience in the industry or field of the job. Since learning and development professionals can work in many different fields and often depend on subject matter experts to learn content knowledge, they may not know much about the particular industry they are applying to. However, they can emphasize their ability to learn quickly and highlight their knowledge of adult learning principles, business sense, coaching, presenting and other relevant criteria. Here are some examples of questions you may encounter about experience and background:
What do you like most about training others?
What do you like least about training others?
What do you feel are the biggest challenges employees face in developing their skills?
Describe your training style.
What is the key to motivating employees?
How do you organize your training sessions?
What is the greatest accomplishment you've had in learning and development?
What qualities make an outstanding leader?
Describe your worst learning and development day. What did you learn from the experience?
How do you motivate employees to become active learners?
What is the key to teaching and training adults?
Tell me about your experience with leading teams.
Tell me about your experience with creating training materials.
In an interview for a learning and development management position, interviewers typically ask you questions specifically related to your experience in this career. They may want to hear about your educational background in business, economics, human resources or related fields, your interpersonal, problem-solving, leadership and collaboration skills, your previous work experience training employees and anything else that may demonstrate your expertise in learning and development management. Here are some examples of in-depth questions you may hear:
Describe your professional development experiences.
Do you have any professional credentials or certifications in the field?
Explain your experience with a particular learning and development strategy or technology.
How do you integrate technology into training sessions?
What experience do you have in training large teams?
How do you approach different learning styles?
How do you help employees use their particular skills and talents?
How do you help employees who are struggling with learning concepts?
How do you make your training sessions accessible to people with different abilities?
How do you make your training sessions or programs engaging?
Do you have experience with virtual training methods?
Tell me about a time when your training led to actual improvements for a company.
What is the best way to provide guidance to team members?
How do you measure the success of your learning solutions?
Are you interested in trying any new trends in learning and development?
Interview questions with sample answers
When preparing for a job interview, think about the questions your interviewer may ask you—about yourself, the role or your industry—and create answers to them. You can connect your answers back to the job opening's description to show your interviewer you're a perfect fit for the position. This process can help you be and feel more prepared to express your qualifications effectively in the actual interview process. Here are some interview questions with sample answers that may help you:
What makes you a good fit for this organization?
Employers may ask this question to gauge your qualifications for the role and your interest in their organization. It's important that you show your interviewer your enthusiasm about the particular role you applied to, as opposed to any other job. Conduct thorough research of the company beforehand, and consider explaining what you like about the company's mission, values or vision of the future. It's also a good idea to emphasize how your credentials match the job description and how your skills could benefit the organization.
Example: "I am very inspired by your organization's mission to foster positivity in the workplace. Because of my experience researching best learning practices, I've realized that supportive work atmospheres can actually enable team members to be productive and creative. My skills in encouraging collaboration through positive feedback, rewards and team-building activities make me an excellent fit for this organization."
What is a learning and development manager to you?
This question tests your knowledge about the type of job you're applying for. Interviewers who ask this question typically want to know whether you understand the tasks you might be responsible for in this position. Use this question to show your knowledge of and unique perspective on learning and development management.
Example: "To me, a learning and development manager activates the potential, talents and skills of employees to enable them to do the best job possible. I believe those who excel in this role are experts in communication, support and teamwork. They can solve problems, overcome obstacles and help people build relationships with each other."
How do you approach training on a subject you're not familiar with?
Since sometimes learning and development manager positions are temporary, interviewers may want to know how well you can adapt to new subject matter. You may need to coordinate training programs on subjects that you don't have direct experience with, but you can emphasize your adaptability to show employers you can still succeed at the job.
Example: "Due to my experience with research and planning, I am an expert in learning any subject quickly and thoroughly. I am also able to build strong relationships with subject matter experts to learn industry-specific information that can aid me in training employees."
What is your favorite part of the learning and development process?
Employers may ask this question to see how passionate you are about the learning and development process. You can use this question as an opportunity to discuss why you love learning and development management and if you have any specialties in the field. Your favorite part may be researching and planning projects, analyzing information, designing curriculum and handbooks, onboarding employees, implementing activities or any other job duties.
Example: "My favorite part of the learning and development process is working with diverse groups of employees with varying personalities and talents. I love meeting new people and adapting my training approach to unique learning styles. I find I learn so much in every training encounter I have."
Related: 7 Interview Practice Tips
Do you find technology helpful in training programs?
This question assesses your skills in using technology to provide effective training to employees. In this age, technical and computer skills are very important for many industries. Mention any specific technologies, software or programs you may have used in the learning and development field.
Example: "I constantly use technology to facilitate efficient and accessible learning for employees. I've given online assessments, surveys, presentations and had countless virtual meetings. I also record all of my training presentations and sessions to ensure any employees can access them again. I am always happy to train employees on the use of technology and answer questions they may have."
What's the biggest challenge you've faced in past training programs?
Employers often like asking you about previous challenges to see how you have overcome them. They usually want to evaluate your problem-solving skills and your ability to stay positive in the face of an obstacle. Use the STAR method to prepare an answer about a challenging situation you've experienced, your responsibility in it, your action to overcome it and the positive result of your action.
Example: "In my last role as a learning and development manager, there was an employee who struggled with using technology. Since it was my responsibility to ensure all trainees felt supported and valued in the training process, I made sure to give customized guidance to this employee. I was able to instruct the employee on a simple way to access training materials online and received a positive review from them at the end of the session."
There are several techniques you can follow to prepare for an interview and approach it with calmness and optimism. Here are some tips for interviews:
Create an elevator pitch. "Tell me about yourself" is one of the most common interview questions, and having an answer or "elevator pitch" about yourself prepared can help you appear professional, thoughtful and confident. Use your answer to this question to connect your educational background and work experience to the specific job description of the position you're applying to.
Practice with a friend. Completing a mock interview with a friend can be a low-stakes way to practice your interview skills. Your friend can take notes and let you know things you did well and things you can improve upon.
Bring multiple copies of your resume. Bring at least five printed copies of your resume to your interview so that you can provide one to an interviewer that doesn't have one. If you're attending a virtual interview, have a file of your resume ready to send by email if necessary.
Take deep breaths. Taking deep breaths can help calm pre-interview nerves. Remembering that the reason an employer is interviewing you is that they already think you're qualified can help you feel confident and prepared.
Ask questions. Almost every interviewer asks job candidates if they have any questions at the end of an interview. Preparing thoughtful, specific questions about the job can show your interviewer your interest in the job opening.
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