How Much Training Do You Think You Will Need To Become a Productive Employee?
Companies and employees spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year training recruits, interns, or even newly promoted employees. These expenses include the cost of bringing in coaches and professionals, stipends, stipulated salaries or training fees, cost of training materials, and sometimes, even feeding and accommodation. For companies that hire candidates who are just entering the industry, the cost of training may be higher. Training of employees can take from as long as a day to even two to three years as in the case of management trainees. For the duration of the training, the employee is not contributing yet to the profit story of the company. He is a liability until he is ready to work independently without making many mistakes. When employers spend that huge percentage of time and money, they see it as an investment and expect the employee in training learns quickly and easily adapts to the job.
To cut costs and unnecessary expenses, employers want to be assured that they are hiring an employee that only needs just the right amount of guidance to blend in, hence the question: “How much training do you think you will need to become a productive employee?” Hiring managers are very careful not to hire a candidate that needs his hand to be held at every stage of a project. Due to the cost and time involved, some companies even insist on hiring only qualified and experienced people who do not require in-depth training, people who will be up to speed from their first day. However, it is only when the job position is for seasoned professionals that the approach can work. For entry-level roles, employers need to boost employee productivity by scheduling training and onboarding programs. Employers want your word, as early as at the interview, that you’ll not be expending the company’s time and resources or require more than the usual time to learn the ropes. That is why hiring managers explicitly ask interviewees how much training they need to be productive.
It takes more than just saying, “I’m a fast learner” on your CV to convince an interviewer. How do you answer the question? Should you make a wild guess and mention just any duration? Or should you brag and try to impress the interviewer by saying that you need no training? That would be a risky move especially if you have zero knowledge about the job role. This article has collated tried and trusted this that will help you develop an answer that will increase your chances of being hired.
- Get to Know the Requirements of the Role: Are you familiar with the tasks and responsibilities of the position? What is expected of you as an employee? Do you understand all of them? It is expected that you should go through the job description way before the interview. When you know all that the role entails, then you can easily assess yourself and gauge how much training you need to get a hang of the job.
- Honestly Assess Yourself: When you are familiar with the requirements of the employer, you can place your knowledge and skills side by side and make an evaluation.
Tell yourself the truth. You can do this by asking yourself soul searching questions like:
“How ready am I for this job?”
“Can I start working productively immediately?”
“Do I possess all the skills needed to work independently and productively?”
“Am I knowledgeable about industry-specific terms and practices?”
While it is important to be confident, do not overhype yourself and think, “Oh, I learn very fast. I don’t even need training. Just point me towards a desk and a chair!” Do not talk yourself down either by giving a reply such as, “I will need a whole lot of time to get used to this job. You know it’s my first time working in this field”. No employer wants to hear that and if anything you should be promoting and selling your brand at an interview. Make a thorough evaluation that will help you find out the core areas you need to focus on during training. Your assessment will also help you recognize your strong points so that you can skillfully add them to your answer.
- Prepare Your Answer: After your assessment, you should be better equipped to answer the question. You should have an idea of the level of training you require. You can put your answer down in writing and practice it before your interview. However, when formulating your answer, it is advisable not to mention any specific duration or time frames like saying, “I need three months” or something like that. More often than not, especially for entry-level roles, there is a stipulated amount of time that the company has set out for training. Asking for more than the usual time could have an employer doubting your abilities.
We have included a sample answer to help you as you prepare yours. Note how the candidate was able to showcase his strengths, avoided selling himself short or asking for an absurd training duration but yet acknowledged that he needs the training.
“I am positive that immediately after the company’s training and onboarding session, I will be ready to carry out any task given to me. With my work experience and the knowledge I garnered while I gained my certification in college, I aim to become the efficient employee the company needs in no distant time. I will also do all I can to acquaint myself with the workings of the company. As this is a new career path for me, I’ll not hesitate to ask for guidance or ask questions when necessary.”
Answering interview questions do not have to feel like the end of the world. The fact that you made it to the interview stage shows that you have what the employer is looking for. With adequate preparation, you can convince them that you only need just the right amount of training to use those skills and abilities to their benefit.