I’m not sure about your current workplace, but every job I have had they use a specific set of systems and software. Each place has been different, except for the common Microsoft Office programs like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, etc.
I have worked with many different programs across different industries, while it might sound simple, learning a new system can be kind of challenging… Especially if you are used to one you are using right now.
With each different program or software experience is key, so the sooner you learn and better you understand it, the sooner and better you can win at your job. Even the same piece of software can be used differently across different businesses. Or, the software can be tailored to suit that business.
Whatever the case, prepare yourself to own this question so you are the ideal candidate for the position. If you can’t answer this effectively it will certainly place doubt in the interviewers mind that you will be able to pick up the skills that are required to do the job they need.
Best to start off with the fact that you are open to learning new things, and that you can learn quickly and efficiently. The last thing I want to hear when interviewing someone is how they aren’t computer savvy and it will take them a lot of training to get where we need them to be. It means you can’t hit the ground running, which is what everyone wants.
With technology today everyone is using it, and with the advancements in business technology is a big part of the here and now. It means we can manage our data, track our position, know our clients and be in the know at all times no matter where we are.
Next I would start with how you learn. Do you take notes? Are you a visual person who needs to watch to learn? Or are you like me and you need to actually “do” what it is you are trying to learn? I need to use the system or do the work they are trying to teach me in order to remember it. If you talk at me I won’t be able to follow without running through it at the same time. I am also an avid note taker. That can’t hurt anyone! Take as many notes as possible to your ability so you can reflect back on them once you are left to your own devices to figure it all out.
So how do you learn?
Best to show your interviewer by providing examples of previous learning experiences. How did you get started? What training were you provided? What training did you undertake on your own? How did you familiarise yourself with the system?
E.g. In my last job after working there for 5 years they decided to implement a tailor made program that was not only a CRM but it encompassed each part of the business – client services, loan applications, sales, communication, tasks, finance, marketing, analytics. Everything. As you can imagine this was a big change for all of the staff, but I thought it was a great idea to improve the business. The company provided general training up front and ongoing training each week to get everyone up to speed. I asked for the manuals and began reading through the area’s that were relevant to my job first. We were all given our log ons in a test server so I began to have a play around to familiarise myself with the program. I learn best by doing, so by getting in the system with the manuals and general training to get me started I was off on my way to learning the system and did a few test files until I was comfortable. My manager was impressed as I was the only staff member to take initiative and learn the systems on my own.
Be open to change, even if it is uncomfortable. Learning new programs and software is going to be awesome for you and your experience. Remember to be confident, prepare yourself and give them an example of how you have done it before. Make them see that you are the one who can hustle!