How to Answer Job Interview Questions About Your Resume

Job Interview
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Interviewers frequently start a job interview by asking you to provide an overview of your experience. This will often take the form of a request like "Walk me through your resume." 

How to Answer Job Interview Questions About Your Resume

Typically, candidates will recount their work experiences in order from past to present and focus their presentation on their job titles and the names of their employers.

However, interviewees taking this approach don't tell employers much that they don't already know — and miss out on a critical opportunity to frame their case positively. Rather than summarizing the facts of your resume, consider this question an opportunity to highlight the aspects of your resume that show that you're a great match for the role. 

Be Selective

You can take advantage of the opportunity to create a favorable impression early in the interview by leading the interviewer through your resume in a more selective manner. You should highlight the most compelling elements of your experience. You don't need to share everything you have done or go through each bullet point. Remember, the interviewer is likely holding a copy of your resume during the interview, and will have a broad sense of the facts around each job, such as your job title, the company name, and the basics of your role.

 

Aim to speak for a few minutes to answer this question, but not for so long than your answer becomes tedious. Avoid rambling or delving into minutia, and try to tell a coherent story in your response. Prepare by analyzing the most critical requirements for the job for which you are interviewing. Then select the aspects of your work, academic, and volunteer history which best demonstrate that you have the right stuff to excel in that position.

 

Focus on Your Accomplishments and Skills

Rather than a bland rendition of your position titles and responsibilities, cite key accomplishments and reference the skills that enabled you to achieve those successes. 

Be sure to mention how you impacted the bottom line in those roles, and how you added value to your employer. Try to present your points in the form of stories that portray problems you solved and challenges you met. This is also an opportunity to explain job movement as it relates to your career. For instance, you might say, "Working at ABC Company taught me a great deal about product marketing, but I ultimately made the move to XYZ Company because it offered me the opportunity to manage a team. Working in this kind of leadership, team-building way is a real priority for me." 

You Don't Have to Cover Everything on Your Resume

Feel free to leave out jobs that are not relevant or impressive, and to deviate from a chronological presentation. At the end of your presentation, the interviewer should have a clear understanding of five to seven assets in your background that will enable you to perform at a high level in the job for which you are interviewing. 

Get Your Facts Straight

It's important be accurate when you're recounting your work history.

When you're stressed about interviewing, it can be easy to forget the exact details of your employment history. Review your resume ahead of time and bring a copy with you to the interview. Here's information on sharing your work history during job interviews.

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