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Job interview question: Discuss your resume

When an interviewer asks you to talk him or her through your resume and professional background, you have to be ready to succinctly run through your key skills and experiences in an engaging manner. What you don’t want to do is just start reading your resume, which the interviewer has already done – boring! This is your chance to engage and impress, so don’t blow it.

Any time you walk into an interview, be prepared to run through the information outlined in your resume, highlighting your achievements and demonstrating how you’re perfect for the role. If you follow these key principles, you should be able to clinch the deal.

Be punchy

Whatever you do, don’t waffle on. Summarise your experiences as succinctly as you can, emphasising those most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Tell a story

Everyone loves a story, and interviewers are no different. To really engage them, don’t just rattle off a list of what you’ve done – shape your experiences into a narrative that has a shape and direction – and one that leads, hopefully, to the organisation you’re interviewing with. And then you can all live happily ever after.

Highlight your skills and strengths

It’s not enough to just talk about what you’ve done in the past – use your experiences to showcase the skills you’ve developed and your particular strengths. For example, if you’ve managed projects in the past, use this to demonstrate your knack for organisation, team building and ability to manage tasks, schedules and budgets.

Identify your achievements

Try to identify concrete achievements from your past roles and experiences. If you can quantify them, such as saying that you increased sales or saved on costs by 20 per cent, then that’s even better. Other achievements could include overcoming specific obstacles, improving systems or implementing new ones, or developing new strategies.

Show how you will fit the needs and culture of the organisation

Demonstrate how you, with your particular experiences, skills and track record, will be able to make a valuable contribution to the new organisation, bringing with you your wealth of wisdom and transferable skills. Show them who you are as a person and how your values and working style align with those of the company.

‘Fit’ with an organisation’s culture is one of the most crucial considerations when choosing future employees, but it’s one area that many job seekers fail to take into full consideration. The more you can demonstrate how well you will fit with the company and the role, the greater your chances of getting hired.

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