Your resume may be stellar but are you prepared to answer questions about your resume during an interview? In support of my book, Winning Answers to 500 Interview Questions (tinyurl.com/winning500answer), here are 3 questions that may come up during an interview based on your resume and suggestions on how to respond:
Walk me through the important points on your resume.
Why this question is being asked: As the interviewer may not have had the opportunity to review your resume extensively before the interview, he/she would like to hear about the most important parts of your background.
Strategy: Don’t tell your whole work or professional history but discuss the most salient points of your background.
Sample answer: I’ve been in my last position since 2003. I lead a team of 20 sales agents. I have increased sales by 5-7% every year while cutting costs by 8-10% each year. I studied psychology in school and worked my way up from a sales coordinator in a niche firm to a management position in a Fortune 50 company. I am skilled in several database programs and Microsoft applications. I recently completed my masters in communications at Hudson University.
Your resume suggests that you may be over-qualified for this position. What’s your opinion?
Why this question is being asked: To determine why you are applying for a job that you appear to be overqualified for.
Strategy: Explain why your skills and qualifications are a good fit for this job and why you have a serious interest even though it appears to be more of a junior level position.
Sample answer: I think that I am a good fit for the job, neither under or overqualified. Although my last title was “Manager”, it was a smaller company compared to this one.
Given the achievements on your resume, why is your salary so low?
Why this question is being asked: The interviewer wants to understand how much the salary factors in to your career goals.
Strategy: Explain your long term strategy in preparing yourself for the highest future earnings as opposed to taking whatever highest paying job comes next.
Sample answer: Up to this point in my career, it has all been about contributing to the organization and getting as much experience as possible. I chose to take some jobs that paid in the middle range of the market as opposed to the highest, as I knew those firms would challenge me the most and I’d have the best opportunity to learn. Now that I’ve gained all of that experience, I feel that I am in the position to pursue a job that adequately meets both of my goals- to challenge me as well as pay a salary that is at the higher end of the scale.
Lavie Margolin is a New York-based Career Coach in practice since 2003. He authored the book, Winning Answers to 500 Interview Questions. For more information on Lavie, you can check out his website: http://www.Lioncubjobsearch.com . Follow him on twitter @Laviemarg