Do you have a interview set up ? If so make sure you have the right prep to get yourself ready to get the job. Tell me something about yourself that isn’t on your résumé The
Do you have a interview set up ? If so make sure you have the right prep to get yourself ready to get the job.
Tell me something about yourself that isn’t on your résumé
The Real Question: Are you going to give me a mature response? Are you a well-rounded person outside of work? And oh, I’m tired—will you take over for a bit?
Top-line Tactic: If it advances the action, say whatever you want to say. Avoid trivia and flippancy.
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Interviews are tiring. Sometimes the interviewer needs to put their feet up, recuperate and watch you do all the hard work. This question allows them to do that.
Your answer is a test of judgment, for you’ll need to reference something interesting and impressive that somehow wasn’t worth putting on your résumé. It also requires you to judge whether the interviewer wants to hear more about you as a person or as a professional. That’s two conundrums to deal with. In the heat of the moment, a candidate who is unprepared or just inexperienced will often solve those conundrums by saying something twee, funny or pseudo-embarrassing, such as “I am the world’s biggest Game of Thrones fan.” It’s very common for nervous candidates to reach for trivia, having assumed that everything worth saying has already been said on their résumé.
So if you don’t want to be the person who talks about their DVD collection at interview, remind yourself that you’re there to show you can do a job. Emphasize the professional more than personal. If they want personal, show them your values and your mindset.
It is always appropriate to show that you have outside interests that are sociable and achievement-oriented, ones that involve teamwork or personal initiative.
- Did you omit to mention your first ever job? A lot of people do, but it’s a mistake—all work experience counts. If your first job set you on your current career path, mention it now (see Tell me about your first job,).
- A project or professional episode that was far less easy than it appears on your résumé—but which you conquered anyway.
- Voluntary work.
- Specific and interesting instances of your hobby—e.g. “I ran a marathon dressed as a rhino for the Save the Rhino foundation.”
- Any groups to which you belong and regularly contribute, e.g. “I’ve been involved in PADI, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, for many years and am now a Master Scuba Diver.”
Be ready to say why you took up these activities, and how they’ve affected you. Ideally, you’ll be able to say how your experience in them feeds directly into the job.
Being asked this question is a sign that you’re doing well, so you can afford to take a little liberty. Here’s a couple of answers that combine the personal AND the professional.
Well, one thing I left off my résumé was that I am a demon buyer and seller of vintage clothing on eBay. I do it partly for social reasons—friends bring stuff to me that they’d probably have thrown out otherwise, and my reputation will get them the best price. I think they treat it as more of an excuse to get together, which is great, but it’s also fun for me to spot value in what they think is junk, and then we all go out for a meal on the proceeds.
Well, I’ve mentioned company X on my résumé already, but what I left off is that X was going broke when I joined it. I joined just as the economy tanked. The company employed ten people then, then headcount went down to seven, then five, then there were just two of us—the founder and me. I stuck with it, he stuck with me—and we built it back up to twenty people. I didn’t have room for all that on my résumé, but I think I learned more in those two years than in any other job.
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