If an interviewer or hiring manager makes this request during a job interview, first, relax then take a minute or two to tell the person a few pertinent stories – not your entire life story.
Though this request seems simple enough it can feel like a trick question since the person usually has a copy of your résumé in front of him or her, according to an article at www.interviewing.com.
Remember, this is your chance to showcase yourself, develop a comprehensive view of who you are and why the company should hire you, says the article. That means you have to know your résumé “backwards and forwards” and be prepared to explain any employment gaps, the article continued.
Do not be afraid to highlight your achievements or discuss what you have learned and include any volunteer work you did, according to the article. Prepare concise, articulate anecdotes to illustrate what you did, or learned, in each experience you’ve listed, says Adrien Fraise, founder of Modern Guild, in an online New York Times article.
“Highlight what you achieved and the skills you used — and how you want to keep using them. Rehearse in front of the mirror and then in front of others,” says Fraise, “be so comfortable with it, it doesn’t sound scripted.”
Why is the interviewer making this request
Two reasons: first, he or she wants to hear your “story,” according to an article at www.ibankingfaq.com ; second, it gives the interviewer a chance to review your résumé while you are talking, according to the article. More often than not, the interviewer hasn’t actually had the time to read it before you walked into the room, the article states.
Remember, this is your opportunity to make a first impression. It may be your only opportunity to make your case, that you’re the right fit for the job, so don’t underestimate the importance of this part of the interview, the article states.
Article by Eilene Zimmerman entitled Before the Job Interview, Do Your Homework, at www.nytimes.com.