Interview Question: What Should I Know That’s Not On Your Resume?
Interview questions can be tricky and even when you think you have covered all angles by making sure your resume is spick and span, recruiters seem to pull questions out of the air! Maybe you have recently gone for an interview where you were floored by the “What should I know that is not on your resume?” question and you want to be better prepared for the next time. Or maybe you are preparing for your first interview. Either way, we want you to secure that job and that is why we have prepared this article to guide you in successfully answering the question. Let us get started.
Why the Question?
Every hiring agent wants the best for their company. Your answer to the “What should I know that is not on your resume?” and how well you present it shows them if you are a good fit and tells them more about you. And honestly, everything you want them to know about you or they want to know about you cannot be framed into a 2-page resume. Hiring agents are also aware that no matter how certified or trained you are, you are not perfect. So that question requires tact. It would be futile to have an excellent resume, be qualified for the job and even do well in answering other interview questions and flop because of that question. But it requires an answer and so you should prepare thoroughly before your interview.
What Should You Talk About?
Talk about positive qualities, your skills, a hobby – basically anything that projects your brand. Stress on your strengths. The key to finding a good answer is remembering that no answer is inconsequential if it promotes you. Be it your painting hobby, your personal value, sports you enjoy, a volunteering job you have. You can also talk about your personal values or ethics not listed on your resume.
Connect your answer to the job you are applying for, showing your prospective employer how what is not on your resume can help you carry out the role you are applying for perfectly if you are given an opportunity. Treat your answer as a secret ingredient that makes you desirable and an in-demand brand. Mention achievements in your former job.
Answering the Question – What to Include and What to Avoid
When you have decided on what to tell your interviewer, the next stage of your answer is phrasing your answer in an excellent way. To do this, you should be aware of some dos and don’ts to make sure your answer does not sound awkward.
What to Include:
- What you want to tell in clear, structured sentences
- Personal stories related to your answer. A tip to doing this well is to be mindful of the job requirements. If it requires physical prowess and stamina, then talking about your love for working out and eating healthy is acceptable.
- Connect your answer to the present situation in a way that leaves no doubt that you are what they are looking for.
What to Avoid:
- Long answers. Make your answer brief and concise. No need for unnecessary details.
- Make your story personal if necessary but avoid making your interview awkward by telling non-relevant, embarrassing stories.
- Of course, avoid saying something negative about yourself.
- Do not brag or say something untrue. Recruiters will see through lies. It is always best to be sincere and honest when answering interview questions.
Getting Ready for Your Answer
Getting to this part of the article means you now know what to say and how to say it. A tip that has worked for most people when they are preparing answers to common interview questions is writing down their thoughts to make them organized. Write down what you have planned to say should the question come up. Say it aloud like you were talking to the interviewer in front of a friend or even a mirror. You can also record your voice and play it back. Practice your answer and make sure you sound confident before the interview.
If you are having problems structuring your answers, do not worry. We have prepared a few samples answers to aid you.
- “I spend my birthdays and every Christmas volunteering at the motherless babies home run by my church. Even though it is not a job experience I list on my resume, I think it has helped prepare me for the selflessness of working in the non-profit sector”
This answer is fitting for someone who has applied for a job in a non-profit organization or a volunteering opportunity. The answer reveals something that is not on the resume and is connected to the present job.
- “I love running. I start my days off every morning with a thirty-minute jog around my estate. I also run for longer hours on the weekends at the stadium where I live. Running clears my mind and helps me get ready for the day, and I have also noticed that it keeps me fit. At my former workplace, I have been commended for working with speed and agility. I have my running to thank for that”
This answer is perfect for someone applying for a job that requires stamina and speed. The answer was able to turn a hobby into something worth talking about and also something that has added value to their personal brand.
- “Although I do not have an award to show for it nor is it listed on my resume, I recently led my team at my former workplace in finishing so-and-so project efficiently and three weeks before the deadline. My employees were incredibly happy with the results and commended me. Everybody on my team felt the same. Having the opportunity to serve as a team leader taught me firsthand so much about leadership and being an excellent team player. These are skills I intend to demonstrate if given this opportunity”
This answer stresses achievement and what was learned during an experience. It further projects one’s personal brand as having desirable, in-demand skills.
The “What should I know that is not on your resume?” question should not be a cause for alarm. Think of what to say days before your interview. Structure your answer according to the job and role you are preparing for. With prior preparation and practice, you are good to go.