You have learned everything about how to properly create an outstanding, logically presented resume, built a CV accordingly, sent it to the desired company and became one of the lucky few who were invited to a face-to-face interview. If you thought creating an appealing resume was hard, the interview itself is like a rollercoaster: you can enjoy it and show the world who's the boss (figuratively, of course) or end up being destroyed under the pressure.
However, if you prepare for the encounter and you bear in mind how you are going to explain and highlight the things you wrote in your resume or cover letter, you’re one step closer to that dream job.
Strengths, Accomplishments and Weaknesses
During the interview the interviewer will not want to discuss all of the elements in your resume. Obviously the biggest focus will be on your experience and your skills, and it is here that your resume can help.
The interviewers will have a certain picture about you already, and so during the interview you can tell them more about what you have accomplished, fully detailing the things that you have briefly touched upon in the resume and the cover letter.
Recruiters will also ask you about your weaknesses: this might seem rude to some applicants, but everyone has them and your future employers just want to see if you can acknowledge yours and how you might be trying to overcome the things that you are not as good at. Proving that you can turn your weaknesses to your advantage is a huge asset in landing the job – especially if you listed “problem solver” in your set of skills. Speaking of which, you will likely be asked how you faced a problem at your previous or current workplace, and you can use the accomplishments you have in your resume as examples.
Tell Me About Yourself
Although this question is pretty vague, it is often used to relieve the stress resting on the interviewee's shoulders. In this regard you can say more about things not directly related to work – essentially reading aloud the omitted hobbies section in your resume – but you should also tell the interviewer something that emphasizes one of your strengths, too. For example, if you like reading or crossword puzzles and such, then it could show that you are an intellectual, ready to expand your knowledge – translated into “Recruiter-ese”, the language of recruiters, this would be ‘a fast learner’.
Gaps and Career Changes
Leaving career gaps in your resume is a no-no, but sometimes you have no choice but to include it. It will definitely be questioned by the interviewers, but you have nothing to worry about: tell them what activities you were engaged in during the (un)planned break and that you are ready to face new challenges.
Speaking of which, a sudden change in your career can be extremely challenging, especially if you have virtually no experience in the new field. Or have you? Granted, each job field requires its specific set of skills, but sometimes certain skill sets can be useful in other fields too. In other words, don't be shy, simply prove that the skill set you talked about in your CV can indeed be helpful at your new job.
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