Job interview questions usually open up with an introductory question that requires you to give a brief overview of your resume. Now, you are probably thinking that they already have the resume in front of them and they have already reviewed it so there’s no need to go over this in detail right? Wrong.

How you answer this job interview question is crucial. Not only is it an opening question, but it gives you the advantage to take control of the interview and lead the way forward.

You have to keep in mind that the Hiring Managers have probably reviewed hundreds of resumes for this job and interviewed several applicants for the job.

Therefore, you can’t be passive in the interview and treat this question as if you assume they already know what you have to offer. The way you appear on paper is one thing, the way you present yourself in person is another.

Use these 3 tips to develop your answer strategically.

First, start off by analyzing the job description in detail. You should know exactly what they are looking for and be ready to demonstrate how you meet all their requirements. The job interview only provides a limited time to show you have the skills for the job and you are the right fit. Once you understand what they need, you can tailor your answer to focus your attention on their top concerns.

Second, you always want to organize your answer so the Hiring Managers can follow along easily. I personally prefer it when a candidate starts from their first job and works their way up to present day. If you choose to take this route, keep in mind that your earliest job may not be as relevant so don’t spend too much time describing these in detail. Prepare a one-line description stating your experience and a key accomplishment in each job.

Finally, you should have a simple outline you can use to quickly position yourself. Call it an elevator pitch if you want. This is your 2-3 minute summary of who you are and what you can do. Focus on what they have said their key requirements of the job are. For example, “I have my BA degree and a total of 6 years working in retail banking. My first job was…, then I moved on to…, and my most recent job as a…”

Job interview questions like this give you a chance to summarize your experience quickly but also draw their attention to your key attributes that they may have missed when reviewing your resume.

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