How to Answer Questions During an Interview about Your Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 8 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're interviewing for a new role, employers may ask you about your resume. This may include questions about your previous roles, education and skills. Learning how to answer these questions may help you succeed in interviews and secure roles. In this article, we discuss how to answer questions about your resume in an interview, provide examples of interview questions with sample answers and give some additional tips for the process.

How to answer questions during an interview about your resume

It's important to prepare answers to common questions during an interview about your resume, such as questions about your previous jobs and degrees. Here's a guide on how to answer questions about your resume in an interview:

1. Highlight specific experiences

When employers ask about your previous roles, be sure to highlight specific tasks or projects you completed. It's also great to add substantive claims, such as numbers, to your responses. For example, if you worked in a sales position, it may be useful to know the total revenue you generated for your employer.

Related: A Comprehensive Guide to Creating a Professional Resume

2. Be concise

Focus your responses on the particular subject matter that you're currently discussing with the potential employer. For instance, if an employer asks about your previous roles, ensure you provide adequate information about your past employment, such as the skills you gained. Confident and concise responses can help show employers you're prepared to handle the responsibilities of their open position.

Related: How to Sell Yourself in an Interview (With Interview Tips)

3. Relate your responses back to the role

When answering questions about your resume, it's important to relate your responses back to the job for which you're applying. For example, if an employer asks about your past roles in sales, you might describe how your previous responsibilities were similar to the role description provided by the employer for the new position. This can help give employers confidence that you can succeed in the position.

Related: 27 Resume Objective Examples for Different Job Titles

4. Keep it positive

When responding to questions about your resume in an interview, focus on how you were able to use what you learnt from past work experiences to create value for the company. You may also want to speak with potential employers about the specific strengths of your previous teams and employers. This can help the interviewer form a positive impression of you.

5. Explain your unique skills

It's important to present your uniqueness to employers during interviews. To do this, point out the skills that set you apart from other applicants. For example, if you were a systems administrator, employers may be interested in how you were able to use novel pieces of software to create complex and useful solutions.

Related: 128 Job Title Examples for Your Resume (Including Career Fields)

Examples of interview questions about your resume with sample answers

Here's a list of interview questions you may receive at any type of interview about your resume, with sample answers you can provide to employers:

1. What skills do you possess that may help you succeed in this role?

Employers may ask this question to determine how your qualifications differ from other potential candidates for the position. Skills include technical abilities that may help you perform specific duties in your position or soft skills which may help you communicate, solve problems or analyse situations. To answer this question, provide examples of relevant skills that you have spent time developing through previous roles and educational experiences.

Example: 'I have a lot of experience with complex data management solutions and data analysis, so I believe that knowledge could provide assistance to my team within this role. Additionally, I believe I can communicate effectively to different types of stakeholders, including customers, team members and managers. It's key to change your communication style based on your audience, and I can adjust my style to ensure they understand me well.'

2. Why did you choose to pursue this position?

Employers may ask this question to determine your motivation for applying to the position. This question can also show employers that you have researched the organisation, the role or any relevant issues or challenges facing the position and organisation. To answer this question, prepare a brief answer that emphasises why you're interested in pursuing the role.

Example: 'My previous management experience gave me a thorough understanding of how companies are structured and how each member of an organisation can have an impact on a project's success. Additionally, I'm excited about working with your company because I'm familiar with your company's reputation for being committed to the global green energy mission.'

Related: 'Why Sales?' Interview Question (How to Answer and Examples)

3. Can you tell me about a difficult problem you solved in the past?

Employers may ask this question to determine your problem-solving skills. When answering a question about solving tasks, employers can determine your level of decision-making ability. They may also be interested in how you handled conflict resolution in situations where you disagreed with an authority figure or a team member. To answer this question, prepare a brief description of a situation where you had to solve a problem.

Example: 'I worked in several departmental roles within an IT organisation, so I'm experienced in both working with people and using technical systems. One example of this is when I was asked to identify the most efficient way to handle project management tasks for my team. In this situation, I had to put aside my own preferences to find a way that would increase efficiency in my team, which I did. It was very important for me to keep both my team and the client happy in this situation, because the project had a higher priority than any of us.'

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4. Tell me about an inspiring leadership experience you recently had.

Employers may ask this question to demonstrate your ability to take on leadership roles. To answer this question, prepare a brief description of an opportunity where you were given a chance to lead others. Employees may provide examples of responsibilities like organising meetings or leading discussions within teams or work settings, such as company workshops or training events.

Example: 'My previous team was able to meet an impressive set of business goals, and I was the key contributor in our meeting these goals. A lot of this success was my ability to motivate everyone on my team to do their very best at all times. In particular, I scheduled three meetings with each member of my team over the past several weeks to discuss our upcoming project, and I think that helped us stay accountable and organised throughout this project.'

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5. What's your greatest strength?

Employers may ask this question to determine how you may contribute value in the position. They may also be interested in what they can expect from you if they hire you for the role. To answer this question, prepare a brief description of one of your greatest strengths and try to provide an example that relates to the position.

Example: 'I'm a great communicator. In my previous roles, I was responsible for communicating with stakeholders in different departments and levels of authority within my organisation. That required me to use a variety of communication styles and methods to convey important information. I believe that this is effective because it allowed my team members and other stakeholders to understand how their behaviour affected the organisation as a whole.'

Tips for answering interview questions about your resume

Here are a couple of additional tips for answering questions about your resume in an interview:

  • Be honest. It's common to have areas for improvement. Be honest about your experience, skills and education so employers have a realistic idea of your qualifications and potential for success in the role.

  • Bring a copy of your resume. When answering questions about your resume, you can look at it and reference it throughout your answer to ensure you include all the important details.

Related: How To Answer Second Interview Questions (With Examples)

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