How to answer "Can you walk me through your resume and highlight your relevant experience?" (with sample answers)

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This post is part of our series on behavioral interview questions.

Why employers ask this

As a job seeker, you should understand that employers ask this question for several reasons:

  1. To learn more about your work history: Employers want to gain a better understanding of your previous work experience and how it relates to the position you applied for.
  2. To assess your communication skills: This question allows the hiring manager to assess how effective you are in communicating your qualifications, skills, and achievements.
  3. To determine if you fit the role: By highlighting your relevant experience, the employer would be able to determine whether or not you are the right fit for the position.
  4. To get a sense of your enthusiasm: This is an opportunity for you to show your passion and enthusiasm for the position you applied for. Employers look for candidates who are excited about the job and the company.

How to answer the question

When answering this question, it is important to keep in mind that you want to showcase your most relevant experience. Here are a few tips:

  1. Start with your most recent position: Begin with your most recent employment and work your way back. This approach makes the most sense, as it gives the employer insight into your current skills and qualifications.
  2. Focus on your achievements: Instead of just listing your job duties, highlight your achievements and accomplishments in each role. Employers are interested in what you can bring to the table.
  3. Tailor your response to the job: Make sure to highlight experience that is most relevant to the job you are applying for. If the job requires a certain skillset or experience, make sure to highlight it in your answer.
  4. Keep it concise: Be mindful of the time and keep your answer concise. Stick to the highlights of your experience and try not to go into too much detail.
  5. Show enthusiasm: Use the opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the job and the company. Employers want to know that you are excited about the opportunity to work with them.

Sample answers

  1. Bad Answer:

    Sure, I have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from XYZ University, and then I worked at Company A as a sales representative for two years. After that, I worked at Company B as a marketing assistant for one year. Finally, I joined this company as a sales manager.

    This answer is too brief and doesn't provide any details about specific accomplishments or skills that the candidate developed in their previous roles.

  2. Good Answer:

    Of course! I graduated from XYZ University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, where I developed my analytical and problem-solving skills through case analyses and projects. After graduation, I started working at Company A as a sales representative and was recognized as a top performer for exceeding my sales targets by 15% month over month. At Company B, I joined as a marketing assistant and was quickly promoted to Marketing Manager. In this role, I led a team of three marketers and developed and executed successful marketing campaigns that increased brand awareness and generated 30% more leads compared to the previous year.

    From my previous roles, I have gained extensive experience in sales, marketing, team leadership, and project management, which I believe makes me a strong fit for this role.

  3. Bad Answer:

    Yes, my first job was at Company A, where I worked as a sales rep. I then moved to Company B to work in marketing, and now I’m looking for new opportunities.

    This answer is too vague and doesn't provide any relevant details or accomplishments. It also doesn't demonstrate any enthusiasm or passion for the job.

  4. Good Answer:

    Absolutely, I’m excited to take you through my journey so far. After completing my Bachelor’s in Computer Science, I started my career at Company A as a software developer. I worked on a range of projects, including one where I re-wrote code for an outdated database management system, reducing the system's response time by 40%. Following that, I joined Company B as a Senior Software Developer. In this role, I led the development of a new app that earned recognition in the industry and won "Best New App of the Year" award in 2019.

    Overall, I have gained valuable experience in software development, project management, and team leadership over the years that I can bring to this position. I am excited to apply my skills and expertise to this role.

In summary, a good answer should emphasize relevant skills and experience, highlight specific achievements and quantifiable results, and demonstrate enthusiasm and passion for the job. A bad answer, on the other hand, will be too brief, vague, or generic.
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