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How To Answer: ‘Tell Me Something That Isn’t On Your CV’

Have you ever been asked this in an interview and been completely stumped? You have already carefully condensed your CV into two pages filled with all of the relevant information. So what more do they want to know? Well first off the hiring manager is asking you this to gain a better understanding of your personality and who you are as a person rather than a candidate.

Tackle this question by responding with an answer that reflects your personality and your work ethic. You can do this either by choosing to tell of a time when you excelled professionally. Or with a short answer of something interesting you think the interviewer would want to hear.

Here are a few examples of what you could say:

Stating an achievement

“During my time at university, I was awarded the outstanding achievement award for my continuous hard work. I believe this was fueled by my passion for the subject and dedication to my studies. This was a personal highlight of my academic career and something to this day I am proud of.”

Demonstrate your soft skills

“I like to think I have the ability to work well with anyone. In my previous role, I worked with lots of different people and communicated effectively with different departments to achieve targets.”

What are your goals and aspirations?

By sharing this you are showing the interviewer how well your goals will fit within the company and the role. Therefore it is important you make sure it will fit the company values prior to the interview.  This way the interviewer will gain a clearer understanding of who you are as a person and how your goals will help the company grow.

Share an experience

By sharing an experience you are effectively showcasing your communication skills. Regardless of the story, the interviewer will see how well you respond to the question. However, make sure what you’re saying is an experience is something you learnt from and enabled you to grow as a person. By ensuring your experiences are relevant it will lower the risk of looking unprofessional.

For example,

“I once spent a summer volunteering at a summer camp. It was something completely out of my comfort zone having never worked with children before but it was something I am so glad I did. It didn’t take long to get stuck in and ensure the children made the most of their time there. Looking back it was an experience that taught me to push your boundaries and experience new things.”

What to avoid:

Stating something already on your CV! Although this may seem obvious, it’s best to avoid. It will show a lack of thought or worse, show you didn’t understand or listen to the question! Giving a short one-sentence answer is also something to avoid, such as “I once ran a marathon”. The interviewer wants to hear more and gain a better understanding of your communication skills when put on the spot.

To view more articles on how to answer these common interview questions, click here

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