How to Answer Interview Questions About What's Not on Your Resume

for the applicant, questions that dig further into your background provide an opportunity to share more about the personal qualities and attributes that would enable you to be a successful employee if you were to be hired.

There are several different ways you can answer the question.
Option 1: Share a strength that isn’t on your resume. Before every interview, itemize the core strengths that you want to convey during your interview. This type of question can provide an opening to emphasize an asset that is not transparent from your resume.

For example, public speaking might be an important requirement in the job for which you’re being considered. You may not have had the opportunity to speak in front of groups during your work history. However, you could respond that you were on the debate team in college, excelled at presentations as part of group projects in school, gave a talk at a volunteer dinner, or won a marketing competition as an undergraduate. Or perhaps you want to emphasize your commitment, willingness to go the extra mile, and creative problem-solving skills.

Option 2: Share an intangible strength. Your resume should already list the accomplishments and the skills you used to generate these achievements. However, subjective assets like personal qualities are harder to incorporate into a resume, like your work ethic or loyalty.

Option 3: Explain why you want the job. Employers are often just as concerned about your motivation for taking on a particular type of work as they are about your knowledge and skills. So this kind of question provides an opportunity to explain why the job is so appealing to you.
Option 4: Share something personal. Finally, you can take this opportunity to share a hobby or interest that might positively reflect upon your character or make you a memorable candidate. This approach will make the most sense if you have already been able to convey your job-specific assets and motivations sufficiently.

For example, if you are applying for a job that requires a great deal of intellectual firepower, then you might share your passion for chess, or if physical risk-taking is required, you might mention your interest in rock climbing.