After submitting your resume and cover letter, you might think your employer has everything they need to know about you to make a decision. Often times, potential employers will want to dig a little deeper to find out more about who you are as a person. This question is two-fold: the employer wants to know who they are hiring, but how you answer this question will tell them more about you as well. Confused? No worries. Here is how to respond when asked, “what is something I wouldn’t learn from reading your resume?”
If you have traveled anywhere interesting that might give your employer more insight as to who you are, this is a perfect topic. Describe the trip briefly, and lessons you learned along the way. If you have interacted with a culture different from your own, share about learning new perspectives and backgrounds during your time there. If you ate some really excellent food at local restaurants that sparked a passion for cooking, let them know! Any new places you plan to visit in the future? You can talk about that too. Ask your interviewer questions and see if they have had similar traveling experiences and try to find commonalities in your conversations. Make a connection with your interviewer.
Do you have any fun hobbies you like to practice in your free time? List and describe them, and how it became a hobby of yours. This can be anything from playing an instrument, playing a sport, coaching little league, creating art, or fishing on the weekends. These are all facts employers would love to learn about you! Touch on what this hobby as taught you and brought into your life. Mention why you enjoy it so much, and how you plan on continuing this passion in the future. Prompt your interviewer will follow up questions to discover if there are any similarities.
If you have read anything good recently, this is a great fact to present to your employer. Discuss favorite authors, poets, screenwriters, or fiction writers! There are so many genres of literature you can explore in the conversation here. Feel free to talk about a novel, poem, or quote that had an impact on your life. Always circle back and discuss how this topic has affected you in your personal and professional life. Again, question the interviewer on if they have ever heard of your favorite reads, and prepare to give a quick summary.
Employers love to see hard-working and inspired candidates. If you have been fascinated by a particular inspiration in your life recently, share a story! Storytelling can be an effective way to communicate meaning and give the employer a taste of your interests. Inspiration can come from a random act of kindness you experienced, a specific song, a person, or a place! It is okay to get creative and draw meaning from any experience in your life that has had a positive impact on you. Tie your inspiration into how you can effectively bring this energy into the workplace and produce quality work. It’s time to dig deep!
Most families share traditions throughout generations that can have a significant impact on our lives. If your family has any exciting and unique holiday or celebratory traditions you would like to share, feel free! This can be a traditional meal you help prepare with loved ones or a song you sing with your family. You can discuss the impact this has had on you and the excitement you carry for passing this ritual along as life progresses. This will give your interview a memorable and personal touch!
What would you like potential employers to know that they wouldn’t learn from reading your resume? Tell us!