Talking about the details and nuances of an interview is never enough. Perhaps that is the reason why we talk about that dreaded and coveted I-word so often. This time we are going to talk about how to be prepared to answer this frequently asked question in interviews.
There is a high chance your interviewer or the hiring manager would ask you something along these lines:
“Can you walk me through your CV?”
Now, the ball is in your court, and you have the chance to construct your CV-tory in the perfect way possible. This is that moment in the interview when you have complete control. It is that one moment which can help you stand out from others. It is one thing to hand over your CV, and it is another thing to talk about your CV, essentially giving a complete summary.
So, what are the things to keep in mind when you are asked to walk through your CV? You are going to talk about your CV, and you are going to talk well!
Know What You Are Going To Say:
Like the elevator pitch, it is almost like preparing a script. You have to know what you are supposed to say but also keep the context in mind.
You have to be prepared to talk about the following things:
- Your education
- Your skills and competencies
- Skills include soft skills as well as hard skills
- Work experience
- What role did you have in your previous work experience
- What drew you to that job, or/and the job you are interviewing for
- Why did you leave your previous job
- Any particularly special or motivating achievement of yours in your work experience, especially if you think it will add to the firm’s culture
- Any additional qualifications
We cannot stress enough the need for spontaneity and not parroting anything.
You will have to keep the role in mind while talking about your skills and certifications.
What you say or at least what you say first should be relevant to the position you are applying for. It often happens that people are so busy recalling and in listing out each and every achievement that they forget about relevant achievements.
If a position requires you to have great computer literacy and you have a certificate in, say, Programming, you must mention it. The need to mention that is greater than the need to mention that you have certificate in, say, Calligraphy.
You must prepare a mental structure where you sift out and prioritise all the achievements and skills according to the role you are interviewing for.
The skills would measure differently on the ‘relevance meter’ as per the job role.
You nor the interviewer/hiring manager have all the time in the world. Your walk-through of the CV should be concise, clear, engaging and to the point.
You can ask whether they want a short version or a longer history. And then begin talking accordingly.
A short version has to be around 3-5 minutes. Not more than that, unless you are asked to elaborate more on something.
This is the reason why you need to have a basic (but flexible) script in mind. The words should flow out. This is why you must remember and be prepared beforehand.
It is not a bad idea to rehearse the outline before the interview. Practice will make you perfect.
Practice will help you time yourself, work on your enunciation, the chronology and the sorting out of relevance.
Does this not sound like writing a CV? That is the point.
A basic, obvious but nevertheless a good idea to structure your CV walk-through is to keep the structure of the written document in mind. You are indeed being asked to walk someone through your CV. It is in your hands to make that walk a pleasant and an engaging one, the kind that lands you the job!