Tough Interview Questions

30 Questions and Answers by

Rachelle Enns is an interview coach and job search expert. She works with candidates to perform their best in employment, medical, and post-secondary admission interviews.

Tough was updated on December 5th, 2020. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

Take a few minutes to bring your resume to life for me.

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Tough Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

    Take a few minutes to bring your resume to life for me.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is looking for an overview of your background. Because this question is so open ended, it can be easy to run away with your answer and even put your foot in your mouth. Offer a less than 5 minute brief of your related education or training, and then touch on the last 5-10 years of your career, depending on how far along you are in your professional career. You can discuss your volunteer experience and don't forget to talk about any extraordinary skills you may have.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I would be happy to give you a brief overview of my background! After graduating with my degree in accounting in 2012, I went to work for my family's business as a senior accountant. After a couple of years, I realized that my knowledge base was not growing as rapidly as I wanted. I decided to return to school and gain my masters' degree. Immediately after graduation, I joined KPMG in a junior role where I have been flourishing ever since."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "I recently graduated with my business administration diploma, so this is the first professional role that I have pursued. Before attending school, I spent a lot of my time volunteering at the humane shelter, working with abandoned and homeless animals. While attending post-secondary school, I worked as a hostess at a local pub. That role taught me a great deal about multi-tasking, customer service, and even math. I look forward to forging a wonderful career with your organization."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "My management career goes back two years. My first dive into a management role was overseeing a team of floor sales representatives, five in total. This year I was promoted and moved to a warehouse management role, which is where I am today. Here, I manage a team of twelve plus three temporary staff who often rotate. Before my management career began, I was working in a retail environment and attending post-secondary at the same time. My degree is in Business, with a focus on organizational management."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "I have experience outside of my marketing career; however, it's primarily customer service based and not truly related to the digital marketing career that I am focused on pursuing, today. After graduating from ABC Universtiy with my degree in digital marketing, I worked for a startup SaaS organization. The position taught me a great deal; however, they recently closed their doors due to fierce competition. Now, I am seeking a role related to my education but in an agency environment."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "I started working retail at a very young age, part-time after school during high school. I liked the flexibility, and the position taught me a lot about multi-tasking, receiving stock, and customer service techniques. After three years of working part-time for company ABC, I left to attend university. This spring I graduated with a diploma in fashion design, which is what brings me here today. I am eager to start working with a retail-based organization with a focus on design and innovation."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "I have always worked in sales, as you can see from my resume. My first sales position was with Company ABC where I earned the title of top territory sales rep for four years running. I was then headhunted by Company XYZ to head their new territory and develop it. I took the area from zero sales to 2.4 million in just 24 months. My successes continued with my latest organization where I now lead a team of six territory sales representatives. I look forward to applying these experiences and wins to my career with your organization."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Teacher Interview

      "My career as an educator began in the private school sector where I worked as an English teacher for twelve years. After my family relocated to Boston, I began applying to roles in the public education realm. I have been in the public school sector ever since then. My favorite subjects to teach are still English and History which is why this role is so exciting for me. I also speak three languages and have spent time volunteering as an assistant coach for many middle school soccer teams."

      4 Community Answers

      Anonymous Answer

      "I have been in HR for over 25+ years. My experience includes hotels, hospitality, and private consulting for several small businesses (construction, micro-brewery, restaurant, retail). I have been in the adult learning and developing field for over 20+ years'. Much of my experience has been to create a functioning HR department for large organizations, and I continued to be recruited by companies to assist in supporting the HR infrastructure during periods of growth."

      Rachelle's Answer

      A perfect recap. Good work!

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      Anonymous Answer

      "After high school I enrolled at Baker College of Allen Park for Criminal Justice. After school I became a Detroit Police officer where I worked for one year. After the Detroit Police Department, I joined the Lincoln Park Police Department where I have been working at for four years. I am also fluent in both English and Spanish. My career as a law enforcement officer has been very gratifying. In my time as being a police, I have been awarded several awards including life saving awards, certificates of merit, and the mothers against drunk driving award for making the most impaired driving arrest in my entire department."

      Cindy's Answer

      Good job! One additional way to approach this is to talk about the aspects of your resume that aren't evident. For example, what classes did you like best? What experiences did you gain the most from in your various jobs? How has Spanish helped you be a better police officer?

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