10 Common Questions Interviewers ask from CV +Answers

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A CV-driven interview will require you to answer a number of questions from your CV. An Interviewer will use your CV as a guide to know more about you. The list of 10 common questions interviewers ask from CV is presented in a way that gives you the leverage of understanding;

  • The question
  • Intent of the recruiter asking
  • How to answer the questions, and
  • Possible variations to the questions

By making it to the interview; it is a sign that your curriculum vitae and cover letter did a good job of selling your qualities. 

The interview is an opportunity for you to showcase your quality to the recruiters. Hence,  you need to go through the job search documents you used to apply for the job because questions can easily come from them.

During an interview; it is not only about your answers to questions, your approach to the questions also matter to the hiring manager. Therefore, ensure you avoid these common interview mistakes that job applicants make.

As a rule of thumb, you must know to a “T” all that is written in your CV. Whether you wrote your CV yourself, or you hired the services of a CV writer. This is why at FasthireNg, after writing your CV and/or cover letter, our writers take you through a deep explanation of your CV. This process will help you understand your CV and learn how to use it.

Be it a virtual interview or one-on-one interview, avoid cramming answers. It is easier to develop answers or techniques to approach any interview question than having a crammed response.

Top 10 Common Questions Interviewers ask from CV

  • Walk me through your CV
  • What should I know that is not on your CV?
  • What are your strengths?
  • Tell me about your weaknesses?
  • Why are you leaving your job?
  • Tell me a time you solved a significant problem
  • Your CV shows that you’ve not held a long term position, why is that?
  • How does your experience prepare you for this position?
  • Why is there a gap in your work history?
  • Looking at your CV, you seem overqualified for this role and you may get bored, what do you think?

You don’t have time to go through everything now? You can download the 10 Common Questions Interviewers ask from CV PDF now!

If you are ready for some more details, let’s get started.

Ready?

1.     Walk me through your CV

Explanation:

Interviewers ask this question as an opportunity for you to give an overview of your professional experience.

How to answer:

Focus on talking about the most important aspects of your professional career, volunteer experience, academic background, or training that makes you fit for the position.

Don’t spend all the time you have talking about titles and positions, mention achievements, quantify them and mention how it helped achieve corporate growth.

Variations of this question:

  • Tell me about your professional career
  • Can you discuss your resume
  • Talk me through your CV, etc. 

2.     What should I know that’s not on your CV?

Explanation:

This question is a good sign to show that a recruiter looked at your CV and believes there’s more about you than your CV shows. Will you be a good fit for the company (not just the role)? They want to find out with this question.

How to answer:

Try to talk about your personal discipline, positive traits, or philosophy of life that you could not point out in your CV. You can also mention your personal life mission or a course of pursuit that you are passionate about (e.g., sustainable development goals, education, gender equality, etc).

Variations of this question:

  • Who are you outside the work environment?
  • Tell me more about yourself

3.     What are your strengths?

Explanation:

Whether you mentioned strengths in your CV or not, it is a must that recruiters will want to learn about your core competencies. Especially the ones that align with the position you are applying for.

How to answer:

There are 2 kinds of skills you can reference in a question like this; your technical skills, and interpersonal skills.

You can start by listing 2-3 skills that makes you stand out; then mention scenarios where you have applied those skills to solve real problems either at work or in your day-to-day life. Don’t do  much boasting, but don’t sell yourself short.

Ensure you assess yourself before any interview; to know the key strengths you possess that will be needed in the role you are applying for. Always talk about the skills that align with the position you are applying for.

You can talk about personal traits but don’t dwell on them, your recruiter is looking for professional traits that will make his team stronger, show him the skills you have that will strengthen his team.

Variations of this question:

  • Can you describe your top three technical skills?

Sample answers:

  • I’m flexible to different work environments; and this has helped me provide excellent solutions as a customer care agent on assignment in several states of Nigeria including; Rivers, Abuja, Ekiti, and Lagos
  • I have been applauded occasional for my time management abilities and pro-activeness. These strengths helped me to deliver a very important research project for our clients where I had to study the financial reports from over a 100 companies while still carrying out my daily work routines.
  •  I feel that my communication skills and interpersonal skills are top-level because I find it easy to relate and connect with colleagues regardless of position, gender, …{you can add any other barriers you feel would have hindered communication}.

4.     What are your weaknesses?

Explanation:

The recruiter wants to find out 4 things with this question;

  • They want to assess your level of truthfulness: Don’t ever lie in your answer to this question. The recruiters, whether seasoned or not have been conducting recruitment for a while, they have met candidates and they can tell when you are lying or trying to give a cliché answer that takes you away from the real question.
  • How aware you are: Knowing your weak areas is a sign that you take account of things that matter.
  • Your Level of Comfort: It takes a lot of courage to admit your low points, many people never own up to it; rather, they shy away from it. Talking about your weakness is a sign that you are comfortable in your skin.
  • Proactivity/Self-improvement: Lastly, the recruiters want to know what you have done to ensure things are different. If you have discovered your weak areas, the next thing they want to know is, “what are you doing or what have you done to improve it“?

How to answer:

Don’t lie, don’t give a random answer. Be truthful and mention a weakness that you have, don’t stop there, mention what you have done in the past or what you do to ensure it doesn’t take too much effect on you.

Variations of this question:

  • What are the things that you are not excellent at?

Sample answers:

  • I have been told that I take too much time in explaining my points. But this is only because I want to ensure I explain my point in detail to avoid being misunderstood.
  • My typing skills are weak, so I have enrolled on a weekend course to improve my skills.
  • Multi-tasking overwhelms me. This is why I have picked a position where I don’t have to do so much at the same time. Nonetheless, I understand it is an important skill I need to have so I have occasionally increased the rate at which I offer to assist others with their own task.

5.     Why are you leaving your current job?

Variations of this question:

  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What don’t you like about your last employer/position?

Explanation:

If you are already employed, and you are looking for better opportunities; first, you have to know how to quit your job, second, you have to expect this question. Once your CV shows that you are currently working or recently resigned, this is one of the most common questions interviewers will ask.

The two (2) commandments associated with this question are;

1. Never talk bad about  your current/previous employer.

2. Don’t rest your reason for leaving on wanting more financial benefits.

How not to answer:

  • I’m in search of a better offering.
  • My current company has a poor (structure, development plan, etc.).

Don’t use those excuses; you’ll only end up leaving your recruiter with wrong impressions.

How to answer:

You can give answers like:

  • You’re in search of a position where you can take up more responsibilities.
  • A desire for a shorter commute to work.
  • Relocation plans.
  • You wish to take up lesser work responsibilities.
  • The position they are advertising seems like an excellent match for your knowledge, abilities, and qualifications.
  • You are keen on using your skill sets and abilities in a different capacity than you have in the past.
  • You wish to expand your corporate experience.
  • Desire to explore new challenges.

6.     Tell me about a time you solved a significant problem

Explanation:

Use this opportunity to show from your CV that you are not only a doer (someone that only follows job descriptions) but also an achiever (someone that can initiate ideas, solution, or innovations).

How to answer:

You may worry that you don’t have any sole achievement(s) since you are not really at the top of affairs in your department. Look to achievements you made together as a team; being part of the team that achieved the result makes it an achievement for you too.

Point out a time where you suggested a solution to a problem and it resulted in saving your company productive time, resources, etc. Talk about a new approach you followed to improve the efficiency of your work.

Variations of this question:

  • What have your achievements been to date?
  • What was your most significant achievement in your last role?

Sample answer:

  • In my last position, I made an additional design to our inventory software using Micro-soft excel. This solved the challenge we were having of tracking inventories that were older than 10 months.It is still in use to date.

7.     Your CV shows that you’ve not held a long term position, why is that?

Explanation:

An employer will develop concern if your CV suggests that you are always leaving job positions too quickly. Your duty is, to explain your reasons for the moves while making it clear that you are not a candidate that enjoys moving from one job to another.

Sample answers:

  • My early career transitions saw me switch companies because I was still trying to discover my path in the industry. I am now more aware of where I want to fit in, and this position is the best fit for my skills and career goals.
  • You can highlight any jobs you have held for long periods (if any).
  • I feel that my professional work experience fails to show an accurate reflection of my character. Stability is important to me, and I’m ready to take up a position in a company where I can work for the long term.

Variations of this question:

  • You’ve changed jobs five times in the past five years, why should we believe that you are likely to stay here for a long time?
  • Why have you changed jobs so frequently?

8.     How does your experience prepare you for this position?

Explanation:

Before you applied for the job, you saw the opening and the requirements for the opening; what are those things that made you decide that, you were fit for the position?

How to answer:

Describe the experience you have gathered so far from working other jobs and how it closely relates to the role you are applying for now.

Talk about the achievements you made, the transferable skills you gathered, the work culture or ethics that you imbibed (i.e. enrolling in one professional training yearly, etc.).

Sample Answer:

  • The work responsibilities on my last job, exposed me to demanding customers in a high activity environment. This helped to develop my customer service and multi-tasking skills. And since improving the rate of customer satisfaction is the major goal in this role, I believe my experience in customer service has given me the much-needed qualities to make an immediate impact in this role.

9.     Why is there a gap in your work history

Explanation:

Employers care less about the gaps, they are more interested in knowing if you are fully ready for the job. Hence, mention why you have gaps, don’t lie about it.

Sample answers:

  • I had to quit my last job to pursue a higher degree in Project Management. I could not jogglebetween my job and schoolwork, but I am done now and available to work.
  • My previous job was in Port-Harcourt, I had to quit when it was obvious I would be relocating to Abuja with my family. Ever since I have been in search of a new job.
  • The company was going through financial distress, and I was among the people affected by a layoff. Ever since then I have enrolled in the Java-script coding certificate program as I look for a new opportunity.

10.  Looking at your CV, you seem overqualified for this position and you may get bored, what do you think?

Explanation:

Employers have great concerns when they meet an overqualified candidate for the following reasons:

  • Employers usually think that overqualified candidates will ask for higher compensation.
  • Overqualified candidates could want to assume higher positions like management positions as soon as they come in.
  • They may end up not becoming good team members because they may feel they are more qualified than others.
  • Employers think that overqualified candidates will get bored over time, and if this happens, their lack of enthusiasm may drag other team members down.

How to answer:

Convince them that despite your qualifications, you are passionate about the job and that is what drives you. Emphasize that you don’t believe you know it all; as there are still a lot of things you will learn while on the job.

Sample Answer:

  • My main focus is to apply my knowledge and understanding of the responsibilities of this position to make a positive impact. I am ready to cooperate with other skilled and seasoned professionals to drive organizational growth while improving myself in doing so. 
CV-Based-Interview-Questions

More common questions interviewers ask from CV (According to the sections)

Address

You may be asked:

  1. Are you open to relocating?

CV Executive Summary

As a result of your executive summary/profile, you could be asked:

  1. What are your goals and advancement plans?
  2. Tell us your interest in the field you’ve chosen

Education

You could be asked:

  1. What was your graduating CGPA?
  2. Why did you choose (put your course of study)?
  3. What academic progress can you point out that changed your ideology about your course?
  4. What was the defining moment that made you chose (put the name of your course)?

Professional Experience

  1. You could be asked to talk about your experience at a particular company, (explain your duties, accomplishments, and how they fit into the position that you are applying for, etc.).

Skills

  1. Can you rate your skills on  a scale of 1-10?
  2. Tell me when you have applied (put name of skill) to achieve results?
  3. Are you a team player?

Activities/Hobbies/Activities

  1. What is your personal development plan?
  2. What do you do when you are not working?

10 CV mistakes that are costing you interviews and job opportunities

According to Resume Designer and Career Coach Liz M Lopez, these are the top CV mistakes that could be costing you career opportunities;

  • You still have an objective statement
  • Using a serif font
  • Using resume templates
  • Including an unprofessional or outdated email address
  • Including too much History
  • Showing age-defining dates
  • Including a reference statement
  • Writing your CV in black and white
  • Using a flecked paper
  • You are missing numbers
CV-Interview-Success-Tips

CV based interview success tips

  • Practice interview questions and how to answer them.
  • Develop your personal technique to approach interview questions.
  • Reread your CV before the day of your interview and ensure that you can talk about anything you have written in your CV.
  • Research the company that you applied to.
  • Network with people (employees and/or HR personnel) that work in the company you are applying to. If the company has an online presence on LinkedIn, ensure you make connections with people that work for the company.
  • Ensure you are highlighting reasons why you are fit for the job with the answers you give.
  • On the day of the interview, ensure that you develop a rapport with the interviewers.
  • Have pre-planned questions you intend to  ask the recruiters if you are given an opportunity to ask questions.
  • Send a follow-up mail after your interview.
Habits-to-avoid-during-an-interview

Habits to avoid during an interview

  • Bragging
  • Selling yourself short
  • Telling unnecessary jokes
  • Chewing gum
  • Being Nervous or shy

How to prepare for a virtual interview

Was this article helpful? Do you have more questions about Cv based interviews? Do you have other common questions interviewers ask from CV that you want to add? Let us know in the comment section! 

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