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Be Prepared to Share Your Story During a Job Interview

March 10, 2014 | Career Blog


While a job interview is a good time for you to learn more about the company, its culture and work environment, it’s also a sales job. You’re selling your skills, knowledge and even your personality. You want to leave that prospective employer with a positive first impression and that’s tough to do if you aren’t prepared to share your background and past experience. 

It’s not exactly an exciting part of an interview, but filling out a job application has to be done. Make sure to bring along a cheat sheet of your past jobs, dates of employment and at least three references and their contact information. An incomplete form with blanks or “not applicable” notes makes you seem unprepared and uninterested in the available job opening. 

Know your history. Many companies – especially staffing firms like Allegiance – will run a thorough background check. You of all people should know what will show up on that check. Be prepared to address any issues that arise. Maybe it was a youthful indiscretion or a poor choice made years ago – either way, have a thoughtful and clear explanation. 

You also should be prepared to discuss your work history, relevant experience and knowledge as it pertains to the job for which you’re applying. Put your best foot forward and be ready to share the good work you’ve done, the problems you’ve helped solve and any examples of teamwork or overcoming challenges in the workplace. Don’t waste precious interview minutes trying to think of examples – be prepared. 

This blog post from Career Geek offers some key stats about what happens during a job interview. If you look at the top five questions asked during an interview, you’ll see that three of the five require you to share your experience and past work performance. 

5. Tell me about your experience.

4. Why do you want to work for us?

3. What do you know about our company?

2. Why did you leave your last job?

1. Tell me about yourself.

The No. 1 question – “Tell me about yourself” – is not one you want to try to answer on the fly. Have a prepared response that includes a bit of your personality (without revealing every detail of your life) while sharing your work experience and the unique skills you can bring to the job. 

Need more advice on having a successful job interview? Download our free ebook “10 Tips to Ace Your Next Job Interview.”