If you’ve been called for a job interview, your résumé likely stands out amongst all the other candidates. However, there is also the chance that it is similar to several other candidates who are vying for the same position. Whichever case it may be, there is something that will differentiate you from the rest, and that is your personal experience. Do you want to know why? Read on.

When applying for an internship you must be fully aware that there will be more candidates with similar education backgrounds, the same knowledge of foreign languages, and even similar professional experience. However, there is one aspect of your life that is unique: your personal experiences. This type of information usually is not included in a cover letter or résumé but it is part of who you are. It’s becoming increasingly important for you to highlight your experiences during interviews because it offers interviewers information about what motivates you, your skills and abilities and how they could be integrated into a team.

Any sports you practice or enjoy following, any volunteer work you’re involved in or simply your hobbies differentiate you from the other candidates and say much more about you than you think. For example, if you are a volunteer in an association or NGO, the interviewer will know you’re a supportive person who knows how to work in a team; if you practice an adventure or extreme sport, you show that you’re a confident and daring person with lots of energy; and if you love cooking, the interviewer will know that you’re a detail-oriented, patient and creative person.

On the other hand, if you enjoy reading, gardening or going to exhibitions, you’re showing that you’re a creative, calm, intellectual, and even quiet individual. But if you like animals and you have a pet at home, the interviewer will understand that you’re reliable and have a sense of responsibility.

Do you know how to take advantage of these experiences in an interview? You need to relate the job requirements to your personal experiences and how they can help you to deal with any challenges you may face in the position. But you must be careful what you say. The person interviewing you may be an expert in the matter, and if you exaggerate your experience he or she may notice it right away. You should also avoid making up interests or hobbies just to look good. It is possible that the interviewer will ask you about them and if you don’t know to respond clearly, they’ll see that you’re lying and, as a result, you’ll give them a bad impression.

In your next interview, let your experiences speak for you!

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