Employers’ Perspective of Resumes and Interviews

Dreyn S. Price

On Wednesday Feb. 21, the VU Center for Career and Employer Relations held a resume and interview workshop, which discussed the employers’ view of resumes and interviews and what they are looking for in them. Students were encouraged to give questions to the panel of employers to gain insight on what employers want to see in an interview.

What to have on your resume

The first thing an employer will see when hiring a new employee is the applicants application and resume. The students’ starting question to the group of employers was “What are employers looking for in a resume?”

The group of said applicants should keep their resume to one-page length putting relevant education and work experiences, and relevant community and voluntary experiences.

Having bullet points and backing them up with short and concise information helps organize their resume, said the group, as well as using a different type of paper will help their resume stand out from the rest. Some other key thing that will help is having good punctuation and grammar.  

When an applicant is going into an interview they should bring more than one copy of their resume because they won’t know if they are going to be in a panel interview, which includes four people including other employees, or a one on one, said the group.

Insight of the question that will be asked.

Once applicants have their application and resume turned in, they are ready for the interview which brings up the question: What kind of questions are employers going to be asking in the interview?  

The first question the group gave was, “Tell me a little bit about yourself?”

They ask this question because employers are restricted from asking certain question and are looking for them to give that information they can’t ask about, said the group.

Two important questions the group said were, “What is your strength” and “What is your weakness?” Stating a strength will not only help an applicant get a job, said the group, while stating a weakness can be tricky because employers want applicants to adjust their weakness into a strength. For example, the group said if an applicant worries about the little things they can go into saying they pay attention to details.

To see if the applicant did research, employers will ask what they know about the company. If the applicant shows that they know something about the company, that lets employers know that they are interested in the job.

What should the applicants be asking?

Employers will ask many questions to applicants they are interviewing. These questions are used to tell whether the applicant can fit the job description. The group was asked, what question do they want applicants to ask?

The group said, they want to hear is, being an employee what are employers looking for?

Employers like to see if the applicant has done research and ask questions based on the company or organization.

If employers didn’t get into telling information about their company, they would also like applicants to ask more on the company and get to know more of the culture, the group said.

What should I wear?

It can get confusing as to what to wear to an interview. The next question, “What should an applicant wear to an interview?”

The group said, applicants should dress for the position. Wearing dress pants and a white button up shirt will work, but if you are going for a higher position you will want to wear a suit.

The group said to cover up any exposed tattoos and to take out any piercings.

Bob McQuern, Subaru of Indiana Automotive. Inc. said, “If you go higher than that [dress pants and a white button up shirt], great. If you go lower than that, makes us wonder sometimes.”

Too nervous

A number of people have trouble staying calm in an interview. For this the group was asked how could an applicant stay calm in an interview.

The group said, they will want the applicant to be prepared for any question whether it’s about them or the company. Going into an interview with confidence will help you.

Social media  

Social media is commonly used by many people to connect with other people like friends or family that don’t live close to you. The question the group was asked is, does the things people put on social media matter?

Employers look at social media because this helps them to know what kind of person they are hiring.

Applicants will also want to watch what they post and what their friends tag them in because employers looking at their Facebook could either negatively or positively affect their future career.

Another thing employers might do is go unto LinkedIn to see if the applicant is on there and to see who they have worked with which tells them what kind of person you are and helps them get the real story, said the group.

The group said they would want someone that has enough respect for themselves and others to not bash on other employees, and for them to treat their customers with respect.

There are people who don’t social media for their own reasons.

Salary and benefits

When applying for a job many people are going to want to know what they are getting paid and are curious of any benefits of the job. The group was asked, “Is there an appropriate time to talk about terms of pay or benefits of the job?”

If applicants go into an interview asking about the pay or getting a flexible work schedule, employers are going to think that the applicants are looking at the wrong objective, said the group, the more appropriate time to talk about pay would be after the interviews when the applicant is being offered a position.

International employees

Every day there are people traveling between national borders. Some of these people will travel with education form a different area. The question posed, “what advice would they give to those students who have international education experiences?”

If it’s the same experiences that apply for the job or position, it doesn’t matter where the applicant got it from, said the group. They should make sure that if they have any licenses that they’re certified for gets transferred over.

Other tips

Nearing the end of the workshop, the group was aloud to give some words of wisdom that will help people in an interview.  

Applicants will want to show up early, to they give themselves time to prepare for the interview, said the group.

People shouldn’t quit a job because they don’t like it or if they have a problem with another employee, but they should look for another job while holding their current job because employers don’t want people that have gaps in their work history.

“Look for that job that you’re really looking for while you are employed somewhere else, even if you don’t like it, do a good job, do your job while you’re looking,” said Trish Neukam.

The group of employers speaking included Bob McQuern, Subaru of Indiana Automotive. Inc; Trish Neukam, OFS Brands; Laura Bogard, German American Bank; Richard Pea, Memorial Hospital; and Chris Freeman, Tropicana Evansville.


For more information on upcoming events from the Center for Career and Employee Relations, visit https://my.vinu.edu/web/center-for-career-and-employer-relations.