8/25/12

I know that this question has been done to death, but I was just wondering what you guys considered the do's and dont's of answering this question.

Comments (107)

8/24/12

I'd probably avoid mentioning the dead hooker in your trunk. Or maybe not. You gotta play it by ear.

The WSO Advantage - Land Your Dream Job

Financial Modeling Training

IB Templates, M&A, LBO, Valuation.

Wall St. Interview Secrets Revealed

30,000+ sold & REAL questions.

Resume Help from Finance Pros

Land More Interviews.

Find Your Mentor

Realistic Mock Interviews.

1/22/15
1/22/15

I take about 10 seconds to look deep into their eyes. I then tell them I like BJs from interviewers. Then I wait...

1/22/15

No. Not too long

1/22/15

HS content probably not relevant...

1/22/15

Think of it as your quick 2 minute sales pitch about yourself. Why should we hire you over everyone else

1/22/15

I think your method is great. The goal for me was always to make sure the interviewer understood why banking and what type of skills i think i can add to the bank.

Also, it doesnt hurt to through anecdotes or explain your decision making process through larger life decisions. This i think is the hardest question in an interview but if handled well has tremendous upside and ability to differentiate you.

1/22/15

It's the way you present it, not just the content. In other words, we can't really tell you if it's good or not unless you show us your actual work.

1/22/15

Try to give them something interesting right away so they'll seize on it and ask you questions. Longer than two sentences and you're courtin' trouble.

1/22/15

A Fellow Linguist:
We all know that the standard ib interview starts off with some variation of the "tell me about yourself" question. In recent interviews, however, I've been getting this variation: "Can you walk me through your resume, and maybe why you want to work at this firm?"

How would you guys go about tackling this question? Normally I have three good reasons for wanting to work at any specific firm, but the answer to that is an entirely separate answer.

What I've been doing is going through my prepared story, and then saying at the end, "As far as why I want to work for your bank, that's an entirely different response that I'd love to tell you about. Would you mind if I did?"

Is this a good approach, or would it be better to alter my story a little and blend my reasons for wanting to work at x bank in as much as possible?

I would walk through your story and conclude with something suggesting you would like to working in banking for the summer.

Then let the bank specific question be asked on its own. I usually have 3 reasons as well, but try to do your best to not make it sound like a list or like something you prepared- I think it is most effective if it seems to come more naturally to you.

1/22/15

Dingdong08:

No. Not too long

Highlight your main accomplishments as they relate to the job and leave out the mundane stuff.

Matrick:

[in reply to Tony Snark"]Why aren't you blogging for WSO and become the date doctor for WSO? There seems to be demand.

BatMasterson:

[in reply to Tony Snark's dating tip]
Sensible advice.

1/22/15

Black Jack:
I would walk through your story and conclude with something suggesting you would like to working in banking for the summer.

Then let the bank specific question be asked on its own. I usually have 3 reasons as well, but try to do your best to not make it sound like a list or like something you prepared- I think it is most effective if it seems to come more naturally to you.


Hey Black Jack,

I always end my story with why all my experiences have led me to work in investment banking. However, when they directly ask you in the original question, "... and why you want to work at Deutsche Bank," is it a good idea to ignore that part and wait until they ask again in a separate question to bring up your points?

I like your idea of letting it seem organic. But how do you find a healthy medium between structured and natural?

1/22/15

A Fellow Linguist:
Black Jack:
I would walk through your story and conclude with something suggesting you would like to working in banking for the summer.

Then let the bank specific question be asked on its own. I usually have 3 reasons as well, but try to do your best to not make it sound like a list or like something you prepared- I think it is most effective if it seems to come more naturally to you.


Hey Black Jack,

I always end my story with why all my experiences have led me to work in investment banking. However, when they directly ask you in the original question, "... and why you want to work at Deutsche Bank," is it a good idea to ignore that part and wait until they ask again in a separate question to bring up your points?

I like your idea of letting it seem organic. But how do you find a healthy medium between structured and natural?

Oh my bad, didn't realize you were suggesting that they asked why that bank as part of the resume/story walk through. In that case wrap things up by talking why banking and then in particular why that bank- don't wait for a separate question. The healthy medium is all on you- same goes throughout the interview- it is a line between being formal/rigid and being casual/easy to talk to. You have to find whatever that balance is for you that you feel works the best- in something in person you can try to take hints from your interviewer and tell what will be the most effective with them.

1/22/15

I agree that it is a sales pitch. I have various relatives that interview applicants as potential hires, and the way they look at it is that they already have your resume, so there is no point in you rehashing those points. In addition to that, if they have any questions regarding your resume, those are usually the things that they ask you about during the interview. What they want to know is how you differ from the hundreds of other applicants that they get with the same GPAs and the same ivy league school background.

1/22/15

you can talk for a minute or 2, theyll stop you when you hit on something.

PLEASE DONT CHANGE EXCEL SHORTCUTS!!!

8/24/12

Patrick (?) posted something on this a few months back and it totally shifted my opinion of the question. This part of the interview is a gift. It is an allotment of time to "sell" yourself.

I created an outline and shifted my emphasis according to the company I was interviewing with. This may only be useful out of undergrad, but take a look and see if it to helps you:
- Home town
- School and why you chose it
- Campus involvement [had a really good talking point here that usually started a short dialogue, giving me a break from being the only one talking]
- Internships and what you learned from them
- How those shaped my desire to work in [whatever I was interviewing for]
- Conclusion along the lines of "...and as a result of all that stuff I just said I am certain that this is the perfect job for me. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today; I'm open to any other questions you have about my background and experience."

Boom.

Nothing short of everything will really do.

1/22/15

i would say no to including stuff from your "interests" section if for no other reason than because you want your answer to be pretty concise (~2-3 min i think is roughly the consensus), and assuming you've had some internship experience, you're going to fill that 2-3 min up pretty quickly.

i've found that if an interviewer shares an interest with you or thinks one of your interests is cool, he/she will talk to you about it at some point.

Remember, once you're inside you're on your own.
Oh, you mean I can't count on you?
No.
Good!

1/22/15

I agree with the above.

1/22/15

Yeah this is a tough one and shows lazyness on the part of the interviewer. No one can really talk about themselves in a 1 minute and not seem pushy or robotic but that's what some people want. Everyone has a life story and the best ones take at least 15 minutes to tell. At least. This is why networking is so important, because people can get to know your story. Good Luck

1/22/15

It's the "walk me through your resume" question repackaged. It's fine to talk about where you grew up, mention high school if you want (though it's not that relevant). The important thing is to present a clear story and linear progression.

1/22/15

I actually heard the opposite, that you are not supposed to talk about where you were born, what middle school you went to etc, its a sales pitch like goalie mentioned, tell them all your strengths
---------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

1/22/15

Getting that question is your opportunity to influence the direction of the interview, and sets the momentum in your favor. So it's your best opportunity (other than the "anything else you would want add" question) to focus your interviewer on your strengths and away from your weaknesses.

My soph year I always started out with something of the sort that I was a year ahead in school, on equal footing with juniors, blah blah blah, to show that I was motivated and competent. Now it's a combination of resume points and "why this job", to get the interviewer asking about my past experiences and my career interests, which I have good prepared answers for.

The WSO Advantage - Land Your Dream Job

Financial Modeling Training

IB Templates, M&A, LBO, Valuation.

Wall St. Interview Secrets Revealed

30,000+ sold & REAL questions.

Resume Help from Finance Pros

Land More Interviews.

Find Your Mentor

Realistic Mock Interviews.

1/22/15

pmed. please let me know what you think. thanks.

1/22/15
sharp_in1008:

When asked this question at banks, how long would your answer last.
Thanks

30 seconds. No longer

1/22/15

My previous answer to 'tell me about yourself':
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/tell-me-abou...

SirTradesaLot:
Here's how I do it:

Interviewer: "Tell me a little about yourself."

Me: "In college, I majored in Economics, the 'science' of making choices in a constrained environment to help me figure out what motivates people. I minored in Philosophy to hone my art of bullshitting. Combining these two fields with my natural proclivities has allowed me to separate very large sums of money from untold quantities of people in my 14 year career on Wall Street. Knowing the ins and outs of several large product areas has given me the knowledge of where to best hide fees. This way, the client thinks they are getting a great deal while I am ripping their fucking face off. This has allowed me to garner repeat business from said targets giving me a recurring, high margin revenue base that is portable to your firm."

You may need to adjust based on your personal circumstances, but this works pretty well for me.

8/25/12
bonks:

Patrick (?) posted something on this a few months back and it totally shifted my opinion of the question. This part of the interview is a gift. It is an allotment of time to "sell" yourself.

I created an outline and shifted my emphasis according to the company I was interviewing with. This may only be useful out of undergrad, but take a look and see if it to helps you:
- Home town
- School and why you chose it
- Campus involvement [had a really good talking point here that usually started a short dialogue, giving me a break from being the only one talking]
- Internships and what you learned from them
- How those shaped my desire to work in [whatever I was interviewing for]
- Conclusion along the lines of "...and as a result of all that stuff I just said I am certain that this is the perfect job for me. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today; I'm open to any other questions you have about my background and experience."

Boom.

Agree with this. One thing I'll add is to keep it really concise. I think this is the part where you layout what you want the interviewer to pick at, so there's no need to go into a lot of detail right off the bat.

1/22/15

15 minutes would be too long unless you're a very experienced hire but those interviews are completely different than entry/jr level stuff. 2-3 mins isn't long at all unless it takes you 3 minutes to say what could and should be said in 30 seconds.

2/26/14

@bonks how long did all of those points take you? 2-3 minutes tops?

8/24/12

I'm gay.

1/22/15

I usually tell them where I grew up, why I chose my university and what I'm currently up to.

--------------------------------------------------------
"I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcom

1/22/15

The ideal response is to go into your elevator speech. What is your brand sentence and where are you interested in going?

1/22/15

I spent about 30 seconds or so. Maybe not even that long, and just about where I grew up. Not my high school.

1/22/15

it's also a rundown of your resume, so you can highlight stuff that they can ask you questiosn about (major, work experience, activities on campus). works pretty well.

1/22/15

Ill take a look at it as well pm me if you are interested

1/22/15

Exactly, this is one of the few times when the ball is completely in your court and you can push the topic of discussion in the direction that best suits you.

1/22/15

The epic answer is, "It doesn't matter who we are, what matters is our plan."

8/24/12
BigHedgeHog:

I'm gay.

Is that a do or don't?

8/24/12
GED or Bust:
BigHedgeHog:

I'm gay.

Is that a do or don't?

Its a 'do'. Aslo tell them them you enjoy s&m. The whole interview is actually about your sexual orientation and they want to know you are creative in the bedroom because that makes for happier employees.

"Dont compromise yourself; you're all you've got" - Janis Joplin

8/24/12
MissNG:
GED or Bust:
BigHedgeHog:

I'm gay.

Is that a do or don't?

Its a 'do'. Aslo tell them them you enjoy s&m. The whole interview is actually about your sexual orientation and they want to know you are creative in the bedroom because that makes for happier employees.

MissNG, you sound extremely knowledgeable. Can you please PM me your personal interview strategies. Thanks.

8/24/12

right on the above.. Check out the WSO networking/interviewing guide.

In addition to the above by bonks. keep it 3-5 minutes.

Fear is the greatest motivator. Motivation is what it takes to find profit.

1/22/15

do they really care about where you grew up, extra curriculars and stuff?

1/22/15

My point is of course 15 minutes is too long as you say @"Dingdong08". But that's the problem. Apparently we are supposed to sum up our lives and worth in 3 minutes (and that's often seen as too long). Then the people interviewing see the candidate as "not having personality" or whatever. Or then people complain that the individual doesn't work out and was a terrible fit etc etc.

In the end there are like hundreds or thousands of applicants for a position and only so much time to interview so many people, so I (along with so many) get the drill.

My point was just to further emphasize the importance of networking.

Like let's say you like watching formula 1 and are a big fan and a moment in your life that shaped you was seeing the first race on TV (or whatever) which led you to do something which inspired you to make whatever decision that shows you are hungry, interesting, passionate, smart, etc etc etc... That story, which is so illustrative and potentially UNIQUE is tough to put together in a 3 minute spiel and make it applicable, especially when the interviewer might be sitting across the table from you thinking "why the hell is he/she talking about F1?" Now lets say you have 10-15 minutes at a networking event/coffee. That interest might come out in casual conversation. Maybe the person you are talking to can relate to it as well. All of the sudden you might be someone they like, can recommend, or interview etc. You get my drift.

1/22/15

30 seconds? not more?

"What we can, we must; and because we can, we must"

1/22/15

Tell a story, dont just list things about youself, make it a connected an interesting timeline of what you've done and how you got where you are.

1/22/15

PM met and i'll give a review. Hope it all worked out.

1/22/15

no right answer, say whatever you want. don't tailor it too much, speak freely.

--
Interview Guides
GMAT Tutors
WSO Resume Review
---
Current:
Senior Analyst - Hedge Fund
Past:
Associate - Tech Buyout
Analyst - Morgan St

1/22/15
hopefulxx:

do they really care about where you grew up, extra curriculars and stuff?

Its not relevant to the job but it helps them build a impression of who you are.

At one interview, a MD looked like he could careless when I rambled about the markets but took on a much more sympathetic tone when I started talking about some challenges that I had to overcome when I was growing up...

1/22/15
superconnard:

30 seconds? not more?

Not for the whole answer - just for the background part leading up to your college and work experience.

8/24/12

"What do you want to know?"

1/22/15
1/22/15

high school can be dropped if you went to exeter, andover, deerfield etc

1/22/15

i heard also the "sales pitch" should be about one minute long and well...it's kinda hard to narrow it down.
it's weird though, because when i had my mock interview, i did exactly that, and the interviewer told met that she doesnt want to hear anything that's written in the resume because they read the resumes in advance so they know what we've done, they just want to hear about you...so it kind of contradicts. (the mock interview wasn't for an i-banking position, but still it shouldnt differ, should it?)

1/22/15

I can't believe he asked you to e-mail the answers. Is this how they're planning on conducting the rest of the interview?

1/22/15

Say that you like long walks on the beach and to cuddle by the fire.

8/24/12
Nabooru:

"What do you want to know?"

Ha that is the first thing I always think.

8/24/12

ultimate softball

1/22/15

Yea, I definitely think they care, at least with smaller firms (not BB). It would stand to reason that it matters for BB as well, but getting to know the person you could be hiring would be really important for a smaller firm. These questions help to answer just that..

1/22/15

I think one of the key points of this question is to express "why" you made some of the choices you did. Definitely mention where you're from because geography actually matters and can play in your advantage if you're from the area. I'd steer clear of name-dropping your elite private high school because unless the interviewer went to that high school, you're going to look a bit arrogant. What I always liked to emphasize in this question was why I choose the college I did (made sure to emphasize the strengths of my college because the interviewers were unfamiliar with it) and in particular, why I chose my major. Same goes for the extracurriculars I was involved in. Note: I'm not talking about a lengthy explanation, just a phrase rolled into the sentence such as: "I chose xyz college because i knew I wanted to pursue a career in business and they have a fantastic business program."

This is definitely one of those questions you should have a clear, concise answer to and practice over and over again out loud at home, because it will be asked - often.

CompBanker

1/22/15

In my experience most employers wanted me to walk them through my resume, so it's obviously fine to talk in greater detail about what you've written. Furthermore, they usually expected me to take several minutes or more to go into detail, so the whole 1-2 minute schpiel thing is a myth IMO.

1/22/15
CompBanker:

I think one of the key points of this question is to express "why" you made some of the choices you did. Definitely mention where you're from because geography actually matters and can play in your advantage if you're from the area. I'd steer clear of name-dropping your elite private high school because unless the interviewer went to that high school, you're going to look a bit arrogant. What I always liked to emphasize in this question was why I choose the college I did (made sure to emphasize the strengths of my college because the interviewers were unfamiliar with it) and in particular, why I chose my major. Same goes for the extracurriculars I was involved in. Note: I'm not talking about a lengthy explanation, just a phrase rolled into the sentence such as: "I chose xyz college because i knew I wanted to pursue a career in business and they have a fantastic business program."

This is definitely one of those questions you should have a clear, concise answer to and practice over and over again out loud at home, because it will be asked - often.

This is spot on and especially important for PE interviews when people care about your decision making process. But also one thing to remember is to look at your interviewer's reaction during the interview. If she looks interested then keep going (but not too long, I guess 2 min. max is what you need to introduce yourself and explain the choices you have made, mainly college and work-wise), if she looks obviously disinterested then you need to cut it short and put an approriate end in the next 10 seconds.

8/24/12
dzar:

I know that this question has been done to death, but I was just wondering what you guys considered the do's and dont's of answering this question.

"I know this question has been beaten to death, so I thought I would ask it again"

seriously?

1/22/15

"Think of where you would like to be in 15 years. That is where I will be 10 years from now. You have two options. You can either pass on me and watch me kick your firm's ass for the next decade, or you can hire me, get out of my way, and ride my coattails to the top."

1/22/15

Good advice comp banker. An addition to my previous post, since I went to a small high school, and chose a small college and did well/fit in at both, if I was applying to a place that had a smaller environment, smaller deal teams etc, I would normally mention the fact that I chose my schools because they were smaller, thrived there, and that was part of the reason I was so interested in X firm blah blah blah.

If you can connect your college experience directly with why you are applying to that specific firm that is normally a good thing.

1/22/15

career centers don't exactly know everything, they can be helpfull if you are interviewing for a generic position...but you shouldn't give them too much credit.

Think about it...someone at a career center has to help finance, biology, communications, psychology, english, history and other majors with their interviews. And interview techniques differ depending on the position you are interviewing for.

And the reason I feel its good to follow a resume, because on a resume you are supposed to list your accomplishments...that whole tell me about yourself, you should use that as an outline, and you have to fill in the blanks.

And I agree with Clint, the answer to that question should take you as long as you need to tell your story in a conscise manner(I'd try to keep it under 5 mins tho). And 5 minutes of conscise information, is like 10 written pages...so you realy shouldn't need 5 mins.
---------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

1/22/15
aspiringmonkey:

Think about it...someone at a career center has to help finance, biology, communications, psychology, english, history and other majors with their interviews. And interview techniques differ depending on the position you are interviewing for.

Might not be this way at Rutgers, but I'm pretty sure most colleges have field-specific career services centers.

1/22/15

yeah, our career center isn't the best one out there, but it wasn't them who did the interviews, they brought in actual people that do these interviews for recruiting, so it is pretty specific in that sense...there were interviews for investments positions, marketing, general management, etc..
but, thanks for the input, i will have to work on my speech now.

one last thing, if for the tell me about yourself question, you walk them through your resume, is it fair to say that tell me about yourself is the same as walk me through your resume question?

8/24/12

i may or may not be a gigolo

next question

Let's burn the pages, we'll start anew
1/22/15

My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum... it's breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it.

1/22/15

I would say so. my schpeel would be "I'm a rising senior at X college, I'm a Y and Z major. This summer, I finished an internship in the whatever department of whatever bank, and at X college, i do these activities." They'll prompt you to go into more detail.

usually, the response is with questions on why that major (my combination is weird and interesting), then a big chunk was your previous internship experience, what you did there/project you worked on, why you want to go back/dont want to go back, etc. and then usually tehy make some comments about stuff you do on campus. Finally, they have their other questions (fave class/strengths and weaknesses/etc.)

I guess this approach worked well for me since I got through recruiting without too many obstacles...

  • vanillathunder12
  •  1/22/15
Erwe422:

My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum... it's breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it.

Dr. Evil in Goldmember. I really hope that was all from memory.

1/22/15
Erwe422:

My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum... it's breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it.

I just shat my pants laughing

8/24/12

This just in - GS's new interview process:

1/22/15

The "tell me about yourself" question is your opportunity to sell yourself. Think of it as your 30 second pitch. talk about why you would be a great candidate and why you want the job.

1/22/15

Its a good idea to mention how the various points on the resume come together to be a good combination of skill sets, experience and interests for the particular job. One particular strategy could be talking about the rationale behind your decisions.. for example did my undegrad in X and decided to do a masters in Y because blah blah..

1/22/15
eric809e:

The "tell me about yourself" question is your opportunity to sell yourself. Think of it as your 30 second pitch. talk about why you would be a great candidate and why you want the job.

Hi,

I agreed with you. Any way, your ideal make me thinking about some thing for my project.

Apart from that, this link below may be useful: Tell me about your self
Pls try to keep posting.Tks and best regards

8/24/12

^ Despite its ending, Exam was a solid movie.

1/22/15

Erwe422 I actually laughed out of loud.

Pretty funny stuff.

8/24/12
CoochieMane:

^ Despite its ending, Exam was a solid movie.

yeah I enjoyed it too

8/24/12

i was plannin to be all slick and quote that part when the character called deaf breaks his glasses and starts rambling some philosophical line in french, but i cant find the quote damnit. my googling skills need work :(

Let's burn the pages, we'll start anew
1/22/15

It's your cue to go through your resume without putting them to sleep.

8/24/12

This question always drives me nuts cuz playing mysterious is my first priority. and I feel rehearsing my life stories such a pain in the ass.

--Money can't buy happiness. it can only buy orgasms.
--Who the hell says I want happiness? Orgasms all I need.

8/25/12

good advice

8/25/12

This is the interviewer being lazy.

DO:

-Tell your story, but get straight to the point about why they would want to hire you.
-Work your elevator pitch in.

DON'T:
-Ramble
-Talk about anything from before four years ago if you're an undergrad. (The period of professional relevancy gets longer as you get older; generally it's one year for every two past 22)

Example:

Hi, I'm IlliniProgrammer. I did my undergrad in CS at UIUC where I TA'd a graduate algorithms course. I worked for Lehman Brothers for a year; was working on the night of the bankruptcy, I spent four more years working in equity flow vol desk analytics, and now I'm a grad student in finance! I enjoy open water swimming, hang gliding, and motorcycle racing. (Pause here. Don't ramble.)

If the interviewer stays quiet, you can keep talking.

10/25/12

hey i race motorcycles too, what tracks you run?

IlliniProgrammer:

This is the interviewer being lazy.

DO:

-Tell your story, but get straight to the point about why they would want to hire you.
-Work your elevator pitch in.

DON'T:
-Ramble
-Talk about anything from before four years ago if you're an undergrad. (The period of professional relevancy gets longer as you get older; generally it's one year for every two past 22)

Example:

Hi, I'm IlliniProgrammer. I did my undergrad in CS at UIUC where I TA'd a graduate algorithms course. I worked for Lehman Brothers for a year; was working on the night of the bankruptcy, I spent four more years working in equity flow vol desk analytics, and now I'm a grad student in finance! I enjoy open water swimming, hang gliding, and motorcycle racing. (Pause here. Don't ramble.)

If the interviewer stays quiet, you can keep talking.

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

2/26/14

@"IlliniProgrammer" you don't even mention your background? Fpr instance, I have lived in 3 different countries in my life and I think it's contributed to my major choice as well as it's something that's unique. I know people might not give two shits about it so I'm curious as to what you think especially for someone coming right out of undergrad

8/25/12

Ha I asked this yesterday on a couple of interviews I did. Only one was able to spin it as suggested by Bonks

8/25/12

split it to two parts

part a) talk briefly about your background - things like where you're from, a quick run through of your career/education so far. Keep this quick, light-hearted

part b) talk about your career - and as you do that, keep the flow natural but pick topics that you believe are relevant to the job you're interviewing for. It should feel like you're talking about something that you did that you're passionate / proud / interested about but it should align with the job (for e.g. if it's a consulting fit, you'd subtly talk about challenging business situations, problem solving issues. client issues...). That way you're not rambling some nonsense no one cares about.

8/25/12

I take this question as an opportunity to highlight my background to reflect how exactly I fit in the role (job duties and experience). Start with your most recent job experience and focus on the skills/talents that are needed in the job and mention by giving examples of how you have acquired those skills and completed exactly same tasks.

Best Response
8/25/12

Here's how I do it:

Interviewer: "Tell me a little about yourself."

Me: "In college, I majored in Economics, the 'science' of making choices in a constrained environment to help me figure out what motivates people. I minored in Philosophy to hone my art of bullshitting. Combining these two fields with my natural proclivities has allowed me to separate very large sums of money from untold quantities of people in my 14 year career on Wall Street. Knowing the ins and outs of several large product areas has given me the knowledge of where to best hide fees. This way, the client thinks they are getting a great deal while I am ripping their fucking face off. This has allowed me to garner repeat business from said targets giving me a recurring, high margin revenue base that is portable to your firm."

You may need to adjust based on your personal circumstances, but this works pretty well for me.

8/25/12
SirTradesaLot:

Here's how I do it:

Interviewer: "Tell me a little about yourself."

Me: "In college, I majored in Economics, the 'science' of making choices in a constrained environment to help me figure out what motivates people. I minored in Philosophy to hone my art of bullshitting. Combining these two fields with my natural proclivities has allowed me to separate very large sums of money from untold quantities of people in my 14 year career on Wall Street. Knowing the ins and outs of several large product areas has given me the knowledge of where to best hide fees. This way, the client thinks they are getting a great deal while I am ripping their fucking face off. This has allowed me to garner repeat business from said targets giving me a recurring, high margin revenue base that is portable to your firm."

You may need to adjust based on your personal circumstances, but this works pretty well for me.

of all the times for me to run out of bananas.

8/26/12
melvvvar:

of all the times for me to run out of bananas.

Glad to help. As you know, I have a lot of experience in this field, so some of the noobs may need to adjust their pitch to express their desire to do these things, instead of being able to claim they have already done them. Either way, the layout should be helpful in future interviews.

8/26/12
SirTradesaLot:
melvvvar:

of all the times for me to run out of bananas.

Glad to help. As you know, I have a lot of experience in this field, so some of the noobs may need to adjust their pitch to express their desire to do these things, instead of being able to claim they have already done them. Either way, the layout should be helpful in future interviews.

Sb'ed, thanks for the fatherly advice!

The Auto Show

8/25/12
8/25/12
8/29/12

" A recession is when other people lose their job, a depression is when you lose your job. "

2/26/14
2/26/14

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

1/22/15
Add a Comment
WallStreet Prep Master Financial Modeling