"Story" length? - interviews

Hi all,

So I'm currently in the process of preparing to go into IB (am a junior in college). I obviously know that your "story" is crucial for the interview process and can make you or break you. However, I've read conflicting suggestions on how long it should be. Some people have told me that it should be between 45 - 60 seconds. Others have said 2 - 3 minutes, and one person even said to go for a full 5 minutes.

Can anyone tell me what's worked for them in interviews in terms of "story" length? I feel like 60 seconds is the sweet spot but I'm not sure...

Thanks in advance!

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Comments (8)

Best Response
Jan 13, 2018 - 11:38am

Good question, as this is something I feel a lot of people (and I) struggled with during recruitment. I think the best way to go about it would be to have three versions prepared:

  • a 60-75 second abbreviated version - default to this when they simply say "tell me about yourself/walk me through your resume"

  • a 2-3 minute version - default to this if they say "take a few minutes and tell me how you ended up here"

  • a full 5 minute one. Almost never going to use this but I once had an interview where the guy said to take 5 minutes.

Hope this helps.

Jan 13, 2018 - 11:49am

1-2 minutes should be more than enough. You want to accurately express yourself while not boring your interviewer to death and losing them. Check the M&I article on this, it's pretty informative.

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Jan 14, 2018 - 12:20pm

I would agree with this one. Very rarely will you get a 5min story ask because it's just too long winded and people will lose track of what you are talking about.

Typically in interviews I ask for 1-2 mins (should aim for 1:30-1:45) or just quickly tell me about yourself in 30 seconds if it's an easy story from your resume. Additionally, sometimes I scrap the whole story routine and just ask "give me 2-3 things from your resume that sums up everything" (to hit on your background and why IB / why XYZ bank)

Jan 15, 2018 - 11:39pm

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