Walk me through your resume vs. Why IB?

bdiddy's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 179

Hi guys,

Based on MI, the "walk me through your resume" answer basically includes "why IB?" as well in my opinion since you mention the spark, your growing interest, and why you're here today (Again based on the M&I format).

I had a mock interview with an alumnus today, and when he asked the "walk me though your resume" question, he said that my answer, while good, was too long (my story is about 2 minutes 30 seconds, in the 2-3 minute range that M&I recommends), and that it shouldn't include why I want to do investment banking, since that was going to be his next question.

Current bankers (and especially those who do a lot of interviews), what are your thoughts on this? Was this alumnus right? He works at a mid tier BB, but admits that he hasn't conducted too many real interviews. He said that in his opinion my answer would annoy an interviewer since "walk me through your resume" doesn't really ask "why IB?" directly.

Thanks in advance.

Comments (12)

Aug 30, 2011

It depends. There is no set answer. One interviewer may have eaten your words up like gold and loved it, and another would have told you exactly what this guy did. Don't get fazed by it.

The easy way to get around this is to not go too in depth with your 'walk me through' answer. Remember, in finance, briefer is always better. Pitch your story, make a nice little tie-in as to your interest in banking, but don't put the cherry on top. That way, if he doesn't ask "why banking," you still did the basics, but if he does, you can go more in depth without sounding redundant. And, when you get good at interviewing, if someone doesn't ask you "why banking" you can steer back later in the interview and really sell it.

Aug 30, 2011

Each interviewer is different.

In my experience close to three minutes is about as long as you want to get. But it should be fine if you think there isn't anything you can take out.

I would say that you don't need to explicitly state why you want to do IB, but that it should make sense to the interviewer why you want to do IB.

Aug 30, 2011

Could this lead to a potential "Ding" just by following the M&I format if the interviewer didn't want you to include "why IB?", which the M&I format definitely does?

Aug 30, 2011

walk me through your resume and why IB are not mutually exclusive, but they do overlap

the walking through resume should have some relevant tie ins to investment banking in terms of your experience, however no need to make them too obvious. the interviewer will dig deeper into a few of these if he/she is interested

Why investment banking is more explicit - Im interested because of X reason and Y from my experience demonstrates I enjoy/would be good at these sorts of environments

Aug 30, 2011

My story, I guess included those explicit things based on what I've read from M&I- his 'actual' story that he said he used for interviews pretty much says I want to do IB for this.. and that.. etc.

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Aug 30, 2011

In my opinion, walking through your resume should give the interviewer a clear understanding of why you want to go into investment banking.

Aug 30, 2011

Not a current banker, but I'd try to get this answer down to 90 seconds. For any answer, you're likely to lose the interviewers interest if you go on longer than 60-90 seconds.

Kind of a no brainer, but don't cover your whole resume. Just cover the aspects of your background that make you a strong candidate for investment banking. As some of the guys above highlighted, this should give the interviewer a good idea of why banking.

Aug 30, 2011

Exactly. Anyone saying any number near 3 minutes is smoking. 3-5 is outlandish. 90 seconds or under guys, brevity is power. He'll think you're way more focused and polished if you're short, direct, and logical ... not rambling on and on giving him your truncated life history.

Aug 30, 2011

Thanks for the insight. I'll work on shortening my pitch then- should it still include the specific phrases such as: (more "Why IB?" related answers) ?

I grew up in _____ and because of _____ I initially got interested in __________ ...... (later on in the story)... Because of my experiences in ____ , ____ and ____ I think I am good fit for IB. I'm interviewing today to combine my interests in ______ and finance, etc, etc. Basically, the stuff that comes straight from M&I.

Assuming it fits within the 90 seconds threshold, should those phrases be included? Or should I save those for "Why IB?"

Aug 30, 2011


Should you cut out the parts that describe your "initial spark", and "why you're here today" since those really seem more related to "Why IB?"

Sep 6, 2011

Personally, I think the best way to answer this is as follows:

I grew up in _____.
I went to _____ college because _____.
In school, I decided to study _____ because ____.
Outside of class, I was involved in ____, _____, and _____ because ______.
I did internships at ____ and _____.
Now I'm looking to start my career in investment banking.

Theoretically, your choices should weave together to give the interviewer a picture of who you are and what your story is. I agree that you shouldn't take more than 60-90 seconds. 60 seconds is a LOT of time to convey information and many times the interviewer won't interrupt you.

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Dec 4, 2017