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Walk me through your resume…

The majority of interviews will start out with you being asked to introduce yourself and your background or “walk me through your resume.”  There are two reasons for this.  First, the interviewer wants to hear your “story” and second, it gives the interviewer a chance to quickly read over your resume while you are talking.  More often than not, he or she hasn’t had the time to read it before you walked in the interview room.

The opportunity to walk through your resume is your chance to talk about your background and to make your case why you want to be an investment banker.  The most important thing is that you tell a story that makes sense to the interviewer and shows a progression leading up to you being a banker.  Even if the choices that you’ve made (schools, degrees, jobs) don’t follow a natural progression, you need to describe your experiences in a manner that flows convincingly.  Now, that isn’t to say that you necessarily need to find commonality in everything you’ve done, or “weave a thread” through each job, as long as you can demonstrate some sensible flow.  For example, highlight how each job enabled you to take more responsibility or required more finance knowledge than the one before it.  Even if you’ve switched careers or reversed directions, talk about what you’ve learned from those decisions that make you a good investment banking candidate.

Remember, this is your opportunity to make a first impression and perhaps your only opportunity to make your case as you see fit, so don’t underestimate the importance of this part of the interview.

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