You’ll also get tips on how to improve your resume / CV walk-through in investment banking, private equity, and other finance interviews.
Your resume walk-through is how you answer the “Tell me about yourself” or “Walk me through your resume” or “Why are you here today?” question when you walk into an interview and first introduce yourself.
This is IMPORTANT because it’s your first impression, and interviewers often decide your status within the first 5 minutes of the interview.
Come across well, and you can answer other questions poorly but still receive a job offer or move onto the next round; come across poorly, and you won’t move to the next round no matter how great your Excel skills are.
We recommend this outline for your resume walk-through:
1. The Beginning – Where you went to school, where you started out working, your family background, etc.
2. The Spark – What, specifically, made you interested in finance initially? A person? An event? Your parents day trading or running a business? A professor? An internship?
3. Growing Interest – How did you develop this interest via classes, activities, further internships or jobs, and your networking and self-study efforts?
4. The Future / Why You’re Here Today – What’s your future goal (advising / investing in companies?) and how will working at this firm allow you to contribute TO that firm while also achieving your long-term goals?
Often, the last part – the “Future” / “Why You’re Here Today” segment is BORING and what you say sounds identical to everyone else’s statement.
“I want to become a trusted adviser to companies.”
“I want to invest in companies in XX sector.”
Link it back to the FIRST PART of your story – either your Beginning or Spark – to make it more memorable and attention-grabbing.
It works in movies (see: Inception and The Usual Suspects), and it works in interviews, too!
Example 1: You’re in a private equity interview, and your Spark is how you helped a private tech company raise funds; you saw additional expansion opportunities via partnerships and other deals, but in investment banking you just advise on one deal and that’s it… so you started looking into PE in more detail.
Instead of just saying, “I want to combine my interest in tech with my background in finance and invest in tech companies in the future,” say:
“So I’m here today because of that original situation with the private company that sparked my interest in the industry – I want to get more opportunities like that, where I can help improve businesses over the long-term via partnerships, acquisitions, and operational changes that you only get to implement in private equity. And in the future, I want to be an investor in the tech sector, and your firm is the best place for that because… [Insert the rest of your reasons here]”
Example 2: You’re in an investment banking interview, and your Spark was working at a non-profit that merged with another non-profit one summer, after which you started taking more finance classes and learning more about the industry.
You have a background in public policy, and your long-term plan is to advise in the Project Finance / Public Finance sectors.
Instead of just saying that for the last part of your story, you could say:
“I want to advise organizations that may not be as ‘savvy’ about finance, like the merged non-profit I was at a few years ago – and become a trusted adviser to those types of public/private organizations. Your firm is the ideal place to do that because of [And insert references to other deals or clients they’ve advised here].”
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