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Francesco

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3

Answering "Walk me through your resume"/ "Tell me about yourself"

FIT

What are the most important dos and don'ts for this question? How do you keep your story concise without being boring?

What are the most important dos and don'ts for this question? How do you keep your story concise without being boring?

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Hi NYM,

this question mainly aims to understand if you have the experiences and skills needed to be a good consultant and if you are able to present them in a proper way.

A good answer would emphasize:

  • Three parts of your CV that you consider most relevant. This may involve working experience, education and/or extracurricular activities, or more focus on one of these areas, according to your profile. Ideally you should use recent experiences (eg not something you did more than 3 years ago).
  • The description of the stories
  • How the mentioned experiences helped you to develop skills that are useful in consulting. In this part you should “sell” your skills, leading the interviewer to understand you have the characteristics of a good consultant.

You may then conclude saying that such path naturally brought you to be interested in consulting.

In terms of skills to emphasize, potential useful ones include:

  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Sales skills
  • Ability to interact with C-Levels
  • Teamwork skills
  • Ability to achieve results under strict deadlines and constraints

The key for a good delivery of the stories is to be extremely specific. One of the most common mistakes candidates do is to think that they can provide a generic story and that this would be enough. This is rarely the case. To really understand you, the interviewer needs to visualize the experiences you had and he/she cannot do this without details in the stories.

Best,

Francesco

Hi NYM,

this question mainly aims to understand if you have the experiences and skills needed to be a good consultant and if you are able to present them in a proper way.

A good answer would emphasize:

  • Three parts of your CV that you consider most relevant. This may involve working experience, education and/or extracurricular activities, or more focus on one of these areas, according to your profile. Ideally you should use recent experiences (eg not something you did more than 3 years ago).
  • The description of the stories
  • How the mentioned experiences helped you to develop skills that are useful in consulting. In this part you should “sell” your skills, leading the interviewer to understand you have the characteristics of a good consultant.

You may then conclude saying that such path naturally brought you to be interested in consulting.

In terms of skills to emphasize, potential useful ones include:

  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Sales skills
  • Ability to interact with C-Levels
  • Teamwork skills
  • Ability to achieve results under strict deadlines and constraints

The key for a good delivery of the stories is to be extremely specific. One of the most common mistakes candidates do is to think that they can provide a generic story and that this would be enough. This is rarely the case. To really understand you, the interviewer needs to visualize the experiences you had and he/she cannot do this without details in the stories.

Best,

Francesco

I've been asking myself the same question and after some iterations and readings I came up with this structure:

Introduction sentence
1) What I currently do
2) What is my background
3) Why I am here today
Conclusion

The benefits of starting with your current role is that you don't bore the interviewer with the chronological path through the education system, plus you leverage the benefits of making a positive first impression.

I think they know about yourself from the CV, so this is only partially to get to know your achievements and much more how you talk about a subject you know well, under stress and in front of a stranger.

Hope this helps,
Jonas

I've been asking myself the same question and after some iterations and readings I came up with this structure:

Introduction sentence
1) What I currently do
2) What is my background
3) Why I am here today
Conclusion

The benefits of starting with your current role is that you don't bore the interviewer with the chronological path through the education system, plus you leverage the benefits of making a positive first impression.

I think they know about yourself from the CV, so this is only partially to get to know your achievements and much more how you talk about a subject you know well, under stress and in front of a stranger.

Hope this helps,
Jonas

(edited)

Thanks Jonas! Would you say the "intro sentence" is a sort of summary of what you want the interviewer to know about you? I.e., I'm super passionate about solving problems (generic, but you get what I'm saying). — NYM on Jun 04, 2019

I think generics only where needed, your story will illustrate implicitly how organized, motivated and self driven you are. For me, it's simply "I am a XXX student from Z university. How about I quickly tell you about what I'm currently doing, then what's my background and, most importantly, how this brought me here" — Anonymous on Jun 04, 2019

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Hi,

“Tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume”- this is how Consultants usually begin the interview. It's an opportunity for them to learn about you and to pick some interesting facts. "Tell me about yourself question" is similar to "Walk me through your resume"

I would recommend the following structure:

  1. Start with a 1 sentence summary of your background, why you are relevant for McKinsey and what's your unique selling point
  2. Talk about 3-4 of your roles (may be professional, education, extracurricular), 3 sentences each. The more experienced you are the more you should speak about professional roles. It can be also the distinct roles within the same organization. Typical structure: 1) What was the company 2) What you were responsible for 3) Greatest achievement in that role, that will stay in the memory of the interviewer (E.g. While working at Adidas supply chain I was personally responsible for the delivery of soccer balls to the Worldcup in Africa)
  3. The main reason why consulting (or McKinsey if you were a consultant before) is the next logical career step for you

Best!

Hi,

“Tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume”- this is how Consultants usually begin the interview. It's an opportunity for them to learn about you and to pick some interesting facts. "Tell me about yourself question" is similar to "Walk me through your resume"

I would recommend the following structure:

  1. Start with a 1 sentence summary of your background, why you are relevant for McKinsey and what's your unique selling point
  2. Talk about 3-4 of your roles (may be professional, education, extracurricular), 3 sentences each. The more experienced you are the more you should speak about professional roles. It can be also the distinct roles within the same organization. Typical structure: 1) What was the company 2) What you were responsible for 3) Greatest achievement in that role, that will stay in the memory of the interviewer (E.g. While working at Adidas supply chain I was personally responsible for the delivery of soccer balls to the Worldcup in Africa)
  3. The main reason why consulting (or McKinsey if you were a consultant before) is the next logical career step for you

Best!

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