How to explain the CV during the interview and how much time do you have

CV
New answer on Nov 23, 2020
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Anonymous A asked on Jul 11, 2019

Hi Everybody!

which is the appropriate way to explain the CV during the interview? What the interviewer wants?

Thanks

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Vlad
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replied on Jul 11, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

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 the Firm 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 particular Firm if you were a consultant before) is the next logical career step for you

Best!

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Anonymous A on Jul 12, 2019

Usually how long should it last? Because in Mckinsey I think it is 10 min. on average

Anonymous replied on Jul 11, 2019

If the question is a general "walk me through your CV", you should aim for 2 to 2.5 minutes. Your answer should contain the following components:

  1. A very quick introduction of yourself (e.g. name, hometown, etc.)
  2. Overview of your education (if you graduated recently) and past professional experience. Here you essentially go through your CV. However, do not dive deep down into the details. Stay at a high level and just explain your basic responsibilities, major achievement and key learning (if there is one). You should also explain why you decided to move from one job to the other.
  3. Final statement of why you are here today.

The interviewer is essentially trying to figure out 1) WHAT you've done in the past, 2) HOW you have grown and 3) WHY you are here. The WHAT part is the easiest and the least important, since it's already on your CV. The WHY part is the most difficult and most important. It requires you to tell a story.

Hope this helps. I know it's a very generic guideline so if you wish to discuss further, feel free to message me.

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Francesco
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replied on Jul 14, 2019
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.700+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

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:

  • The 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.
  • The description of the stories/experiences
  • 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 delivery usually should take 2-3 minutes.

The key to 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

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Gaurav
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replied on Nov 23, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi,

Nothing could be easier than this questions, and nothing can be tougher. the easiest way to make it your answer unstructure is to go through your resume in a chronological way. Basically the question behind this question from the interviewer is to get an understanding how is your experience, skills and accomplishments make you an ideal candidate for that specific role.

So, to answer brilliant on this question take out from your resume the most relevant experience and structure your narration in a way that will reply to the following questions:

  1. How led you to that role?

  2. What did you learn from that role?

  3. How did that influence your next steps?

Was it helpful?

GB

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Anonymous replied on Aug 25, 2020

Dear A,

The good combination for me is to concentrate about your 3 parts of your CV and 3 competence accordingly which would be relevant to this position and job.

You can start with 1 introdusctore sentence and get proceed for bullet points of what was your competence and achievements and how you can apply them.

If you need any further help, feel free to reach me.

Best,
André

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Vlad gave the best answer

Vlad

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