First, describe your education. Did you only graduate high school? Do you have a bachelor’s or master’s degree? Did you go to business school? Very quickly indicate your education experience at the beginning of this answer.
Discuss your entry-level job experience. You don’t need to go deeply into the job description but mentioning your first-ever full-time job helps the hiring manager understand where your career path began. This should only be about one sentence.
Next, quickly cover whatever relevant experiences you’d like to discuss. This should not be a deep dive into your work history. Cover work experience that led to key achievements or gave you the know-how you use on a daily basis. If you’ve gone through a career change, then quickly go over what made you switch from your first career to your current career goals.
Finally, move it forward and follow up to where you are now. Your final sentence of this interview answer should be something like, “So, now that I have all this experience in investment banking, I’m really looking forward to becoming an investment manager and utilizing that experience regularly.”
The key points of answering this question are being specific, showcasing how you’ve grown and changed and keeping it as short as possible. You don’t need to talk about every single aspect of your previous jobs, just the most important elements. If a recruiter needs more information, then you can be sure they’ll ask for it.
These questions do overlap and most employers won’t ask both. However, the question, “Tell me about yourself,” is typically an invitation to discuss hobbies and interests that will play into your employment, typically being a much broader question in general. The question, “Walk me through your resume,” on the other hand, should focus exclusively on your resume.
If you were to write it down, then your answer to this question should only be about one paragraph long. If it’s any longer than a single paragraph, then the answer is probably too long. You want to make sure that you’re cutting down this answer to be as short as possible so that the hiring manager doesn’t get bored. Remember, if the hiring manager still wants extra information, they’ll ask for it; so, you don’t need to worry about it being too short.
The best way to make sure that you’re getting some kind of benefit from this answer is to use it to highlight your professional development. Showcase exactly how you progressed from your education all the way through your career to now. Then, discuss how this is the perfect next job for you to hold. Answering this question can be a great starting point for an interview as long as you answer it to your advantage.