Interview Q&A

The best way to answer “Walk Me Through Your Resume” in an interview!

Last Updated on Nov 16, 2022

Introduction

When you go for an interview, the interviewer is most likely to begin the interview by asking you a question such as tell me about yourself
But in many cases, they may straightforwardly ask you to walk them through your resume. In this case, you should know what it means by walking through the resume. Or how can you answer the question most ardently?
But before moving to all those answers, let’s understand why the interviewer asks this question?

Why does the interviewer ask you to walk them through your resume?

The reason for asking this question can be so many. But the motive is quite the same for all. By asking this, the interviewer will know thoroughly about you with just one question.

They’re looking to quickly get the brief of your personality, experience, and most importantly your communications style to be able to tell them about yourself in a short but most effective way.

The interviewer wants to know if you’re the right fit for the company and it is through this interaction that they will get the idea of your potential for their organisation.
By opening the interview with “Walk me through your resume” the interviewer gets an idea of your background which makes it an essential part of placing you in the right place.

Also, knowing your skills will provide them with an idea of whether you reach all the eligibility criteria or not. Since the company needs to function well and optimally. They want their candidates to reach a certain mark.

Is “Tell me about yourself” and “Walk me through your resume” the same question?

Since, Both the questions have the same purpose of understanding the candidate’s level of experience and skills and to know them better. It is likely to think that they are similar questions. And the truth is not too far off! They indeed have the same meaning and almost similar answers.

However, despite their similarity, there are a few differences you should keep in mind before using them interchangeably. The slight difference could probably lie in answering.
If you have been asked “Tell me about you”, you are mainly going to answer it in a more generic form where you would mention your career journey, college experience, work experience (if any), your hobbies, and perhaps also include things you enjoy doing in your leisure time (to show your additional skills), etc,.
However, when you are asked “Walk me through your resume” by an interviewer, that question has become more specific i.e., they are asking you mainly about your work-life, where mentioning your hobbies or personal interest is not that necessary. The answer here should be to consider your professional experiences and skills you have for the job you have applied to.

Stay true to yourself and your interviewers. Lying is fallacious.
You may find it easy to describe something randomly, but what if they ask
another related question?

4 Tips to keep in mind before you answer this question

#1. Keep it precise:-

When you are asked to talk about your resume, do not try to go beyond what is asked. The purpose to ask this question is to know about your past experiences or education, your achievements.,etc. So, keep it to that.

You may share bits of your interests if that fits right in the conversation, but keep it very short.
The reason for keeping it precise is that many people have gained tons of experience and when it comes to sharing, they try to boast about their achievements. What they don’t realise is that saying so many things in such a short period results in missing the FOCUS POINT.

Let’s say, you may be very good in academics or have gained lots of experience through internships or volunteering, etc. But what is the point if you are saying it all and not focusing on the main things that need to be said?

The best thing you can do is mention a few things that you think are primary. And add on to those things that come secondary.

Let’s understand this through an example.
Suppose, you have done 5 internships and volunteered for around 6-7 programs throughout your 4 years of college. Now, instead of going through each of them, find similar things you have done in each and categorise them. After doing so, pick 1 or 2 main internship (the ones that relates to the job you are applying), 2 or 3 volunteering programs that you have done and tell about them.

You can add the skills and some interesting things that you’ve done in others. By doing so, it will not only save your time but will also get you the right impression and focus on your true strength.

#2. Set a framework of Past, Present, and Future:-

Setting a framework is one of the most important tools to answer this question. Perhaps your resume contains a lot of information that can result in confusion or you may forget what things you were going to tell.

To avoid such a thing to happen, set a framework. Divide the data into time zones. Past, Present and Future.

For the past, Share your experiences such as the opportunities you got when you’re in College, or the skills you’ve developed from the internships done.

For the present, be clear about what you are looking for.Tell the interviewer what are your expectations from the company or job and what you can provide them.

For the future, give them an idea of your working style if you are experienced. And if you are a fresher with no work experience tell them how you would want to work.
Also, it is good to mention things like where you see yourself in a few years. What are your plans for the future.This will make you look more mature and organised.

#3. Use your strong points as bullets:-

Analyse yourself. What are your strengths? Make note of it and list them out according to the hierarchy.

Now that you know what are your key skills, include each of them individually in every other sentences you say.

Simple but strong.
If you think it is difficult, Don’t worry!
Find at least 4-5 keywords ( as pragmatic, organised, planner, consistent, etc,.) that you think can describe yourself. While saying the answer, include these keywords. For example,
Being a pragmatic I am very good at handling a troublesome situation sensibly. I can work under pressure effortlessly and my habit of planning things ahead of work give me more flexible hours to be more productive.

#4. Practice:-

If there is anything written in this article makes you think it will work out without you practising than you are wrong. You need not to learn so tens of pages on how to answer this or that question. Or how to prepare for an interview. But it will be futile if you don’t practise.

Anton Chekhov once said “Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice”. which is true even for preparing for an interview.

The more you practise, the better you’ll sound. Needless to say, every sentence you speak will come so naturally that you would feel it’s forming instinctively. The best part of practising is that you will not feel any kind of nervousness before your interview.

“Walk me through your resume”- Sample Answers

Sample

For Freshers:- I graduated from Delhi University a year ago and earned my Bachelor’s degree in computer science. Since college, I have had a keen interest in programming and software development. I also completed my internship with Deloitte focused mainly on java programming. I think the ideal next step in my career is to have a full-time job and take my passion to the next level. I came to know about your company which stands among the top in terms of its tech programmes, functions, and exposure, which is an ideal fit for me to learn more.

For a mid-level candidate:- I graduated from the BITS Pilani five years ago. I have five years of experience as a sales analyst. I started my career as a junior assistant sales executive at Deloitte, then I was promoted to an associate vice president a year later. I worked for Deloitte for almost 5 years, wherein I had roles in sales and management. Marketing and analyst. I have had my major learning of corporate from there. Now that I have enough experience in that field, I look forward to having a job where I can continue to use my skills to bring new customers into a growing sales business. Your position looks interesting based on the job description. As a matter of fact, I have successfully done work in the past, I’d love to have the opportunity to utilise my skills in a company like yours.

For a manager-level candidate:- I started my career as a professional junior data analyst, first for a local company and then working for Infosys. In that second role, I was promoted to Senior data scientist in my sixth year, when I took over managing a team of seven engineers. I’ve been on this same career path since then, managing teams of between five and twenty staff for various roles and assigning it to them. I’m now interviewing for director-level positions as I look for the next challenge in my career. I believe change is necessary for learning and growth which is a lifetime journey and hence, I look forward to allowing myself an opportunity to work and take on the next role. I’m still employed by my most recent employer on my resume and the job is going well. However, I’d like to take on a new challenge, and the Director position that you posted seemed highly relevant.

Most Common mistakes to avoid

#1. Not Updating your Resume

You may have built a very impressive resume that you present in an interview. But if you are not updating it with your recent experiences it can add a downmark on your Portfolio.

The reason why it is necessary to update your resume or C.V. is that the company you are applying to wants to know your recent activity. Which recent role you were a part of. Or what new skill you have learnt. You may say that during your presentation of course. But writing it down in your resume is more effective because it needs to be conveyed in case you are not physically present.

#2. Do not over-explain/ Be repetitive

This is a very common mistake that more than half of the people make. They are repetitive. Saying things like I am very good at xyz. Xyz taught me to be more
proactive. Xyz is something I follow in everything I do.
To avoid such mistakes, Include synonyms of the word if you want to use them again.
Search for advanced vocabulary to boost your resume.

Another mistake is to stay stuck on one thing and explain it over again. This happens without even realising it and then people find it hard on how to end it. Listen, Over-explaining something doesn’t make a difference it’ll just kill your limited time which can be used to say something more important.
To avoid this you should keep in mind how much you want to share in the given period.
According to that, adjust your timings to say each of those things with few lines.This way you can say everything that is on your list without getting stuck on one topic.

#3. Going out of the topic

You will only have 3-4 minutes to answer this question. Now, can you imagine how important every second is going to be?
Therefore, each word you say has to be perfect and come with potent clarity. Going out of the topic or digging too deep into some random stuff could really downgrade your performance despite of you having a very good resume.

#4. Going without any preparation

As discussed earlier, the importance of practice. Going without practice could be a major loss. You may get stuck on lines because you have to think every time to make a sentence. This will clearly be seen in your speech. You will look less confident. Often, stammer in saying simple things.

Conclusion

Here comes the end of this article. Interviewers can ask so many questions and sometimes ask the same question in different ways. They can be tricky, confusing, and oftentimes intimidating. But you don’t have to worry about any of it if you have gone through the things discussed here.