Before anything else, this is one of the first questions an interviewer would ask you and one of the easiest to fail. This is the best question that reveals how well you have prepared for the interview.

When asked such a question, start by giving succinct detail about each section of your resume in a clear and enthusiastic way. Do not go too deep; time is of the essence, but do not remain too superficial either. Discuss briefly your academic, professional, leadership, technical, and personal qualifications, concluding with a statement about why these experiences can add value to the industry.

Don’t let the phrase “Walk me through your resume” limit your response and don’t move beyond the scope. What sets someone apart is a unique personality and interests. An interviewer ultimately wants to know if you are the best candidate for the company. Let your personality shine through and converse about the things you do outside of school and work.

The aim of this question “Walk me through your resume” is to link up the resume content and candidate, to know if you would create value for the firm or redundancy and why you are an attractive candidate for the position.

Key Points

  • Know the content of your resume intimately — be prepared to answer this question without glancing.
  • Have at least two stories prepared for each item on your resume that capture what you did and how you did it.
  • Keep your answer short – within 2 minutes.

Approach to “Walk me through your resume”

  1. Begin with your academics.
    • Give your year and major, and explain why you chose your department, how it relates to your everyday life, and how it also relates to a career with this company.
    • Name any academic honours you received.
  2. Talk about your professional experiences, starting with the most relevant.
    • Mention only those that represent the most value to the company.
    • Share lessons or qualifications you received from each item.
  3. Discuss your leadership positions outside your professional activities.
    • Explain why you chose to participate in this organization and what drove you to your leadership position. Speak about the positive difference that you made for the organization and what you learned about yourself.
    • Highlight only one thing about each leadership position that you are most proud of, and that brought the most value to the organization.
    • Do not skip any of your experiences. If the experience is listed on your resume, it should be one that you are proud of and that taught you a valuable lesson about yourself and your career.
    • Explain how the leadership role applies and prepares you for a career with the company you’re interviewing with.
  4. Touch on your technical skills.
    • A portion of this answer has to address your basic skills, including computer proficiency and languages.
  5. Speak about your interests, awards, and passions in life.
    • This is the part of your response that makes you a person—not just a candidate.
    • You and your interviewer might find out that you have similar interests, which is the best way to establish a personal relationship.
    • Interests are a way to anchor you in the mind of the interviewer. On your follow up email, you can speak about the common ground you two share.

Pitfalls you must avoid when asked to “Walk me through your resume”

  • Do not begin to talk and talk endlessly about one particular experience. This question is designed to be answered in a clear and concise format. The interviewer only wants to hear the most important part of each of your experiences.
  • Do not leave out your interests. Even if your interest is something as simple as “food”, you should list “cooking” as your interest. You may find that you and your interviewer share a passion for gastronomy, which is a great way to establish a meaningful relationship.

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