Background / Personal Interview Questions & Suggested Answers

Typical background questions include inquiries about where you went to school (undergraduate and/or business school), what you majored in, and why/where you studied abroad if you've done that.

These questions are not too difficult to answer as long as you're thoughtful and have a decent rationale for what you say.

The key points: come across as an interesting person (which you should have no trouble doing) and also talk about how your experience better prepared you for investment banking.

Even if you did something seemingly unrelated, such as a Math Major, that can be turned into a good response to lead into the inevitable "Why banking?" question you'll get.


1. Walk me through your resume.


You should really go through all the lessons on telling your "story" right here first:


Start at "the beginning" - if you're in college, that might be where you grew up or where you went to high school. For anyone in business school or beyond, it might be where you went to undergraduate, your first job, or even where you went to business school.

Then, go through how you first became interested in finance/business, how your interest developed over the years via the specific internships / jobs / other experiences you had and conclude with a strong statement about why you're interviewing today.

Aim for 2-3 minutes - if you go on longer than this, the interviewer may get bored or impatient. Also, do not look at your resume when going through your "story."

The 4 most important points:

  1. Be chronological.
  2. Show how each experience along the way led you in the direction of finance.
  3. State why you’re here interviewing today.
  4. Aim for 2-3 minutes.


What are the most common mistakes with the "Walk me through your resume" question?

  1. Going out of order chronologically.
  2. Too much exposition - don't start off by saying, "I've had a lot of great experiences."
  3. Being too short (under 1 minute) or too long (over 5 minutes).
  4. Not sounding certain you want to do banking/finance.
  5. Listing your experiences rather than giving a logical transition between each one.


Again, I highly recommend going through all the video tutorials on this very question -because your "story" is the most important part of any interview: