Top tips for answering “Walk me through your CV”

Many employers ask, “Walk me through your CV” in a hiring interview. What should you know about coming up with an effective answer to this question?

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Table of Contents

  1. Walk me through your CV
  2. Why do employers ask “Walk me through your CV”?
  3. Four tips for answering this question
  4. Pitfalls to avoid when answering “Walk me through your CV”
  5. FAQ: “Walk me through your CV”

Walk me through your CV

When you’re preparing for a job interview, you should get ready to answer a variety of interview questions. While it’s generally a good idea to prepare for common interview questions and answers, one of the most common first questions is the simple request, “Walk me through your CV.” Being able to give a great answer to this question will help you make a good first impression and effectively explain your information. Here’s how you can avoid common mistakes and ace this job interview question.


Why do employers ask “Walk me through your CV”?

When an employer asks, “Walk me through your CV,” they’re trying to get a general understanding of your key accomplishments and how you’ve grown over the years. This is an invitation to a summary of your professional life, not a microscopic overview of all parts of your CV. The CV walkthrough helps employers get more information about why you’re perfect for this new job and how your job search has led you to this specific place in your career.

Four tips for answering this question

If you want to impress a recruiter with your answer to this question, then here are a few interview tips to go through when answering this question.

1. Start with your education.
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.

2. Give brief information about where you started your career.
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.

3. Indicate the key points in your career.
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.

4. Wrap up with how this job is a natural next step.
Finally, move forward and follow up on 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 utilising that experience regularly.”


Pitfalls to avoid when answering “Walk me through your CV”

There are many mistakes that you can make in an elevator pitch like this one. Here are a few to avoid:

  • Going through everything on your CV in detail
  • Not connecting your CV to your current goals
  • Not indicating your growth and development
  • Avoiding achievement discussions
  • Keeping things vague or rambling

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.

FAQ: “Walk me through your CV”

Q: Is the question “Walk me through your CV” the same as the question “Tell me about yourself”?

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 CV,” on the other hand, should focus exclusively on your CV.

Q: How long should my answer to “Walk me through your CV” be?

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.

Q: How do I make sure this question benefits me?

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.

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