Submitting a Standout Application: The Pre-Interview Steps

  • Linda Li
Life & Careers

When people talk about landing a job, much of the chatter revolves around the interview process. But let’s take a step back. How do you even secure a first round interview? What can you do to make your resume stand out among the many thousands we receive every month?

A former professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Randy Pausch said to “be prepared, ‘luck’ is when preparation meets opportunity.”

Let’s talk about opportunity first. At AlphaSights, we keep the application process simple, and believe that less is more. No tests, no lengthy forms to complete. Just your contact information, resume, and 200-word statement. We look at and go over every single resume and 200-word statement meticulously. In just one year at AlphaSights, I have personally reviewed over 20,000 resumes. Every candidate receives equal consideration.

Now, preparation is the hard part, and preparation all starts with you.

It begins with your resume. The best resume tells us your story, in chronological order. It is neat, proofread, and visually appealing. Right from the jump, your resume demonstrates your hunger: the need to pursue your passions ambitiously, and grow into a leader that challenges the status quo. It shows us you not only get involved, but also follow through on commitments, especially those commitments most important to you. Through your resume, we are able to paint a better picture of you as a person.

Two hundred words are all you need. We want to know how well you articulate your motivation in a limited amount of space. As an Associate, you write concise yet in-depth profiles of industry experts read by clients and colleagues. We want to see how you can do a lot with a little. The best 200-word statement shows purpose. It shows us how you choose to represent yourself. What you write adds depth to your application and indicates the level of quality you invest in details.

From that initial application, successful candidates receive an AlphaSights Assessment Video (AVA). Yes, we know it’s a bit uncomfortable and unusual. Trust me, I went through it as well, and I remember the anticipation and nerves before each question appeared. Not many candidates advance to this round. So, if you have and if you do, congratulations, truly. But what would I recommend to nail the AVA from which you’ll advance to interviews with our team? At AlphaSights, we believe the best AVA shows us your personality and ability to communicate effectively and efficiently. It shows us you can think on your feet, and how you react in unfamiliar situations. Your AVA unlocks how well you communicate and problem-solve on the spot, so be sure to be yourself and know yourself, be confident, and speak eloquently.

By completing the above steps, you create your own profile and illustrate to us how prepared you will be to excel at AlphaSights. Our perception of you depends on how well you frame your experiences to parallel your responsibilities at AlphaSights. Our best candidates invest 110% in our recruitment process from day one. They do their research and recognize that every step of the AlphaSights application process is equally important.

At AlphaSights, we create the opportunity. You make luck happen.

Linda joined AlphaSights in November of 2013 and serves as a Campus Recruiter.