Interview Season: Three Tips for Success
Create a list of 10 practice questions to go over with a friend in a mock interview or to practice out loud in front of a mirror. College career counseling websites are a good resource, but a google search will do the trick as well.
Before you begin practicing, read each question, think about it for a few minutes, and then write down three bullet points that will guide your answer. Using your bullet points for reference, practice answering the questions out loud. If it helps you to write out an entire answer beforehand, do that. Practice a few times with your notes and a few times without them, but don’t focus on memorizing anything. The key is to be able to answer in a coherent way that gets across your main points without sounding robotic.
Tell your story
The person interviewing you has your resume in front of them. Now it’s your job to tie everything together into an interaction they will remember. Think of the different facts and achievements on your resume as different components of a narrative. You should be able to flow easily from one piece to another, explaining your choices and telling a story along the way. You want the person interviewing you to walk away with an understanding of who you are and to remember you as a stand out next to all of the other candidates. It is much easier to remember a story than a name and an associated laundry list of accomplishments.
Pay attention to details – they matter
Stay true to the phrase “better safe than sorry.” Double-check your resume and cover letter for spelling and grammatical errors. Dress conservatively, show up early, don’t exaggerate or embellish, and always send a thank-you note. Think of every action and every piece of your application (resume, cover letter, etc.) as a reflection of your genuine interest in and qualification for the job. Overall, use common sense and present your best self.
Isabelle joined AlphaSights in 2014 and served as an Associate in our New York office.