Sunday, October 31, 2010

What’s Your Story?

When you interview at many companies, especially medium to large ones, your interviewers will have forms to fill out on your candidacy, your qualifications, how you fit in with their culture, etc. Make it easy for them to fill out the form and you’ll be helping yourself too. Show them that you’re the right fit for the company and the company is right for you. Explicitly make the connection for why they should pick you, why you want this company and job, why now. What is it about your background, qualifications or skills that makes you different from other candidates?

Your answer should never make any assumptions or comparative or negative statements about other candidates (examples: I’m more quantitative than everyone else, I have more attention to detail, I work harder, etc.)—it’s unprofessional, makes you look bad, and you really don’t know who else is being considered for the spot.

This same advice also goes for if you’re applying to schools. Answer why this school, why now, how it fits into your overall career/life goals, and of course why they should pick you.

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