Getting the job was tough – I’ll be doing consulting for large multinational corps.
Before I even had my interview my contact told me very plainly that my resume and cover letter sucked. That I should re-do them or I wouldn’t have a shot at all.
The hard part about that isn’t re-doing the work. It’s understanding who you’re dealing with and trying to visualize the finished product they have in mind, so you can give them exactly what they want. I tried to put myself into my contacts mindset by drinking a double espresso, listening to some rage against the machine and watching this clip a few times. I needed that attitude, to create a product, that would make my contact think “that’s what I was looking for!” I was sort of surprised how well that strategy worked.
Then I had to set up the interviews. This was an issue all by itself. My first interview got scheduled with only 24 hours notice. That felt like a huge power play. I was bit out of sorts on what to do. Do I just go along with whatever these guys say? Will they find me “difficult” if I say I can’t make it? I ended up emailing the hr rep to let him know I couldn’t make it and that I would need to reschedule. That turned out fine too.
The interviews were very intense. I was getting double teamed by two, very bright senior managers in the first one. Both were very type A too. I managed to get through that by being honest, direct and concise. And if I didn’t know the answer to something then that’s what I told them. For example, they asked, “can you describe what it is our group does.” So I said, “No not really. All the literature I’ve found gives a very high level description of the services this group provides (I listed a bunch). But I know that I can be useful in those areas because I’ve been doing work that requires a similar skill set – (I gave a bunch of examples).” I think that helped me a lot.
It’s also good to mirror the body language of the most dominant person in the room during the interview. You can tell how well you’re doing if you switch positions and they end up matching you. I don’t know why this happens or why it works. I just know that whenever I’ve gotten to the point where someone is mimicking my body language good things usually happen.
The second interview I had was with a senior partner. He was very easy to get along with and had a really nice I’m-a-friendly-grandfather-who-gives-worldly-wisdom disposition. We clicked right away, which made the rest of the interview feel very relaxed. Thinking back on it I’m pretty sure he was a big help in getting me the job.
I didn’t realize it at the time but the purpose of all the interviews was to figure out if these guys could see themselves spending a large amount of time with me without going crazy. I met all the technical hurdles – university grad, CA designation. I think they just wanted to see for themselves whether or not I would fit in with the rest of the team.
The last issue was calling the hr rep and explaining that I had just been fired. That really scared me. “Oh you’re wondering whether or not you should hire me? Well I just got fired. How does that make you feel?” Crazy enough my contact apologized to me. He thought that my employer may have found out I was going to leave and decided to let me go instead. I never even thought of that. That conversation happened March 4th, the day after I got fired and the day I also received my offer package.
Now, because I had already booked a trip to Buenos Aires May 18-31 and another trip to Iceland June 10-18 they didn’t want me to start until the 20th. That’s tomorrow. I’ve been off for three months. That’s a lot of time for a lot of fun stuff.