Job interviews are generally sweat-inducing, panic-stricken nightmarish situations that, unless you’re an egomaniac who loves talking about your successes and aspirations, are generally found unpleasant by all.
But a Harvard graduate who has received job offers from Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, McKinsey, Bain, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley has shared her top tips to make the whole process a little less horrifying.
Jessica Pointing even has an equation she says is guaranteed to serve you well for a successful interview: ‘successful interview = preparedness x relaxation’.
The computer science and physics major – who has received job offers in the tech and and finance industries – claims the key to the perfect interview is preparedness, writing on her blog, The Optimize Guide.
While this is nothing your octogenarian maths teacher didn’t tell you in Year 11, Jessica does have some helpful pointers as to how you can boss your first meeting with your new boss.
Pointing advises you develop a ‘problem-solving structure’ that will enable you to dodge tricky questions that come from left field. The main component of this structure, she says, is taking the time to make sure you understand the question.
Practise – as we all have heard – makes perfect. So Pointing suggests scheduling an interview for your dream job last. That way you can use all the interviews for less desirable jobs as practise runs.
Interviews are pretty scary at the best of times, but if you know you’re on a time deadline or need a quick injection of money, the interview process becomes a total shit storm.
Jessica has found having a back up plan really helps to alleviate pressure, writing:
If you are interviewing for the summer and you go into an interview with no plan for the summer, then you will probably be way more stressed. Instead, if you already have an offer or a vague idea of something you would do in the summer (e.g. travel), then the stakes for the interview aren’t as high.
The more options you already have, the more relaxed you will be in the interview and the higher your chances are for the job.
While being qualified to the required level is key to applying successfully for any job, Jessica warns not to forget about behavioural questions.
These generally cover your ability to work well in a team and your past achievements; so it’s important to let your personality shine through all of that preparation.