My tales of doing things by the book and still not making it the way I should.
Have you landed your interview? Congrats! You made it half way.. now starts the real important part. The part that actually separates the best from the rest, the sheep from the goats, the milk from the water. You either make it or mess it in these few hours that you’re supposed to display your brilliance that was accumulated in the prior 20 years of your birth.
As I shared in my previous post, I got an interview at Big Bank Inc. (name changed thanks to company rules on blogging) Have you got one to go for? Here are few of the guidelines I followed.
What you need to do before the actual interview for the job in a bank
- Read up on all possible Financial and interview prep material: Go through what you were taught in school and college. If you didn’t learn anything from there, sit with an accountant friend or girlfriend and ask him or her to help you out with certain important financial concepts. Make sure you get them all in. you don’t want to be left wanting in front of the probable scores of MBAs and PGs who’ll be applying with experience too. Rehearse all possible questions – theoretical and non theoretical as well.
- Do a background search on the company: Go there understanding what the company stands for, how long it’s been there for, it’s business lines etc. the whole profile. Have it read.
- Find out what your job needs from you: Do a search on the job profile you’ve been called for. Search the job descriptions and see if you’re up to it. And if you’re not, make a back up plan.. i.e. an excuse.
- Dress formally: You want to have 2 people at least tell you if your attire is appropriate and professional. For guys, shirts and ties are a must at a minimum. Splash some cologne and get on a suit if you could. Personal hygiene if I need to mention. And carry a safety pack with Nail Clippers, breath mints, Deo and anything else you think you’d need. It’s a bit overboard, but when it’s your first time, going all out is essential.
- Carry a pen silly! The interview may not just be taken verbally.. it may be written as well. So don’t land yourself in an awkward situation and forget to carry a pen.
- Go well on time: Don’t make a bad impression on the recruiter by going there later than the scheduled time. Going early also helps you understand your environment better – so incase you find out the interviewer is a Bill Gates asking you how many steps you climbed up, or how many chairs were in the lobby.. going early helps you figure out all that.
- Pray: Again? Yes, this time it’s not about getting in an interview, it’s about getting there and back in one piece. Pray that the trains run on time, that no one accidentally spills their coffee on you, that your shoe heel doesn’t come off… that you don’t become the next script for a Final Destination Movie. And that the interview goes well.
Or Alternatively… (as in my case)
Get told that you have to go for an interview but don’t know what position you’re being offered. Have a long weekend before the Monday that the interview is scheduled effectively getting ready hurriedly with whatever clean formal clothes available. Make it alive through the morning upstream train traffic, have people soil your shoes which weren’t polished anyway. Manage to reach the interview hall on time and you’re in the first ten.
Well I did reach on time, but then we were waiting there for over two hours. During the two hours I flipped the pages of the International Finance text-book that I had in my bag but put it down to play Football on my cell. Those few minutes were the only preparation I managed to do. Sometime later I had a brain wave. I googled Big Bank Inc. on my cell (Wikipedia) of course, and readied myself with facts about the company.
When around 60 people had gathered they called us all in together for the subsequent interviews. No point of going early.. the ones who suffered were the ones who came on time. So began the interview process.
Not the best run up to an interview, was it? What was your experience like before an interview?
The final post on the interview and the getting the offer letter to follow soon…