Thursday, January 19, 2012

Interview season is here!

Hi everyone,

It’s a couple of weeks into the quarter and interview season (for summer internships) is in full swing for our 1st year students! In this week’s WIWG video, we ask students about collaboration at Booth. In today’s blog, we ask Nupur to describe her experience in “Navigating the Recruiting Maze – Part 2” of preparing for interviews that will help her land her dream internship.



Navigating the Recruiting Maze – II

Hi all! It’s recruiting season and as you can imagine winter quarter is super intense. December break was filled with submitting job applications and now that bulk of that process is done (corporate deadlines extend well into February), nervousness regarding closed invite lists and actually interviewing permeates the arches of the winter garden. Over the last month, I must admit to having gained a more intimate knowledge of the inner workings of GTS (our internal portal for managing job applications) than I have my textbooks.

So how is the school helping 1st years manage the madness?


Career Services organizes a day-long series of events to get us prepared for the weeks of insanity that lie ahead. The day involved one-on-one mock interviews with a second year (they are recorded so you can watch yourself in absolute glory), a demo interview of a classmate with an industry practitioner (usually a returning alumnus), and practice time with career advisors to prepare for the fit portion of interviews. Finally, there was a much needed education session on how to make the most of all the features offered by GTS. I found the mock interview extremely helpful for two reasons: 1) the second years managed to simulate the exact feeling of an interview and 2) the video evidence of how awesome (aka terrible) I am made a huge difference to how I strategize and focus my prep over the next two weeks just in time for interview season. (See picture below from Winterview)

ITP: (Interview Training Program)

Here’s another avenue to be taped (some people do this twice) while interviewing again with second years who volunteer themselves as representatives of a specific company you want to interview with (most likely they interned there or worked there prior to Booth). The point of these mock interviews is not just to give you a ‘live’ example of what the actual situation will be like but also to get some really constructive feedback on how you can improve your interview performance, with specificity to the particular firm. I know watching myself get grilled really showed me how fast I speak, and even though I’d heard a lot of people say it before, watching myself on video really drove the message home.

Company mocks:

Apart from all the time you spend with second years practicing (one second year volunteered to help over 30 first years with their case practice…. God bless her!!), a number of the firms organize 3-on-1 and 1-on-1 prep sessions. I’ve seen at least 4 current consultants in the last two weeks alone as they help prepare us for the actual interviews with their firms. This experience has been critical in assessing how much work I still need to do and also in better understanding the subtle differences in the way different firms interview.

First years:

My initial thoughts were that first years would either be a blind leading the blind situation or that competition would get the better of us and getting useful feedback would be an issue. Having done mock interviews with 20-30 of my classmates now, I can attest to the collaborative spirit at Booth. We all want to see each other succeed and have been egging each other on as we move from one case to another. I have learnt tremendously from just observing my classmates and also from the candid feedback they have given me.

Now as we enter the final leg of interviews, I hope we all are successful and get the jobs we have all worked so hard for. While you think about getting into school (aka Booth), we are working hard to get jobs and back into the work force. Here’s wishing both of us plenty of luck!!

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