Blog Archive

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The McGladrey Interview Diaries – Campus Edition – Part 1

Written by Robyn Brooks
Talent Acquisition - Campus & Entry Level
New York, NY

As a Campus Recruiter, I am witness to the interview experience.  Although this is an exciting time in a student’s life, the job search and interview process can be overwhelming. It certainly sounds like an easy course; meet a firm, interview, accept your offer and move into your new cubicle!  But there is a lot more to it than that. Nerves can certainly overtake you, especially during that one-on-one time with those whom hold your future in their hands.  Interviews seem intimidating!  Will you know all the answers to the questions asked of you?  Will you be dressed appropriately?  And, when can I ask about salary?? (Answer: Don’t. Wait until you receive an offer!)

I am here to tell all our future interviewees that unforeseen, embarrassing and nerve-racking moments happen to all of us.  Peter, Joel and EJ are also here to give you some advice.  Our Line of Business leaders care deeply for our campus recruiting efforts in our offices and on campus. There are lessons to be had even from those at the top, with their interviews days far behind them. 

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (my alma mater as well), Joel Shamon, our Northeast Assurance Line of Business Leader remembers his first interview.  A well known firm invited him to interview, but a snow storm and an unreliable car forced him to reschedule.  It turned out this firm was not flexible when it came to rescheduling.  Joel missed his chance to interview.  No situation is perfect, but don’t let that shake you.  Another opportunity could be around the corner, and for Joel there was as he started his career soon after with Arthur Anderson.

Rolling with the punches is important.  In your career, things can change in an instant, but you have to be able to adapt, and calmly think of your next move.

Peter Brady, Consulting Line of Business Leader for the Northeast, knows things can literally turn upside down at any moment.  Long before Peter joined McGladrey, he was interviewing a candidate at another firm.  Standing well over six foot tall, he graces each conversation with his English accent, allowing him to be quite a commanding individual. Peter recalls his interview, “I started to make an important point, an impressive sounding point, about something.”  Imagine the student on the other side of Peter’s desk, nervous about the job, and what Peter may ask next.  “I leaned slowly back on my chair as I talked,” Peter explains, “and eventually leaned back so much that I tipped over.”  Now imagine the student as this interviewer dangled his feet in the air, as he lay flat on his back!  Peter explains, “The candidate was in fits of laughter – as was I. He got the job- on the basis that he told no one about the partner who fell off his chair!”

A sense of humor is vital to your interview and to your career. Allowing yourself to laugh in the face of difficult situations reduces stress on you and your team.

Check in tomorrow for the Interview Diaries – Part 2 as our recruiter shares her past interview experiences and our leaders wrap up with their top 5 tips for a successful interview.

Check out Part 2 here

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