Career & Work / Personal / Reflection

New Grad Experience: The Job Hunt & Interview Structure Across Companies (A Reflection)

[A blog post drafted in in Oct 2012 documenting my first New Grad Experience of the “Job Hunt”. It was an exhaustive 30 days that I vividly remember. I wasn’t going to post this, but I thought it would be good insight/perspective for those who have yet to reach this stage of their life. Remember, you’re not always going to know exactly what you want, but it makes it a lot easier if you do during university.]

It’s a been exactly 1 month since my last post and I can honestly write that I had no idea what God had in store for me in the next 30 days. For the 2-3 weeks leading up to the Millennium Network event, I had been in the library on campus editing my resume, writing cover letters, and doing copious amounts of research on different companies. (Mostly technology and consulting firms.) It’s been a VERY interesting time, to say the least. Eventful and fulfilling. Challenging, yet insightful. I apologize to all my friends and family who have had to work around my busy schedule, and I also thank you for your continued support throughout the entire process.

This blog post will outline exactly what I did during these past 1.5 months, as I prepared for the big “career search” and “job hunt.” I heard about it through older friends of mine, but never really knew what it was like…until now. It is definitely a marathon. Really, it’s more about perseverance and keeping that energy over time. It’s you against yourself. I hope this post will help those who are about to enter this process and give you some perspective on what to expect.

Note: company and interviewer names will be kept anonymous.

STATISTICS

This varies for different people. Some people apply everywhere and in every industry. Some people are more selective. I’d say I’m the selective type.

  • Online applications submitted to 5 companies across Canada and USA
  • Successful “first round” applications: 3 companies, 3 positions
  • Total Interviews: 7 interviews in total (includes various rounds)
  • *See below for interview questions (Sorry, have to exclude these, but will outline structure.) and details by company

TIMELINE

  • August:
    • Schedule Skype chat with friend about what consulting is all about
    • Edit my resume (top to bottom, each bullet point, summary of qualifications)
    • Have a friend and a former colleague review my resume
  • September
    • Finalize resume – many drafts later. Lots of constructive criticism later.
    • Outline due dates for applications due in Sept/Oct in Calendar
    • Create Excel spreadsheet for job applications
    • Read each company website from top to bottom – do your due diligence!
      • Career / Student website – every link, page, all details
      • Corporate website – info page/annual reports, research and innovation page, understand their service lines and which industries they cater to
      • Talk to people you know from the company
      • Blogs – student bloggers
    • Research the company some more: TalentEgg, Eluta, Glassdoor
    • Write cover letters – separate one for each company, advice from online courses (university career sites)
    • Submit applications
  • October
    • Submit final application
    • Interviews begin & travel (see below for details)
    • Interview prep – know resume inside out, reach out to friends for advice, look up prep material from various university career websites, STAR method, read company blogs/websites, practice, practice, practice.
    • Company A – wk 1
    • Company B – wk 2/3 (2 rounds total)
    • Company C – wk 2/3 (3 rounds total)

COMPANY A

Round 1: In-person interview with senior consultant and manager
Did not proceed to Round 2.

COMPANY B

Round 1: Phone interview with director

Round 2: Group case assessment, written assessment, interview with partner

COMPANY C

Round 1: In-person interview with project manager

Round 2: Phone interview with HR person (in USA)

Round 3: Two In-person interviews with: a) senior executive, b) partner

In retrospect, I was still pretty selective in my decisions. Some people submit hundreds of applications. To you, good luck! Remember, preparation is key. Know thyself! See here for preparation tips.

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