Booking under: Keith
It’s crazy to think that, after next week, I would have been working full time for three years. Besides being afforded the opportunity to learn, earn, and go on some wonderful trips, I’ve also grown as a person and have been happy to step into the world of a working adult.
But in order to make it into the working world, I had to go through a number of job application and interview processes. Here are my recollections of those processes, and some important pointers I would like to share on getting hired.
Job 1: Consulting Analyst
Management consulting has long been one of the most prestigious and “hip” professions for business school grads like myself. I had little interest in finance and marketing, and the idea that my work can directly help businesses was very appealing as I neared the end of undergrad.
The first step in many consulting application processes is aptitude testing. These are online tests where you are asked to complete multiple choice questions in areas such as verbal reasoning and data analysis. While practicing aptitude test questions is key, the good news is that many companies (consulting or others) use the same or similar testing systems. This means if you can ace a test for one company, you might face highly similar questions when testing for another company! Still, there’s no substitute for practice – you’ll need to demonstrate these skills on the job anyways.
The next step consists of several rounds of interviews. In the HR interview, I was asked the “usual” personality questions, tested on basic company knowledge/career motivations, and tasked with reading a passage in Mandarin. While it wasn’t a complete disaster, this interview stage reminded me of the need to brush up on language skills. I’d recommend job applicants to check for any required languages and perhaps take a look at what geographic regions the potential job may involve. It lets you take on more responsibilities and clients, and is a great career asset. Besides language skills, I’d stress the importance of staying calm under pressure. You’ll no doubt run into a lot of it in your professional life, so stay calm, think clearly, and frankly admit your mistakes during the interview – it’ll help you more than it hurts you.
Job 2: Content Strategist
After a year and a half in the consulting industry, with highlights including implementing and launching an eCommerce function for my client, I decided to continue working in the digital realm but chose to dive deeper into the content side of things. As I looked for a job that would fulfill my desire for more creative work and offer better work-life balance, I was fortunate to land a job within the content team of a technology company.
The screening process for this job began with a portfolio submission. Although I did not have a wealth of previously published content, I was able to cobble together whatever I had (including this blog!) to send in a somewhat respectable portfolio. Here, I’d recommend job applicants to keep track of relevant previous work and, as mentioned by Nicole previously, to update your resume. While you may not need to do this on a weekly basis, you never know when you’ll need to demonstrate previous expertise to colleagues and clients. To that end, having an updated CV/resume or even a portfolio of relevant work is super helpful. As suggested by a career mentor, updating these items every month or so is a good idea.
Well that was a fun trip down memory lane! As I reminisce about my job hunting adventures, I’m grateful for passing them and being able to learn and contribute as a member of various business teams. Working in a professional environment has taught me about accountability, effective communication, and paying attention to details. As I continue to improve myself in these areas, I hope I’ll learn more valuable lessons and become a better person myself.
As the smarter half of this blog, Nicole has also had an interesting job-seeking journey. How did things go for her? What did she learn? You know when to tune in!