I was at a panel of mid-market investment bankers last night and a question came up about second round/office visit interviews. Often, the format of the office visit interview for college students is similar to the final interviews for experienced hires – a half/full day of interviewing with multiple people within an organization. The interviews represent a cross section of people from junior to senior level professionals.
There were good insights provided by the panelists that I wanted to share:
- Understand the Agenda of the Interviewer: In I-Banking, if you are interviewing for an entry-level position (ex: analyst) and are being interviewed by someone who does that job, often the interest of the interviewer is ‘can this candidate handle what I do?’; in contrast a managing director might have more interest in ‘can I put this person in front of a client?’. If one is applying for a management role and you are in a group interview with those you would supervise – their agenda is probably centered around ‘What kind of boss is this person’; while the executive management team may be looking to see if you can solve a particular problem the company is experiencing or if you could one day move into a more executive role with the firm. Understanding the interest/agenda of the interviewer is important to communicating the right skills.
- New Interview – New Beginning: The example that was shared last night was a student interviewing with someone from their alma mater, having a more ‘relaxed’ conversation and then the student moving onto another interview and carrying that relaxed mindset to the next interview (with someone from a rival school!). You can imagine how one could come across in the second interview – cocky, not serious about the job, etc. Each new interview is a new beginning – past success in previous interviews mean nothing in this new setting. Be sure to re-establish your credentials and qualifications for the job.
These two nuggets are good to remember as you head into any upcoming interviews.