Landing multiple offers at the Big 4
HUGE DISCLAIMER: I’m writing this after the tremendous positive response I got back with almost 1200 people interacting with me on LinkedIn for sharing part two, so here goes. AGAIN — before you go on criticising this worked for me and me alone, and i’m only sharing my journey-keyboard warriors shoo (jks I love trolls, come at me)
So the fun things at the application process landed me the first rounds at the companies, so again I followed very similar principles — be the purple cow. Somehow, I don’t know how, but somehow.
First thing you need to realise is, when you think you have a good idea or when you think something is great, someone else is as well, thats just the nature of the game and how things roll :) So I messaged a couple recent graduates who got the roles and bought them coffees, I asked them if they could spare 10 minutes and all I did was ask what made them different, or what did they feel got them the job ?
Now some of them gave such rehearsed answers I couldn’t handle but chuckle but some gave me some solid advice, whatever it was. Next thing I did, was to message some people who didn’t get in, usually the friends of those who got in, because most likely you and your friends applied for similar roles right ?
I listened to them as well, however the questions were based more on what made them think the reason was behind not getting the role — its tough as some got sad, some were angry and some already got jobs elsewhere.
At the end of the week I knew what people previously did to get the job, and what they did not to get the job. I then mapped out in my head all the ways I prevent what the people who didn’t get the job did and avoid all the things the people who did get the job did. Avoid does not mean get inspired by, it means simply to not repeat their exact actions but their intent.
See, I learnt early on that as humans we learn through examples, growing up in grade 3, I learnt the concepts of English sentence structures through examples, and in Physics about some tough mathematical questions through examples, we has humans learn through examples — at least I think so. However the twist is, if someone reads the same example twice they may get their memory refreshed however, the wouldn’t have had an ‘ahaa’ moment or have had learnt something new!
I HAD to made sure my interviewers were going to learn something new at the same time learn it in a way of example so they’ll try quote something I said to someone else, I didn’t care of course who got the credit, however what I did care about was that they associate that example to me.
In addition to this BTW I read through about 2 years worth of blog posts written by applicants in whirlpool, it was so great! Everyone there was helping everyone and share details and updates on how things went for them and what they did, this was also great — however its like one of those compromised cheats to the government. If someone finds out some cheat that costs company x money and they share with everyone, inevitably company x will ‘fix’ that ‘error’. But this was different, no fixing, although by sharing your successes, which helped in attribute knowledge on what made them win, I couldn’t replicate exactly the same story, since it’s not special anymore.
“First to market always wins” — Some smart investor person
Now interview time, I showed up exactly 10 minutes early and hoped that the interviewer would be late, because if that’s the case they’ll already feel bad for making you wait (considering they’re not a total douche) and pay even more attention to you. You need to realise that an interviewer isn’t some anomaly in society and just another person. Make it as conversational as possible.
Here’s where the work needs to be put in, you need to do as much homework as possible on the interviewer before you meet them. You need to know their career better than them, AND you need to make sure that they know you know!
How so ? Example could be — “So what made you apply here” — “To be honest similar to you when you graduated from University xyz 8 years ago, I wanted to join a place that was reputed, surrounded by innovators and allowed me to shine, I realised someone like yourself, grew from a graduate, to an analyst and then moved into management very quickly which validated my beliefs in this company being the right path”
What did I do here, I indirectly told them I know your entire life, I complimented their achievements and said I align with you in your path, so pretty much nullifying their plausible cheesy “where do you see yourself in five years” question. Which, in case they do ask, then you can further validate your previous answer :)
Take any and every opportunity to make sure you let them know you know about them, and not in an obvious way but in a casual way — basically be smooth, like a date, you’re trying to impress them.
In addition, your personality must beam and your words should align with their goals as well. “I’m really excited to be working on this side project right now where I’m building a AI machine with a team of other developers — I love the challenge in leading a team, speaking of which I realised your company was recently in the news for doing something like that as well”, now weather you did build an AI machine or not, fact is you implicitly displayed leadership skills, initiative as well as self awareness and research into the company.
My point is simple, answer their questions before they ask them, and you’ll only be able to do so by doing your homework and looking into all the previous questions they’ve asked other candidates, and by doing so you architect an interview process where you leave bread crumbs of answers which allows you to circumnavigate back to them. By doing so, you’ve proved that “hey i’m not making this up, I actually told you about this before you even asked”
Lastly, before I go ahead and conclude (PS Will update this as time comes with more things) is that you should come off confident, be thankful but confident as well. Take some time before you answer a question, if you respond within 5 seconds realise that they’ll know you’ve crammed it. AGAIN BE THE PURPLE COW. Crack a joke or something.
Oh I almost forgot, the journey from the time they pick you up at the foyer to the interview room is make or break. This is your time to ask them about something that is not interview related, and not boring crap like “oh the weather is great”. No if you think they come from an Irish background, ask them if they’re watching Conor McGregor. If they come from an American background ask them something like “You know,I have to ask, and correct me if i’m wrong, are you American ? Because if you are — I need to know, are twinkies worth the hype ?”
Just be funny and natural :)