Acing the Interview at GHC18

Time for some truth telling. Admit it: as much as you want this year’s best swag, you want an internship or a job even more. Way more.

Last year, there were 5,000 students from 500 colleges. And this year there’ll be more.

How do you stand out? How do you get the job?

The opportunities are there. Every one of these companies is here to find the next great technologists. We have to – we run on technology. So: how do you do it?

Getting contacted before the conference is only part of it. Our firm reaches out and so does everyone else.

But here’s the thing: we’re not perfect. Guaranteed, we missed people when we looked at the resumes. Guaranteed, some of the people we missed are better than some of the people we invited (If we invited you, we’re talking about someone else). And one more guarantee: you can change people’s minds when you come talk to us at the booth.

Here’s some advice for acing that meeting.

  1. Demeanor matters. You should be confident, but not cocky.
  2. Disposition matters. We’re looking for collaborative types, not divas.
  3. Create a rapport. You want to take this from an “interview” to a conversation between two interesting people.
  4. Be Prepared. Have an insight into what we – or any other company you’re talking to – do.
  5. Do the Homework. You didn’t get to be a world-class technologist by being a slacker. Put in the reps on the research.
  6. Be Prepared, Part II. Have a coherent pitch ready that explains what your background is, what your experience is, and what you’re interested in and how it relates to what the company is doing.
  7. Be Prepared, Part III. Ask good questions – and the follow-through questions matter almost as much as the first question. Ask what company is doing with technology in a way that is disruptive. Ask where you think the disruption is taking us. Ask why we’re doing it and how you can help move us forward. Sometimes the question is more important than the answer.
  8. Be Passionate. To succeed at anything, you need to really care about what you’re doing. If you love what you do, it should show in your conversation.
  9. Project the ability to get things done. That goes a long way with every employer. We’re looking for doers, not talkers.
  10. Don’t tell. This one’s the trickiest – that’s why we saved it for last. You have the raw talent; you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t. You have to convey your smarts without showing off. See Rule 1. Be confident, but not, well, you know what.