>Congrats on everyone who’s gotten interview invites lately! And so sorry to hear about some that were “released” by HBS and Booth yesterday*… 🙁
We’re going to pepper you with some miscellaneous tips and tricks for interviewing. This is because it’s interview season, obviously; and because we’re way busy with 30 Days of Essays — WHAT?? You haven’t signed up yet?? Do it fast, the 30 Days Guided Tour will be closed to new subscribers IN A MATTER OF HOURS!!! If things haven’t turned out as expected thus far…. well…. might want to take a fresh look at things?
OK. Back to interview tips. Here’s a basic one — supported by bschool professor research (Kellogg et al):
In your interview, be sure to sit up straight.
Yes, this sounds basic. But you wouldn’t believe how many applicants come through the interviewers’ offices and act WAY too casual.
Slouching is one thing (not good, does not exude confidence, and based on that research, it makes you FEEL less confidence).
Even worse? Kicking back.
Worse than that? (Yes, it gets worse.)
Sloppiness. Too-casual-ness. As in, being too familiar. Too comfortable.
Like, chewing gum.
Or putting your feet on the desk.
Or all manner of other annoying/eyebrow-raising/often atrocious displays of bad manners we could mention that applicants have actually done.
Remember, when you’re in someone else’s office, you are on their turf. It’s their space. Be respectful. Do not invade it. Do not impose yourself. Sit only after being invited. DON’T sit in their chair. Ever. Gentlemen (and ladies!), don’t sprawl your legs out. As the article says, sit up straight! Don’t play with your hair. Smile. (And be careful about BO. And about too much perfume/cologne/aftershave/smelly haircare products too — just as nauseating.)
We had a client chewing gum during a practice phone interview. It was annoying, and very noticeable. We mentioned it to him, and he apologized. Oddly enough, he did it again on another practice interview several weeks later. We just hope he didn’t go into a real-live-in-person interview with a wad of gum in his mouth. (We don’t think gum belongs in any office at all, but whatever.)
All this stuff is not just insignificant EssaySnark-is-wasting-your-time-today pointless yes-I-know-already space-filler stuff. This really is important. It counts.
Learn how to be a grown-up businessperson, and act that way in your bschool interview.
Even if you’re interviewing with a current student at the school — and even if that student happens to be younger than you — you are not peers. Do not act all buddy-buddy.
Formality is professional.
It’s unlikely your bschool interview will be with someone old enough to be your grandfather. However, they might be from a different generation. Know your audience. Know your context. Be on top of your game in every respect.
And… Good luck with it!
* Most of EssaySnark’s clients actually are interviewing; they weren’t “released” yesterday. Just sayin’. #notsohumblebrag