A lot of MBA students ask me how to successfully land an internship or a job. The question seems simple, but the answer is not.
As I look back two years from today, I still remember my first day at business school in the US and the steps I took to land a job at one of the world’s most renowned global financial institutions.
It’s a gradual process, and a path full of rejections and failures, until you get the big break. Getting an internship at a top firm is often the easiest way to get a full-time job. But securing an internship is difficult.
Companies are looking for students who are not only a value based asset to the firm, but are also innovative, efficient, and productive. Whether you’re going for an MBA internship or an MBA job, you need to be well-prepared.
With that in mind, here’s four questions MBA recruiters will ask you:
1. Tell me something about yourself
This is the first question that a recruiter or a manager will ask you. When I was in b-school, people used to talk about elevator speech, and 60 seconds personality pitches. I have been going to schools for recruitment lately, and the last thing I want to hear is the same elevator speech format that your b-school has provided you with. Instead, have something interesting to say. Come directly to the point as to what specific skill-set you can bring to the firm and how you can benefit it.
2. Why do you want to join my company?
You are going to face this question, no matter what size or functionality the company has. I ask this question every time, and I get a bad response majority of the time. If you are trying to tell me that my company is a financial institution specializing in financial advisory, I would figure out very easily that you just read out the first line from Google search or Wikipedia. We do a lot more than that, believe me. You really need to know what the company specializes in, and how you can fit in.
3. What do you want to do?
Whenever I ask candidates at job fairs what they want to do, I get responses like – ‘I want to do a finance internship,’ ‘I want to go in finance,’ ‘I want to be a banker.’
Finance is a huge industry, with numerous subdivisions. If you’re saying that you want to do an internship in finance, it exhibits your disinterest towards the firm. Be more specific. The recruiter has hundreds of resumes to see, he/she has no time to find you an internship in the ‘finance field.’ Work a little harder and be more specific.
4. Why do you want to do it?
By this question, the recruiter is trying to understand why it’s important for you to become what you want to become. In other words, do you have what it takes to be considered for the position – the knowledge, aptitude, a realistic thought process, and a right enough reason?