Categories: Lime Connect Q & A: Your Questions. Our Answers.
"Wow, XYZ Bank called me for an on-campus interview" you tell your friend. But you have not been actively considering banking. After all, much of your experience to date has been with marketing and public policy internships. Nevertheless, you talk to a few people, you do some research, and you discover that investment banking could be a great next step for you. Now, you are faced with the challenge: how to sell yourself when your experience is minimal.
This is a challenge I know many of you face, especially when you are young and may not have the bio for a position. The link between what you can do and what the job needs may not be obvious. It is your job to make the link clear. During the interview, when they ask you to "tell me about yourself" or "walk me through your resume", you can give an overview of your work and study experience, highlighting the parts that tie your interests and abilities to that position. And, you can share some obstacles you faced and explain how you overcame them. If you are willing, and especially if you have an obvious disability, this could be a good time to talk about your ability to overcome an obstacle in the face of a disability. (More on whether, when and how to disclose/discuss a disability starting next week).
Using our investment banking interview as an example, tell them about the analytical and quantitative skills you used in your public policy internship. Tell them about the client service and selling skills you learned when marketing computer parts one summer (client selling skills are a core competency for any good investment banker). Share the economic concepts and current financial market news that you found particularly interesting in your global economics class. I bet you'll surprise yourself to see how well you can connect the dots for the interviewer. (By the way, if you are indeed interviewing for a banking role, check out this great TelePanel, "Acing the Technical Banking Interview" that we hosted last week. Log onto The Lime Network and visit the Professional Development Resources area for audio and closed captioned access).
Remember, it is your job to sell yourself. You are doing the interviewer a favor if you sell yourself. They asked you to interview and are hoping it will work out.
Of course, there is much more to succeeding at interviewing. Here are two, further resources:
- A recorded interviewing skills webinar that we hosted for Lime Network Members. Log onto The Lime Network and visit the Professional Development Resources area for access.
- A New York times article, "The Art of Selling Yourself In An Interview"
Good luck with your interviews!