Recap from an Interviewing Panel at UNC-CH

interviews

Friday 12/4/09 I was fortunate enough to join an interviewing panel with Jason Dean (a fellow @bandwidth employee).  We spent over an hour fielding Q&A with panelists from Bank of America and Johnson & Johnson.

A few key points

  • Thank you notes are important and electronic notes are becoming more of the norm (in comparison to hand-written)
  • Ask quality questions that have value to you – an interview IS a two-way process
  • Be prepared to give a brief or detailed resume walk-through
  • Take abbreviated notes and don’t let it detract from your attention or eye contact
  • Be professional, but be yourself

After the Q&A session, we split up and each conducted 4-7 mock interviews.  Being a marketing practitioner, I was fortunate enough to spend time with first year MBA students eager to become marketers.  Each session was different and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

One key point

I may be a little off base here because I’ve worked with startups and companies with startup mentalities, but I am a big believer in letting the interviewer get to know you.  Make sure that when you interview, you let your “true colors” show while remaining professional.  Again, all the interviews went well, but the lasting memories are of the stories.

You don’t need me to talk about the importance of storytelling (there’s a network for that), but being memorable is important.  Be confident and make sure that whoever you interview with knows your story when you walk out of the room.  In many cases, it is that story of how one has overcome an obstacle to be where they are today that wins out over any initial nervousness or the possibility of a lack of experience. 

Tell great stories…more comes out about the person you are and the employee you can be that way.

Disclaimer: I am not an HR expert and am simply rehashing my personal opinions.  If you want to follow an HR expert, my personal favorite is @Lruettimann of PunkRockHR.com.  Laurie knows her stuff and has a sense of humor (that’s an understatement).