How to Get Brutally Honest Feedback and Double Your Results in Interviews, On the Job, and More

12 Comments | Recruiting Mindset

How to Get Honest FeedbackDo you know the #1 obstacle you face in winning offers, getting promoted, or even starting a business?

You might be tempted to say, “Pitching myself and telling my story properly,” or “Getting to know the right people,” or “Making a product people actually want.”

And all of those could be obstacles.

But there’s one obstacle that exacerbates everything above and makes it much tougher to fix:

You cannot get brutally honest feedback.

I’ve seen this one firsthand because approximately 90% of the emails we receive contain some variation of: “I didn’t get job offer X or promotion Y or interview Z. What should I do next?”

My response is always the same: “OK, so why did you not succeed? Have you asked anyone for feedback? Have you heard anything?”

And then the person stops responding, sends back a vague response like “lack of fit with the team,” or indicates that he/she has not asked for honest feedback at all.

This is a big problem because you will never be able to improve, or even target more appropriate areas, until you get this type of feedback.

Here’s how to do it properly, get real feedback, and then use it to improve your performance in all areas:

Why Is It So Hard to Get Brutally Honest Feedback?

Don’t Overestimate the Competition: 2015 Edition

22 Comments | Recruiting Mindset

Overestimate Competition Investment BankingSo, you’ve fixed your LinkedIn profile.

You’re using my email templates to reach out to and follow-up with professionals in the industry.

And maybe you’re already seeing better response rates…

Next, you need to reset your psychology and realize that “other people” – your competitors in the recruiting process and on the job – are not so amazing.

This goes along with a broader point I made a few months ago: despite the wealth of interview prep materials, the overall candidate pool is less impressive than it was 5-10 years ago.

Today I’m going to share with you 5 stories from readers, customers, and yes, even a friend, that all illustrate a simple point: don’t overestimate the competition.

Why Do You Overestimate the Competition?

How to Write More Effective Networking Emails That Will Double Your Response Rate in 15 Minutes or Less

29 Comments | Investment Banking - Networking

Investment Banking Email TemplateWhat’s your greatest weakness?

I’m not talking about the BS answer you give in an interview (‘I work too hard!’).

I mean your actual greatest weakness.

You might be thinking of weaknesses like “Well, I’m sort of disorganized… and sometimes I lose motivation … and sometimes I’m not good at delegating tasks.”

All of those may be real weaknesses, but they take a lot of time to fix.

But if you’re currently a student or you haven’t had much full-time work experience, you have another ‘greatest weakness’ that is easily fixable:

You can’t write effective emails.

In this post, I’m going to share:

  • The top email mistakes I’ve seen – from both students and professionals.
  • Examples of “emails gone astray” – kind of like watching a car accident in slow motion, but without the casualties and explosions.
  • How to send effective networking emails for connecting on LinkedIn, setting up informational interviews, following up, asking about internships/jobs, and more.
  • And yes: a collection of email templates that you can use for everything above.

This will be a fun one, so let’s get started:

Why Does Email Matter?