Your 6-Month Step-by-Step Game Plan to Finance Interview Prep, Part 2: What to Do in the 2 Weeks Leading Up to Interviews… and the Week After
“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.”
-Rita Mae Brown
Welcome to Part 2 of the Interview Game Plan Preparation! If you’ve missed what you should do during the first five months, make sure to read Part 1 here.
The first 5 months of your interview prep were all about building a sound foundation, so the last few weeks before interviews begin are mostly about fine-tuning that foundation in the wake of mounting pressure and limited time.
This time around, we’ll turn our attention to what you need to do 2 weeks before interviews, 1 week before interviews, and then go down to days, hours, and minutes before interviews.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- How to find “insider information” (the legal kind) on specific companies and use that to gain a big leg-up in interviews
- How you can anticipate and prepare for specific questions in advance
- What you should avoid doing in the 48 hours to 24 hours before an interview… that other people sometimes claim is a good idea
- How to build your confidence right before the interview
Two Weeks Before the Interview – Deals and Networking
Your 6-Month Step-by-Step Game Plan to Finance Interview Prep, Part 1: What to Do in the Months Leading Up to Interview Season
Everyone has their pet peeves. For me, it’s someone who:
- Spends hundreds of thousands of dollars and 4 years of their life on a top-notch education…
- Spends thousands of hours more, even before that, on getting into that top school…
- Works incredibly hard at this top university or MBA program, participates in tons of activities and sports…
- And then fails to invest any time, effort, or money into interview prep.
I’ve been in the resume editing and interview coaching business for a while now and I see it all the time: your background gets your foot in the door, but your interview and your storytelling skills set you apart.
You don’t want to end up bitter after spending $100,000+ on your education, winning 40 interviews… and getting zero offers.
You can make a last-minute effort and still succeed, but you won’t get the best results that way. Instead, you need to start planning at least 6 months in advance by:
- Sitting down and thinking about the qualities that make you a great candidate for specific jobs
- Picking the right jobs to apply to in the first place… the ones that match up well with your strengths
- Making a list of the specific questions you should ask alumni and anyone else in your network when preparing for interviews
- Giving yourself enough time for interview practice so that you’re not caught flat-footed when interviews arrive
Let’s break down what you need to do in more detail, month-by-month:
How to Break All the Rules and Hustle Your Way Into Anything – Jobs, Networking with CEOs, and Yes, Even Free Financial Modeling Courses
“I really want to sign up for your courses / coaching services / buy your $4.95 Kindle e-book… but I just don’t have the money.”
Yes, that one might just be one of the funniest comments I ever receive on this site.
To be fair, I rarely get this exact comment because most readers understand that it’s ridiculous to claim that you want to get into an industry that pay $100-150K at the entry-level, $200-300K as you move up, and then into the millions (or more) when you reach the top… and then say that you “do not have” $200-300 to invest in training to help get you there.
It would be more common if this site re-branded itself and we started catering to the hippy demographic, but don’t hold your breath waiting for that one to happen.
But I do see many variations of this comment, as well as similar comments about why you “can’t” accomplish various goals:
- I can’t network because I don’t have the time or money to travel…
- I can’t get into the industry because I have never even taken a formal accounting or finance class (neither have I, and now I teach accounting and finance. Oh, the irony)…
- I can’t convince boutique firms to hire me because I don’t have the right experience…
- I can’t get a good grade in this class because I’m not good at [math / writing / test-taking / sucking up to the professor]…
All of these excuses have 2 things in common: the words “I can’t,” and the lack of resourcefulness you display.
But not everyone thinks this way.
Some people out there, both in university and MBA programs and in the finance industry itself, are incredibly resourceful and will do what it takes to hustle their way into anything.
To demonstrate, I’m going to share with you today the story of one reader who took the right approach to everything above and not only landed multiple job offers, but also free access to a $497 package deal on all the financial modeling courses offered here.
This story is not just about bending the rules during one of our promotions, nor is it just about how to get into fields like investment banking, sales & trading, private equity, and so on.
This is a story about life itself and how to defy the odds, break the rules, and get whatever you want… as long as you want it badly enough.
You might want to pay attention.