Tricky Interview Questions

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We’ve covered a lot of tough interview questions in past posts, and here we come at you with yet another round.  Sometimes interviewers ask us questions that are more on the tricky side.  It’s hard to know what to say – it often seems the best approach is to tell them what they want to hear, rather than the truth – and sometimes it’s just confusing why these questions are being asked in the first place.  Here are a few examples:

What Are Your Hobbies?

Why is this question relevant to the job you’re applying for, and why would the interviewer care enough to ask this in a formal interview?  Try to look at this question as a means for the interviewer to understand who you are a little better.  If you’re hired, you’ll be absorbed into the company culture, so the company wants to get a more complete picture of you as an individual.  Understanding what you do for fun can help the interviewer determine what your working style might be like.  It can also help them determine how a job will fit into your life, given what you do outside of your work.

How Would Your Coworkers Describe You?

Do you even know the answer to this question?  Could you really provide an accurate assessment of what others think?  This question is more of a way for the interviewer to find out what qualities you most value about yourself, as you likely assume that these are the same traits that others appreciate.  It also showcases how modest or overconfident you might be.  Here you might take the chance to describe some positive interactions you’ve had with coworkers, citing instances where you have collaborated with them on projects.  This will give you a way to back up your answer, as well as to imply that you are able to work well in a team.

Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

This question is tricky because it’s hard to tell if you should speak about yourself in five years at that company – after all, you don’t want to appear presumptuous, but you also don’t want to seem disloyal.  And what if where you want to be is in the seat of the person who is interviewing you?  Instead of focusing on what specific position you see yourself in, try to think of things you want to have achieved.  In what areas will you grow the most?  What goals do you have for your career?  After you’ve considered these questions, you can then turn your answer around and talk about ways in which you will be able to accomplish all of this at the company you are interviewing for, speaking about how your growth will be mutually beneficial for you and the corporation.

Some questions during the interview can seem like time wasters – and some are.  But interviewers often have underlying points they’re trying to get at, even if it’s just to see how you’ll react to a specific question.  Try to prepare for an interview as thoroughly as you can and keep an open mind when tackling tricky questions like these.

All the best,

The Doostang Team

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Doostang Success — Landing My Dream Job in M&A Banking

Paul

NYU – Stern, 2009
M&A Analyst – Mizuho Securities USA

“Totally worth it!!

I received interview requests from over 5 different firms and landed a dream job in an extremely hostile job market (or lack thereof).

Now I am a successful M&A banker and really enjoying my job, even if that means I am spending 80 – 100 hours/week at the office. Thank you Doostang!”


Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Jr. Investment Analyst – Multi-Billion Dollar Pension Fund Management Firm, New York, NY

Sr. Consultant – International Strategy & Innovation Consulting Firm, San Francisco, CA

Investment Analyst – Premier Real Estate Investment Management Firm, Boston, MA

VP of Business Development/Principal – Premier Niche Private Equity Investment Firm, Philadelphia, PA

Investment Banking Intern – Research-Centric Boutique Investment Bank, San Francisco, CA

Search jobs on Doostang

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Doostang News March 14 – How to Make a Good Impression on an Interviewer

Associate, New York, NY
Real Estate Intern, Philadelphia, PA
Quantitative Equity Analyst, Boston, MA
Project Director, Chicago, IL
HY Credit Associate, Los Angeles, CA

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While you can spend countless hours preparing polished answers, learning how to make great eye contact, and putting together a stellar outfit, one part of the interview that you don’t have total control over is the human element.  For better or for worse, much of what determines whether or not you’ll get the job is how you connected with your interviewer.  If that person doesn’t like you on a personal level, you probably won’t land the position, even if you’re extremely qualified.  That said, here are a few things you can do to make a great first impression:

Use Humor Sparingly

There’s no question that a little bit of humor can ease the tension and make the entire interview seem more comfortable.  But if your interviewer shoots you down with a stern look or a reprimand, your attempt at joking around can turn into a total buzz kill.  The best policy is to stick to something lighthearted that won’t offend someone on any level – after all, you probably know nothing about the person sitting across from you, and therefore you have no way of knowing what types of remarks they would consider to be in bad taste.

Wear Deodorant

This one is common sense. It’s important that you don’t sweat or smell in an interview, otherwise the interviewer will probably rush you out the door in order that they can breathe again.  Make sure to wear something that isn’t too stifling and try not to offer up a wet handshake.  And while it’s crucial to ensure that you don’t smell bad, on the flip side, you don’t want to drench yourself in a perfume that the interviewer will choke on.  Use perfumes and bath products sparingly, since, once again, you don’t know if your interviewer is allergic to – or can’t stand – a certain odor.

Don’t Be Too Demanding

It’s important to inform the interviewer of your job needs during the conversation, and this should come up naturally.  However, don’t get too carried away with making demands about your hours, salary, or office environment.  If you start laying down the law about needing a completely silent work area or a desk next to the window, the interviewer may simply move on to the next candidate who is much easier to handle.

Don’t Be Overly Enthusiastic

It’s important to show excitement for the job in an interview, but if you go through the entire conversation with a giant smile plastered on your face, you’ll come across as too intense, insincere, or downright weird.  You’re interviewing for a job, so try to be serious too.

Don’t Go Overboard with Questions

At some point during the interview, you’ll have the chance to ask a few of your own questions.  It’s crucial to have at least one or two of them ready, and these should be intelligent and relevant.  However, keep in mind that if you start barraging the interviewer with queries – especially if you’re simply asking these to prolong face time  – you’ll probably get on the other person’s nerves.  Asking too many questions can hurt you just as much as not asking any.

Knowing how to behave in an interview is a tricky matter – you want to go in and out with a bang, so that you stand out amidst the other candidates; but you don’t want to go so over-the-top that you offend or annoy.  Probably the best thing to keep in mind is that a job interview is about selling yourself to a company in a professional manner, and that the time to express your individuality and let down your guard will come later.

Good luck,

The Doostang Team

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: February 28 – March 6


Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


Healthcare Analyst, New York, NY – Top-Tier Hedge Fund seeks Healthcare Analyst.


Management Development Associate, Los Angeles, CA – Top Industrial Supply Company seeks Management Development Associate.


Real Estate Private Equity Associate, Washington, DC – Well-Capitalized Real Estate Investment Manager seeks a Real Estate Private Equity Associate.


Healthcare Strategy Consultant, Burlington, MA – Top 50 Strategy Consulting Firm seeks Healthcare Strategy Consultant.


Associate – Technology Investment, Baltimore, MD – Top-Tier Entertainment Firm seeks Financial Analyst.


Management Development, Atlanta, GA – Preeminent Equipment Manufacturer & Distributor seeks Management Training.


Internship, Philadelphia, PA – Prominent Financial Consultancy seeks Intern.

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: Feb 21 – 27


Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


Investment Banking Analyst, Conshohocken, PA – Leading National Special Situations Boutique Investment Bank seeks an Investment Banking Analyst.


Marketing Associate, New York, NY – Premier Global Independent Asset Management Firm seeks a Marketing Associate.


Tech M&A Research Analyst, San Francisco, CA – Independent Technology-Industry Analyst Company seeks Research Analyst.


Director of Strategic Alliances, Raleigh, NC – Innovator of Financial Risk Management Software seeks Director of Strategic Alliances.


Financial Analyst, Orlando, FL – Top-Tier Entertainment Firm seeks Financial Analyst.


General Management Career Path, Cleveland, OH – Top Industrial Supply Company seeks to Fill General Management Position.


Associate, SF Bay Area, CA – Next-Generation Private Investment & Advisory Firm seeks an Associate.

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Doostang Success — The Perfect Finance Job

Christa

Columbia University, 2010
Public Finance Associate – Depfa Bank

“In October 2010 a friend told me about Doostang. At the time I was discouraged since I had graduated in May 2010 and was still having difficulty landing interviews like most of my classmates.

My friend said that Doostang was an amazing job search website, so I joined, became a premium member and started to see jobs listed on the site that were not being featured on competitor websites.

Within two weeks I started receiving phone calls regarding interviews, but I was still looking for the perfect fit. In December, I received a call regarding a job that I thought was the perfect job for me, given my education and previous work experience.

I interviewed on a Monday and was made an offer that Thursday.

I was so excited to deactivate my Doostang account! I have been in my new position for three weeks and I have never been happier. To be working in a competitive challenging environment – this is the best New Years gift that I could have received.  I told all of my unemployed friends about the site as I am certain that they will be able to find jobs too using Doostang.”



Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Research Associate – Independently Owned Mutual Fund seeks Research Associate, New York, NY

Business Analyst – Online E-commerce Auction seeks Business Analyst, SF Bay Area, CA

Associate Analyst – Investment Manager seeks Associate Analyst, Philadelphia, PA

Brand Director – Leader in Entertainment Industry seeks Brand Director, Toronto, Canada

Analyst – Prominent SBIC Fund seeks Analyst – SF Bay Area, CA

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: Jan 17 – 23


Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


Jr. Equity Analyst, New York, NY – Leading Investment Organization seeks Jr. Equity Analyst.


Vice President of Sales & Marketing , Philadelphia, PA – Leading Producer of Modular Buildings seeks Vice President of Sales & Marketing.


Hedge Fund Marketing Associate, Los Angeles, CA – Long/Short Equity Hedge Fund seeks Fund Marketing Associate.


Service Delivery Manager, Boston, MA – Market Leader in Provision of Consumer-Level Technology Services to the pharmaceutical market seeks Service Delivery Manager.


Equity Research Associate, San Francisco, CA – Boutique Investment Bank & Brokerage Firm seeks Equity Research Associate.


Jr. Associate, New York, NY – Successful Strategic Public Relations & Public Affairs Firm seeks Jr. Associate.


Graduate Trainee Stockbroker, London, UK – Independent Stockbroker Company seeks Graduate Trainee Stockbroker.

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Make New Goals for Your Career Search

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

Finance/Business Coach, Boston, MA
Research & Marketing Intern, New York, NY
Investment Analyst, Philadelphia, PA
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Your resume is the most important vehicle for sending a positive first impression of you and your skills to hiring managers.  However I hope a strong resume isn’t the only strategy in your tool box for 2011. Many people discount the value of New Year’s Resolutions but recognize the power in writing down intentions. Make a commitment to a successful job search in the coming year by defining your direction. Use the list below or be inspired to come up with your own!

1.  “I will target my job search efforts instead of using the old shotgun approach.”

It’s so easy to send your resume to multiple sites via the Internet, but results are not always optimal. Your resume may become one of hundreds in the hiring manager’s inbox. Target jobs of greatest interest and be diligent about your interactions with those companies as noted in the following intentions for the New Year.

2.  “I will expand my list of contacts by 2 people or organizations each week.”

Add contacts face-to-face, via phone, or electronically. Help new contacts see you as a viable partner in the organization by highlighting how your strengths can further their mission.

3.  “I will improve my resume by emphasizing accomplishments and recent experiences.”

Accomplishments can be communicated to new contacts as well as in revisions of your resume and cover letter.

4.  “I will participate in regional job fairs.”

Job fairs are a great opportunity to reach your weekly contacts goal, make you more visible, and expand your knowledge of the local job market.

5.  “I will make cold calls to regional prospects.”

Calling prospective employers helps you in many ways. You become more than a name in the endless string of resumes. The relationships you develop may leverage an interview and eventually a position.

6.  “I will develop action plans and present to major companies in my job search.”

The action plan is a great strategy and clearly sets you apart from other candidates. Taking time to research the corporation and create a plan that addresses company needs or goals communicates your initiative and unique talents.

7.  “I will use business intelligence and corporate research to revise my cover letter.”

Do research on companies to identify values, projects, and initiatives. Incorporate information into the cover letter by telling prospective employers how your experience and talents solve their problems.

8.  “I will become more active in my professional and community organizations.”

Being active in organizations not only enhances your networking, but may also help you develop additional skills. Serving as member of a Board clearly conveys your leadership skills.

9.  “I will demonstrate my qualities as a solid candidate in every action with potential employers.”

Interactions at every level of the organization reflect on you in the application process. Each phone call, social network posting, and face-to-face contact will be reported up the chain of command. Be deliberate and considerate to be successful.

10.  “I will present a consistent brand in my resume, cover letter, and professional contacts.”

You may have heard President Obama’s brother-in-law describe the importance of behavior on a basketball court in assessing an individual’s overall character. Although not under constant scrutiny when applying for positions, you must be aware that behavioral inconsistencies will be magnified or misinterpreted. Display your best character.

11.  “I will develop an “elevator speech” to use with my expanding professional network.”

Encapsulate key aspects of your skills and professional brand into a 30­-second speech. Use it at every opportunity.

12.  “I will use old-fashioned thank-you notes to follow up all types of contacts and keep my name fresh in people’s minds.”

You may be tempted to send an email note to follow up on a professional meeting. The sheer number of emails most people receive is overwhelming. Sending a hand-written note is another way to distinguish oneself from the crowd.

13.  “I will use social networking sites to my advantage, including adding professional resources, such as resume and career advice consultants.”

Smart use of social media can accelerate progress in your job search. You expand your network and are more likely to be seen by potential employers. Clean up any questionable postings and present yourself professionally to make the best use of social media resources.

14.  “I will continue my professional development activities to improve my skills, expand my network, and maintain my enthusiasm.”

Participating in professional development activities becomes even more critical during employment gaps. You gain focus, new ideas, and strategic contacts.

Most importantly, don’t become discouraged.  A job search can be daunting, but with a specific plan, you can re-gain a sense of control and direction. Well-defined intentions can provide a framework for a successful job search. Be confident as you move into the New Year. Armed with effective goals, you can make this your year to secure a new job!

About the Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

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Doostang Success — 2 Jobs at Private Equity Firms

Daniel

Columbia University 2006
Associate – Windjammer Capital Investors

“After several months of searching for a new job using various recruiters, I decided to give Doostang a shot. I was initially skeptical of purchasing the Premium membership, but I soon found that it gave me access to a lot of job openings that recruiters were not able to offer me.

I have been a member of Doostang for over 2 years, and during that time landed 2 separate jobs at private equity firms.

Searching for a job can be a stressful process, and Doostang enabled me to land interview after interview, which kept my spirits high. I knew that sooner or later I would land the ideal position that I wanted.

The beauty of Doostang is that you are able to apply for jobs that traditional recruiters may decide not to show you, because they pick and choose whom they show the openings to.

I was pleased to see many top quality job openings on Doostang that I soon interviewed for.

Doostang is a great tool to have when searching for a new job. From a strategy perspective, I chose to maintain contact with select traditional recruiters as well as browsing the Doostang website every few days to review new job postings. The website is very well organized, with effective filters that allow you to focus on the industries you are interested in.

Now that I have landed my ideal job, I no longer need the Doostang membership. However it is one of the first websites I recommend to my friends and colleagues who are searching for new jobs. I would certainly use Doostang again if I ever needed to search for another job.”



Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Hedge Fund Analyst – Hedge Fund of Funds Investment Firm, Los Angeles, CA

Vice President of Sales & Marketing – Leading Special Care Provider, Philadelphia, PA

Associate/Sr. Associate – Top-Tier Global Bank, Dallas, TX

Junior Analyst – Leading Sustainability Consulting Firm, Stamford, CT

Investment Banking Analyst – Publicly Traded Investment Bank, San Francisco, CA

Search jobs on Doostang

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: Dec 13 – 19


Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


Private Equity Consulting Associate, San Francisco, CA – Leading Investment Advisory Firm seeks Private Equity Consulting Associate.


Product Marketing Associate, Jersey City, NJ – Rapidly Growing E-commerce seeks Product Marketing Associate.


Associate Analyst, Chicago, IL – Premier investment Manager seeks Associate Analyst.


Consultant, San Francisco, CA – Growing Sales Management Consulting Firm seeks Consultant.


Pre-MBA Private Equity Associate, Philadelphia, PA – Leading Publicly Traded Holding Company seeks Pre-MBA Private Equity Associate.


Business Analyst, Chicago, IL – Growing Sales Management Consulting Firm seeks Business Analyst.


Economist, New York, NY – High Profile Nation’s Economic Mission in America seeks Economist.

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