Musings of a Mildly Mad MBA Mind – The Mock Interview

It’s 12:56, and I’ve decided to start writing a blog post. This is probably not the most intelligent thing to do, considering that I’ve got a big job interview early tomorrow morning. But then again, I did just have dinner with my Ex which is never an intelligent thing to do either, so might as well continue on with the inanity.

As mentioned, I’ve got a job interview tomorrow; a 2nd interview to be exact, applying for the position of Marketing Department Manager for a Chinese tour and travel company. And if it were only a question of popularity, I think I should have it in the bag: I’m Mr “Go Commando” (childhood nickname, the unfortunate result of a Spanish-style combination of  family surnames).

However, as “us” MBAs should know, jobs aren’t won on popularity… Or are they?

Think of it, who do you know has ever received a job offer based on his/her resume? Nobody.

You need to be interviewed, you need the other person to like you. Actually, if you think about it, you need a whole lot of people to like you.

I’d like to think I’m quite likable. In fact, in light of my distinct lack of any substance abuse issue, I’d like to think I’m very, very likable. I’d also like to think I’m confident, and smart and able to set the tone of any conversation.

The problem is, I’m not. Or rather, in real-life I am, but I suck in situations where you have to pump your chest out, put on a façade, and scream to the world that “I am AMAZING!” I hate those situations, and for some yet unknown psychological reason, I do the exact opposite of what is required.

But that’s what a job interview is – it’s a controlled experiment that tests how well you can talk your way out of anything. I can shell out with anyone in a pub, but I don’t know why I can’t do it properly in a climate controlled interview room with good lighting, and no loud noises. This is a situation where you have to rehearse an answer, and not even mention what’s really running in your head.

  • How do you see yourself in 5 years? I hope to own this company.
  • What are some of your weaknesses? That’s for me to know and you to find out!
  • What interested you about our company? Well, aside from the fact that you called me back for an interview?!
  • Do you think it’s ok to steal from an employer? Um, what exactly are we thinking about stealing?
  • What motivates you? Well, looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I’d say it’s sex and money.
  • Do you prefer any geographic area? Yes, this place is perfect. Only 2 blocks away from my flat!

I’d like to answer thus, but won’t. For alas, complete honesty – in the real world – will get you nowhere.

It’s a good thing I’ve worked with the Fuqua CMC people on a number of job-hunting techniques, and mock interviews. Truth be told, while the exercises at the time seem quite bland, there really is no better way to prepare for an interview than having someone sit down with you and role play.

And before you even do that, you’ll need to know what you actually want to do with your life, because the person on the other side of the table WILL KNOW that you’re lying through your teeth. The CMC has some tests and processes for this part of the job hunt as well.

I’ve never really had any issues with the small things: Firm handshake, look them in the eye, answer with confidence, stop fidgeting, stop saying “uh” and “um”. I’ve had them along with common sense – what I really took away from the mock interviews is the capacity for molding and remolding yourself with each iteration of the process. The more you do it, the better you get at it.

It’s exactly like sales. And you’re the product.

You don’t have to tell the whole truth. In fact, you have to market yourself like you really are the bomb.

Yeah, that’s what I’m going to tell myself, walking into that office tomorrow in my power suit, and a big grin on my face.

  • Why should we hire you?

“Because I am amazing. You need me in this company. You know why? Because I am a Fuqua MBA and I’m a Leader of Consequence, that’s why!”

Related Posts:

  • CCMBA 2010d Graduation Speech – Farman Syed
  • Graduation Weekend
  • So, Now That You’re An MBA
  • Nothing left but to collect our grades
  • So yeah, I didn’t win those tickets

2 comments to Musings of a Mildly Mad MBA Mind – The Mock Interview

  • syed husain

    Glad it worked out well buddy, I think the best part about all of this is the fact that you get to do what you really want!

    • Ian Comandao

      yeah! huddathunkit? big smiles, and a firm handshake actually can win people over! i’m going to have to start smiling more :) hehehehe.