Alyson Guarino, Hofstra University
In a detailed commentary about the post “Are You Ready for a Months-Long Job Interview?”, Alyson Guarino, a graduating Zarb School of Business BBA student [and President of the Student Government Association at Hofstra] wrote the following about her job search. There are many lessons for job and internship seekers here.
After interviewing with three big firms, I can speak to the experience of having “months-long” job interviews. The interview process technically started in February 2015 when I began networking with company recruiters and current employees. In May 2015, I made sure to reach out to all of the firms that I was interested in joining, with the understanding that the hiring process began in mid-August.
In October 2015, I was selected to move forward in the interviewing process. The first round of interviews for two of the three firms were phone interviews with partners of the firm where I was interviewed on leadership, and various technical case studies. The third firm interviewed me in person and I sat with a recruiter, not a partner.
The next rounds of interviews were in person with multiple partners of the firm, and were also focused mostly around case studies, strategic thinking, and problem solving. The last round of interviews included daylong events where I was introduced to the different teams I would potentially be working with, and different partners of the firm. Offers from all three firms were extended to me in early November, and they required a response by early December.
After the offer is extended, [I learned that] the interview process is still not over because the potential employee can still have questions about the firm and want to interview the firm further. The entire process for me was 9 months, but the actual interviewing process was in fact months long.
The hiring process is a complicated and long process and when someone is seeking a job, managing the multiple interviews with various firms can seem like a full time job in itself!
Even before I began seeking full-time jobs for post graduation, I applied for internships for every winter break and summer session from 2012-2016 and each time I went through a separate hiring process.
The hiring process generally includes multiple interviews (phone and in person) as well as background checks, and drug tests. It can take a long time to hear back, but I think sending follow-up messages after the interview to thank them for their time makes it easier to follow up 2 weeks later if you have not heard anything.
The most important thing at the end of an interview that I ask is when can I expect to hear back? The most general answer is, “within 2-3 weeks”. The firms are typically in the middle of interviewing other potential candidates as well, so they need the time to decide who would be the best fit. The process can be longer for someone who was not the first choice.
After the offers were extended to me from the firms mentioned above, I had a certain amount of time to respond and if I declined the offer – they then had the chance to reach out to another potential candidate to provide an offer to them. However, they cannot receive an offer until I decline one. That means that person is waiting even longer to hear back.
The entire process can be exhausting, but can also be very rewarding. Interviewing can get easier and easier, and the entire process can actually begin to feel like second nature. I recommend staying organized and finding a way to manage all communication with the various companies that you have applied to (including correspondence, names and dates). It will come in handy when a recruiter or firm finally reaches out to you weeks later with a response, and you’re not exactly sure which company is calling. Stay organized, and enjoy the process!
Alyson, thanks for sharing and good luck in your job!