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Season 1

Ep. 31: Asking 30 Recruiters for their Best Career Advice

By October 14, 2022October 28th, 2022No Comments

Episode Overview

To celebrate the end of Season 1, I spent 30+ hours interviewing Recruiters and compiled the BEST pieces of career advice from each Recruiter to help you land jobs! Companies include Google, Boston Consulting Group, LinkedIn, Facebook/Meta, Netflix, Microsoft, Snapchat, Spotify, Nike, Goldman Sachs, Amazon, Tesla, and more…

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* Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in this podcast are of the host and guest and not of their employers.


Episode Transcript


I just interviewed 30 recruiters at companies like Boston Consulting Group, Airbnb, Google, Netflix, Spotify, LinkedIn and more. And here are the best pieces of career advice to help you advance past the Final Round interview and land your dream job. Let’s dive in!



Don’t self-reject and if you feel like you haven’t advocated effectively for yourself, I actually just took matters into my own hands and did it. And I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.


McKinsey & Company

I know impostor syndrome is a real thing, but if you are interviewing, the company wants you. If recruiters are interacting with you, they want you there, they want you to be a part of the community. At McKinsey, put your best foot forward and go through each experience knowing that you have what it takes. You are absolutely capable, strip away the, “I don’t have consulting experience. Will I be a good fit?” Think about what you do have, what you do bring to the table and leverage those skills to put yourself in a better light. So, that’s the advice that I have. Know that you absolutely are capable. Be confident through each experience, through each interaction. Be intentional, be thoughtful. And I think those things will help set you apart to get you to offer.



I think Ben Franklin has a great quote, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” It’s great to prepare and I know people will prepare answers and memorize answers to questions. Don’t do that. It’s good to prepare and it’s good to practice the same answer over and over again but what you need to do is that when you’re in those final round interviews, you need to throw all of that away and really just bring your authentic self to the interview


Boston Consulting Group

I would say probably listening. See you later! I think listening is important. BCG isn’t looking for people who are so smart that they know everything. We’re looking for people who are capable of learning things quickly, but we don’t expect them to know everything. So, when you come in and you don’t know what topic, you just ask BCGer, “Could you please explain this to me?” And they will, they’re more than happy to.



Know your why. Know why you’re there. Know who you’re showing up as when you’re there. What I know is doing the job and learning the skills can be taught to you. Who you are when you show up at those final round interviews? You need to be memorable. 



Lean on your network and actually lean on your recruiter more than you think you should. Use your recruiter as much as possible to get the best preparation information you can get, ask them all the tough questions and just really make sure that you’re taking notes and paying attention to what they’re telling you when you get time with them. 


Ernst & Young

Especially when you get to the final round interviews, you have to be authentic with both your strengths, things that you’re trying to work on, what you’re going to bring to the company because that’s the whole point of an interview especially as a young professional.


Amazon, Microsoft, Expedia Group

You want to make sure that you’re really present in the interview process. But also make sure you’re having a conversation with the other person and really taking notes, mental notes about what they’re talking about because one thing that makes a difference at the end is the candidates who are able to send thank you notes.


GSV Ventures

Start to talk about yourself as if you’re on the team already. It’s another thing that I’m actually surprised not a lot of candidates will do. Start to say, “I or we, we’ll get to do this or I will help spearhead this,” or whatever it might be because I guarantee that’s going to make that team speak to you at that point in time, take a step back and be like, “Okay, yeah. This person actually does see themselves here and it’s going to get naturally, their wheel spinning of yeah, are they on my team or are they not? Maybe we should hire them. 


I think the biggest misconception on the other side as a candidate is that you feel like you’re doing something wrong you’re not doing anything wrong except you’re not focusing on your work mindset and you’re talking negatively to yourself half the day and you’re not really strategically like putting the time in the right buckets, but you’re doing the things, you just need to reorganize how you structure it. Like more mock interviews, more mindset work and everything else. Stop stressing because you’re already perfect, you’re already whole, you’re already doing all the amazing things. It’s just a little bit of tweaking that most people need.



I think the key is actually explaining to the recruiters and hiring managers why you fit in that role and that company at that time. So, don’t forget there’s couple pieces of that puzzle. You got to talk about all of it. Don’t just leave it to chance and talk about one or think like I’ve got great answers, like give them the whole picture.


Self-Made Millenial

 For that final round interview, it really is all about understanding exactly how your skills are going to address their pain points. Nothing else. 


Book: Case in Point

The final piece of advice students receive offers in consulting because of four things. One, they’re able to convince the interviewer that they’re committed to the consulting. They know exactly what they’re getting into, they’re prepared. Second is that they can demonstrate success- oriented behavior. Third, they exhibit good analytical skills. Fourth, they’re able to articulate their thoughts, create a positive presence, defend or answer without being defensive, coming up with creative answers. But the last one, the most important one is be yourself, have confidence in yourself, you don’t want to go in there and try to be someone you’re not.



definitely go into those final round conversations and throughout the interview process with thoughtful questions in terms of the role, the responsibilities, and also growing your career long-term, where is this going to take you next?


Tesla, Binti, Salesforce, Apple

You’ve gotten to that final step because they feel like you’re qualified. What you have to make sure that you do is you have to, I think of it kind of like an API, you have to connect these endpoints. So, your end point is a job at this company and you. So, what you have to do is find every single opportunity where you can speak to or showcase what your abilities are, whether that’s project work, whether that’s school work, whether it’s a former internship and how that can directly relate in the end to what it is that they are looking for in that job that you are interviewing for. 


Cox Communications

Make sure you are showing your interest in the role because I have seen a lot of candidates get lost in that final round and not be accepted because they simply just didn’t express enough interest in the role.


 Wix, Royal Caribbean

The people who really nail the final round are the people who genuinely can show their failures and their successes. They can articulate what specifically about that company is really exciting them and who can show their true passion for the company and for the opportunity and for the work that they do? Those are the people who typically get past the final round.


Book: The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right

Companies more than ever are asking themselves, are you the type of person who’s going to stay at this company? Who’s going to be excited about being here? Who’s so bought into what we do that you’re going to go above and beyond? So, if you don’t think about your competence or you’re questioning your compatibility, use your commitment to kick the door down, especially nowadays, it is what employers are looking for.


McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company

I think I have two pieces of advice. The first one is that I don’t neglect the prep on the behavioral fit. I can’t tell you how many times it would be in the final round of a behavioral interview. We all came together, the interviewers and the recruiting teams to decide and this person nailed the case, but they weren’t coachable. And then the second piece of advice is the George Clooney mindset basically the story is that George Clooney when he would go into auditions when he first was starting, he would fail all of them because he thought the producers and the directors didn’t want him to succeed. Like how when you go into an interview and people are nervous and you’re thinking they don’t want you to get that offer which is the opposite. So, adjust that mindset and think the producers, the script writers, the interviewers, they want you to get that offer. They’re not sitting there to reject you. That’s kind of a waste of their time. So, they’re rooting for you. 


Disney, Walmart, Accenture, Goldman Sachs

 Just be yourself. Don’t discredit yourself to think that you’re not good enough who you are because you’re the only one of yourself. You had unique experiences that shape you as a person. So, do your due diligence, do your research, make sure you’re well prepared for your interview, and prepare with a friend. 



Promise me this, wherever you are, just between me and you. You’re going to ask this question last for every interview, including the final round. Here’s the question. Ask your last question and you say, “AJ, thank you so much for your time. I’m interested to know, is there any particular reason why you think I might not be a good fit for this role?” Now, here’s why you need to ask that question. When you ask that question, you’re going to get instant feedback. 


The New York Times

Take ownership of your career journey. Don’t blame anyone else. Just be strategic about your resume, be strategic about the interview process. Quick and hard is possible, but that’s hard work. Quick and easy is a scam. 



Authenticity and being your genuine self is honestly the way to go, showing who you are, showing up as you are, know that companies like Spotify like we really, really appreciate people for their uniqueness and their diversity and all aspects of them that kind of experience wise make them who they are. So, keep that in mind, I think that that can get kind of lost in the interview process. I got to be this way. I got to hit these specific answers and do it in this specific format and come super, super prepared. And while that’s all true, I guess, we’re all human. And we want to make sure that that is still an element in the interview process because you’re going to be joining a team and that’s kind of a big deal in a way. 



if you are in the final round interview, you’re pretty much there, meaning that really the team is just ready to get to know you. They’re starting to get to know you past the interview phase and thinking like, “Well, how will this person show up if they were in the job tomorrow?”


Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs

Number one, don’t worry about a dream job. The job that you get is going to be great for you. You will be able to leverage it into many future dream jobs. And then the second thing is you must practice, you must practice your interviews. It seems so small, but honestly, it’s probably the best piece of advice I could give, record yourself, listen to yourself, make your friend listen to you. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will get in an interview process and it will just help you really like elevate your answers and truly connect to the job. So, practice, practice, practice



I think sometimes it’s really hard for hiring teams to decide and it may come down to just one thing that sets that other candidate apart. So, candidates that are really transparent about their motivations, what’s important to them and what particularly about this company and this opportunity stands out to them and it’s important to be able to really clearly tell that. And also, building rapport with your interviewers and really showing up authentically and as a human and letting your personality shine through.


Book: Skyrocket Your Career

It’s about being different. So, say there are 20 candidates applying for the same job, what makes you different from other people? For example, in the final round of interviews, if you know the interviewer’s name, what you could do is say Raj is going to interview you, literally what you can do is go to LinkedIn, type in my name, you’ll get my whole LinkedIn profile. Okay? And then you can figure out different areas of interest, which I like to talk about. 



I would just say be humble, courteous and respectful to everyone you meet throughout the process because I promise you, it does go a really long way to showcase that you are someone we want at this company. 

Yeah, I think always be curious, think empathetically and just really be your authentic self throughout the entire process. I think come prepared with questions too. I can’t stress that enough.


Book: The Perfect Rejection Resume

If it’s possible to accomplish something that was impossible then it is possible that nothing is impossible. If you believe that something is possible to accomplish, even if you think that is impossible, then you’ve tapped into the notion that nothing is impossible. Some people have it, some people don’t. Some people lack that mentality. Some people are honing into that mentality and some people are made of that mentality.



 It’s not the best candidate, it’s the best interviewer. It’s like preparing, getting really great at asking really great questions, getting better with connecting and understanding where the issue is and your problem. So, prepare and just get better and realize that you’re not going to ace every interview. But those interviews that you don’t ace, like you need to critically look at yourself and go, what do I need to do better? And just consistently get better with your preparation.



If you enjoyed that compilation episode as much as me, go show some love by following our show on all podcast platforms, give a rating or review, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. We have a surprise for you for the final, final episode of season one, so be sure to tune in to Episode 32 coming out soon!

Until next time, keep fighting, and I will see you in the ring.