In my last blog post, I shared some dos and don’ts for when submitting your application to Propeller. Getting past the application review is only the first step: prospective consultants then embark on a four-part interview process before receiving an offer. If you want to stand out throughout the interview process, follow these tips:
Do research the company. There's a lot of information on our website: our Culture Manifesto, service and practice areas, case studies, consultants’ blog posts, and more. You will learn a lot about what we do which will help you form strong answers to our questions, and more informed questions of your own.
Do research your interviewer. Take the extra step to learn about the Propellerite with whom you will be interviewing. It’s not creepy, it’s a compliment! It shows initiative, and who knows – you may have a surprise connection regarding where you’re from or what you’re passionate about that you can bond over. We each have profiles on Propeller’s website and on LinkedIn. No need to ask your interviewer how long they’ve been with Propeller; instead, turn the same question around and ask “I see you’ve been with Propeller for 3 years. What has your experience been like?” This approach is more compelling than asking for information that is publicly available.
Do manage interview logistics. If you are interviewing via phone, make sure you are in an area with good reception and where you can speak freely. If you are chatting by video, make sure you test the technology (camera angle, audio, etc.). And if you are interviewing in person, make sure you know where you are going, show up early to park, and be at the meeting location 5–10 minutes early. If you already spot your interviewer, it’s okay to hang back. It’s likely that your interviewer is getting prepped on their end and needs the extra minutes to be ready to go!
Do manage your time during the interview. If you know it is a 30-minute interview, don’t spend 15 minutes answering the first question. Also, your interviewer will always give you time to ask questions at the end. Be prepared to ask questions, and then acknowledge when your time is coming to an end. If you still have a few questions, ask your interviewer if they have a hard stop or extra time. It’s possible they are even available by email for any follow-up questions.
Don't be afraid to take notes. Have a notepad handy and jot down the questions the interviewer asks, or words that will help trigger your memory and ensure you answer all aspects of the question. You can also use your notepad to have those prepared questions mentioned above. Have a list of 5–7 and then decide which ones to prioritize, keeping the time in mind.
Don't forget to send a thank you note! It shouldn’t be lengthy. Just a few quick sentences acknowledging the interviewer’s time and your interest in the firm is much appreciated. Email is best, and I recommend sending the thank you note within 12–24 hours.