Question (edited for clarity): I attended a PwC Partner interview, but I didn’t do very well. I did not get an offer and made some mistakes. I spoke very fast and did not take any time a develop a question, and I ended up not really answering the question because I didn’t think before I spoke. The interview was my first, and I think I really hurt my chances at PwC. I was unprepared and felt a little nervous. Are there any suggestions you can give me for my next interview?

Response: Ever hear the saying “the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war”? This is a perfect example of what can happen when your first interview is the real deal. Luckily, our reader here is not out of luck. Using the strategies listed below, anyone can walk into their next interview feeling calm and confident and ready to land a job / internship:

  • Practice practice practice. There is simply no substitute for it. The best thing is to go to your college’s career center and have one of their counselors help you with mock interviews. You will get real time, objective feedback that you can incorporate into your next interview.
  • If you are unable to practice with someone else, use your webcam or camera phone to record yourself answering the questions. Watch it, see what you need to improve, and try again. You’ll be amazed at how much you pick up just watching yourself talk on tape.
  • Think of the interview as more of a conversation than an interview. The more you can make it a free flowing conversation and less of a Q&A the better.
  • Remember the “airport test” – would this person want to spend 2 hours stuck in an airport with you if your flight is delayed? Be personable, witty, and interesting. This is very difficult for some people, which is why you need to practice with feedback.
  • If you botch an interview, don’t beat yourself up! What good will that do? Newsflash – everyone stinks at their first interview. Even “natural” interviewers have vast room for improvement. You probably didn’t do as bad as you think. Remember, Big 4 interviewers have all probably interviewed 50+ students this YEAR, and are used to seeing nervous college students fumble through an interview. You weren’t the first, and probably won’t be the last.

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