From Finance to Healthcare: Successful interviews require thorough preparation

Trevor JohnsonSix months of networking boiled down to two 45-minute interviews with the opportunity to secure a first year’s most coveted prize – an internship offer.  This was my experience this past January in interviewing for the offer I eventually accepted with Johnson & Johnson Ethicon.

Preparation was the most critical component to my successful interview process.  I found that doing my work on the front end of the process was key.  That was the time to develop my STAR stories (Situation, Task, Action, Result) and to articulate my thoughts on general questions such as strengths and weaknesses and career ambitions.  By doing my work upfront, I had a lighter workload when interviews actually arrived, as my preparation then simply involved tweaking responses for particular companies and industries.

Networking was also critical in helping to ease the process.  Networking allowed me to demonstrate my talent and personality over a longer period of time than just the hour or so I was in an interview, and helped me hone the reasons I was interested in a company and industry.

On top of this preparation, I also utilized a number of resources at Fuqua.  Beyond the resources of the staff in the Career Management Center, every first year is assigned a second year Career Fellow to guide them in their preparation.  My Career Fellow interned at a company I was very interested in, so she was instrumental in helping me to network with the company and tailor my resume, cover letter, and interview material to that company.

I also conducted mock interviews with my Career Fellow through the MBAA (Fuqua student government) and through the Health Care Club.  The MBAA arranges for companies to conduct mock interviews with students in December, and fortunately I signed up in time to get a mock interview with Ethicon.

The variety of programs held by HSM and the Health Care Club to discuss current topics in healthcare also prepared me for any technical healthcare questions.  This was especially important for me as a career switcher, coming out of finance.

All of this preparation, facilitated by Fuqua, allowed me to find success in my real Ethicon interviews and to feel confident during an otherwise awkward and intimidating process.

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