December 15, 2017 @ 5:00 PM
What I learned at Box
Written by Lisa Chai
In a recent Phase2Careers event that was run by Box in its headquarters in Redwood City, a small group of workers over the age of 40 was seeking relevant advice from millennials employed at this cloud content management and file sharing company. The movers and shakers in this disruptive industry were cognizant of the wake of job loss to the older workers in the room due to fast moving business forces in technology. These younger professionals were all genuinely eager to impart their advice to the older workers. Likewise, the job seekers were grateful for having this opportunity to learn firsthand from professionals in a corporate culture different than what we may have experienced in our careers.
After brief introductions, we split off to join a professional closely related to our career area who would be best aligned to provide relevant feedback on issues about our resumes and interview style.
Below are listed the main points I learned from my discussion with the "Boxer" who kindly offered her comments and time to help me and a fellow seeker.
• Start with the "moral of your story" first. Then, tell your story as concisely as possible. Business people are VERY, very busy people needing to multitask often. You don't want to lose their attention by indirectly and in a meandering fashion arrive at the point of the story without first grabbing their attention by giving the "executive summary" upfront. They want to know that you can "see the big picture" and summarize how you got there, all in a quick and concise fashion.
• Show your passion in your profile section of your resume. Use a description that someone else would describe what type of professional you are. For instance, a colleague may think you are a "goal-oriented financial analyst capable of synthesizing complex components into a business model." That is a much stronger profile statement than stating "I have created financial models for the transportation industry."
• We also addressed the tricky question of how to dress for an interview at a company in which all the employees are wearing jeans and tee shirts. I learned that wearing nice jeans (solid dark blue) is acceptable for an interview if worn with smart looking shoes, a solid colored tee, and a simple classic blazer. Certainly, it is not advisable to arrive in a suit either for men or women or high heels for women, indicating that you really did not research and learn about the culture of the company.
• Gather as much information about the company beforehand and be on top of relevant changes in your field of work that would affect this prospective company. Try to weave your tidbits of knowledge into an answer you are giving or save it up for the end when you may ask questions to the interviewer.
• Upon finishing the interview, the interviewer will generally ask if you have any more questions. A great response would be to ask for feedback from the interviewer on whether there is anything that you, as the candidate, could clarify for the interviewer. The purpose of this is to address any concerns that the interviewer might have that will prevent you from being the candidate chosen for the job. It also shows you always want to learn and improve.
Finally and probably most importantly, relax and have fun. Look at this as an exchange of information and a sizing up of fit on BOTH sides of the table. The interviewer is not only one with power in this situation. You are also sizing up them to see if this is the right place for you! Also, finally, if nothing else, remember that this experience has just provided you with more interview practice from which to fine tune and hone your responses for your next interview.
Lisa Chai has been a Financial Analyst for consumer product companies and has worked in economic consulting prior to her career break to raise