Pam Heist, director of Deloitte Tax LLP, came to Penn State on Wednesday, February 19th to speak with Sapphires about branding and interview tips. The session was very informative, as well as relaxed to promote questions and interaction throughout the presentation. Pam stressed the broad background of professionals at Deloitte and explained the importance of standing out.
Pam discussed branding specifically in the context of the Internet. She reminded Sapphires not to get drawn into online arguments, post inappropriate content, and not to throw together websites or blogs that do not meet brand standards. It is essential to be authentic and remember that “the Internet never forgets” and thus it is important to pay attention to what you post online.
The next topic of the session centered on developing a “30-second pitch” or “elevator pitch.” A good elevator pitch explains who you are, why you are unique, and what opportunities you are targeting. It should be conversational and sincere, utilizing real life stories to apply to your own pitch. Also, Pam mentioned it is necessary to have multiple versions to cater to different audiences. The conclusion of your pitch should be a request for action. Furthermore, she warned Sapphires against rambling, using jargon, and not practicing the pitch.
Deloitte uses behavioral interviews, which value how potential employees have reacted in the past to situations they will encounter once they are hired. Questions often examine leadership, teamwork, problem solving, and personal initiative. For those without relevant work experience, you can cite campus organizations, group projects, and other areas of involvement.
One of the most important criteria Pam expects interviewees to meet is to be prepared. Interviewees should have done research and prepared questions. The interview is a two-way process, and potential employees need to assess fit just as much as the company itself does.
After the interview, make sure to send a thank you letter, though an email will reach the interviewer much quicker. It is also beneficial to show interest by inquiring about the next round of interviews, continuing to research, and keeping an open line of communication with the employer as questions arise.
The presentation concluded with questions from the audience, though many of the questions had already been covered as Pam allowed questions at any point. The session was extremely useful to get insight into how companies like Deloitte go about the interview process, as well as how to develop a personal brand.