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I am finishing a PhD in Biology. We are a casual sort of people. Very informal. Jeans in the winter, shorts in the summer. I am now interviewing for entry level positions in consulting. My personality gets me points during the info sessions when we meet the business people informally, over snacks. I ask good questions. I think on my feet. I tell good stories. I would definitely pass the "Stuck in the Cleveland Airport" test.

However, when I sit down for real interviews, I believe that I don't fit the business-type. I speak in long sentences. We science-types like to tell stories with climactic endings. You want the bottom line up front. You want precise thoughts, in logical packets. I think in a free-flowing way. Here, we are encouraged to throw out random, unpolished, and vague ideas. I feel that I am at a disadvantage.

I've considered doing an internship with a consulting/business firm, to pick up on their behavior, mannerisms, and style. However, I need to earn a living to pay the mortgage, daycare, and so forth.

How can I remold myself into your model?

bffranklin's picture

Edmund,

Don't! You should listen to the podcasts on the DISC personality types and take heed of how to tailor your conversation to the personality of the individual that you're speaking with. Stay yourself; just be a more effective communicator.

Mark's picture

Oh, I think you should. We have money you seem to want. That means we set the rules. Rule one: communicate in a way we understand.

You seem to be smart enough to understand the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

Shorten your sentences. Put your bottom line up front. Use words we like. You can learn them here, and in the Wall Street Journal, and Fortune. Stop telling us dramatic stories. Until we hire you.

Try writing out your answers to the key interview questions. Keep them to 3 paragraphs. For the longer ones (leadership, tell me about yourself, and accomplishments): 3-4 minutes.

You don't need an internship. It's not a "type." It's a way of communicating.

And avoid commas. ;-)

Mark