Before cofounding Solemates, a brand of women’s shoe-care products, in 2009, Becca Brown worked at Goldman Sachs for almost six years.
Brown, who has a bachelor’s from Harvard University and an MBA from Columbia, spent a lot of time interviewing job candidates at Goldman, where she held various roles, including analyst, wealth adviser, and chief of staff. She was also part of the investment bank’s Harvard recruiting team, she says.
“I interviewed anywhere from 20 to 30 job candidates a year, so in total, I interviewed over 100 people at Goldman Sachs,” she tells Business Insider. “And this is what the most impressive job candidates had in common: They were confident, poised,
articulate, and came to the interviews prepared and ready to ‘sell’ themselves for the role.”
Brown says, “Obviously it’s important for any candidate to do research on the job prior to the interview, but those who connected their previous experiences and accomplishments (in college, internships, or full-time jobs) to the job for which they were interviewing, really stood out the most.
“It’s pretty basic stuff, but those candidates who were able to do all of that and express some of their personalities were the top-notch candidates. The real stand-outs were those who did all of the above but also had some personality, and were not just the personification of their résumés.”
Brown says she still remembers one candidate who stood out more than anyone else she ever interviewed. “He ended up being the ‘benchmark’ in my mind, by encompassing all of the above. He was poised, confident, well-spoken, well-prepared, and sold himself in a natural, conversational way.”