One-Year At Goizueta: Brett Patterson – How To Lose A Job Offer In 5 Easy Steps

Editorial Note: This post is satirical.  To successfully secure a job offer, please do the opposite of what is described below.

Recruiting season is upon us!  One by one companies are coming to campus for company presentations, networking events, and on-campus interviews.  They are scooping up candidates left and right.  Some of my classmates have been missing for days, being kidnapped and flown to cities around the country for final round interviews.  This recruiting is demanding, time consuming, and should be avoided at all costs.  With 98% of Goizueta students receiving an employment offer within three months of graduation, the peril is extremely relevant.

Recruiting is truly an epidemic, and you need to prepare or you just might find yourself with a job offer, or worse, multiple job offers!  For your benefit, I’ve put together a simple guide to help you with recruiting.


Step 1: Avoid Networking Like the Plague

Networking is a dangerous thing.  It can suck you in and all of a sudden recruiters and current employees know your name.  They offer to pass your resume along or even invite you to special interview preparation events.  While many of these events appear to be in a “wine and dine” type atmosphere, they are a trap.  The more networking you do, the more events you attend, and the more employees you meet via coffee chats, the more the company will want you to come work for them.  In the event you are unable to distinguish a social event from a networking event, proceed with caution and refer to Steps 2 through 5.

Outlook Schedule

Step 2: Cover Letters, Schmover Letters

So you fell into the trap.  It is time to apply for a company position online.  Most applications will ask for your resume and give you the option to include a cover letter.  The key here is to make sure your cover letter deeply expresses why you would not be interested in working for the company.  By no means should you include any of your relevant skills or reference any information you may have accidentally learned while networking.  The more generic the better, and if the cover letter portion is optional, it is best not to include one at all.

Step 3: Casing is for Losers

Somehow you wandered your way down the weary path and were recently notified that two hours out of your morning will be taken away by a series of interviews.  Before you enter the Career Management Center, you need to be prepared for the mind games ahead, namely the case interview.  During a case interview, companies will ask you difficult questions about scenarios ranging from fitting golf balls into a school bus or solving world hunger using tongue depressors.  Anxiety will be high, but the best preparation is no preparation.  Under no circumstances should you try these mind games out repeatedly with classmates ahead of time and you most certainly should not read Crack the Case or Case In Point ahead of time.  The recruiters will expect you to be prepared with good follow up questions, an analytical approach, and a sharp mind for identifying solutions.  Don’t be fooled!  Dull that mind as much as possible!

Dilbert CasingStep 4: Eliminate the Super from Your S.T.A.R. Stories

A common interviewer tactic during the behavioral interview round is to ask a series of questions beginning with “Tell me about a time when…”  This is where S.T.A.R. stories come into play.  These short 2-3 minute answers briefly cover the Situation, Task, Action, and Result for a story from your past work experience or time in business school.  These questions allow the recruiter to learn more about you and see how you might work or react in a similar situation.  It is best to be vague, long winded, and disorienting.  Creating unclear lines between each of the S.T.A.R. story elements will create a sense of confusion.  Additionally, addressing only two or three of the four elements will further work as a diversion tool, leaving the recruiter unsure of your usually stellar leadership, communication, and analytical skills.

Step 5: Be Anyone Other Than Yourself

It can be incredibly difficult to hide the fact that you are a well-rounded and dynamic business student at Goizueta Business School.  You are intelligent, have great past experience, and are probably charming to boot!  Save these wonderful characteristics for your friends, family, and online dating profiles.  This is serious stuff!  If you are calm and completely comfortable, it may be too late.  Do not be yourself.  I repeat, DO NOT BE YOURSELF!  No company will be able to resist you and you will find yourself an easy target.  Smoke and mirrors all the way!  Throughout the process it is best to show your nerves.  Vocalize the anxiety and discomfort.  And if necessary, have an emotional response.  Don’t let them know the real you and you’re sure to deflect the offers and signing bonuses off onto another unsuspecting classmate.

It’s every business school student for themselves out there!  You don’t have to be the best at these diversion methods, but you certainly have to be better at them than your classmates and the other business school students around the country who are fearing the exact same job offer.  Take these to heart, and you just might have a shot at surviving.

Editorial Addendum: In case you missed the first editorial note, successfully securing a job offer will require you to do the complete opposite of the aforementioned steps.