Hey, everyone. I’m Anuj Gupta. Today I’m going to teach you a strategy of how to stand out in an onsite interview. This strategy can be such a huge help
to people who don’t have a lot of experience in the field they’re going into. It’ll really help you compete against people who are more experienced.
And those of you who are experienced will give you a big edge against a lot of the other candidates. What this is all gonna be about
is a strategy that almost no one does, and it’s all about this.
♪ The BAMF binder ♪
I call this my BAMF binder, and I’ve been making them every time I’m on the job market. I didn’t think it was anything special, but now that I’m on the other side of the interview table,
I realize that almost no one does this, and when they do, it is hugely impactful. I’m gonna show you exactly how to put a BAMF binder together
in this article. What’s tough is that generally, the professions that do create portfolios are more visual professions, like a photographer or a designer.
Not all of us have visual jobs, so we’re gonna have to get a little bit more creative at showing visually what we do, but it’s a lot easier than you think.
This is basically a sweet catalog that they get to flip through to see what it’d be like to work with you. So what to include in your BAMF binder.
How to stand out in an onsite Interview.
1. The first thing you can do is include academic items. This can be a powerful way to overcome the no experience paradox,
where you need the experience to get experience. From attending these universities and programs, most of you actually have experience,
but it’s not the experience in a traditional sense. It’s more project-based or you headed up certain events. And those things can be extremely impactful
as long as people fully understand the context. And then the more years you are out of school, you can start to leave off this section.
What to include in your academic section?
Throw in your college transcripts, but only if you’re proud of them. Include copies and images of awards you’ve gotten
and even write a little description under each one. Include summaries and slides from your favorite projects. Possibly you competed in some competitions,
so include photos of you at that competition as well as any information about where you placed in it. Include papers you’ve written,
and then include any other visuals, such as a photo as your president of an organization on campus, or a screenshot of where you were quoted
in an article for the campus newspaper.
2. So second, you’ll also wanna make sure you obviously have your professional items in there, as well. The first thing I would do is put your resume in there.
Include printouts of any articles or blog posts you’ve written about the industry. Include any certificates of pieces of training you’ve done.
Think about what you’ve done professionally and how do you present that visually. I think the most powerful thing you can do
is try to put things that you’ve accomplished into graphs. People love graphs. Maybe you work in customer service, and over the course of the last year
you’ve been at your job, your number of people who you’ve helped each week has escalated. Or if you’re someone who handles a bunch of schedules you’re coordinating,
you could have a graph of how many inquiries are coming to you and how many things you’re scheduling a day. The sheer volume of that could be very impressive,
especially when shown visually in numbers. Also, include presentation slides that you’ve done professionally, and include summaries about how the presentation went
and what were the results of it? This is truly an exercise in the creativity of thinking about how you can capture what you do in your job
and put it visually in a book, and I really challenge you to do that.
3. The third thing to include in a BAMF binder is some personal items. Include fliers of events that you’ve put on or spoke at. Include anywhere that you appeared online,
like, on the news, or in an article. Simply being out in the world and doing things and being known is attractive to an employer.
Maybe you have an online presence or you have a following, and it might not be related to your industry or line of work,
but showing those numbers of followers and your analytics of some of your pages. A few bonus things you could even add is maybe a list of your role models.
This is not something that you are gonna go down the list and explain to someone who is interviewing you, but, you know, if you just write, you know,
a few role models on there and your interviewer’s flipping through your binder and they see that you love Michelle Kwan, and they also love figure skating,
and then you two bond over what hard work it is to, you know, become a figure skater, and suddenly they’re in love with you and really do not doubt your work ethic.
Stuff like that happens. Just throw the kind of information in there, and you never know where you might strike a human bond. And then finally,
you could also include a list of your favorite books. So now you have an idea about what could go in the BAMF binder. Let’s talk about creating it.
There are a few different strategies on how to think about the best way to create it for you. One way to go about it is to look at your resume,
and on your resume hopefully, you have listed under each job your key achievements, and look at those achievements and think about,
how can I present each one of those bullet points in a visual way?
Another way to think about it is to think about your strengths. One strength you might feel is one of your strongest suits is that you are highly organized.
Possibly you find your most amazing organized spreadsheet. It’s color-coded showing that amazing research you did and having it so organized.
That would really show that you are highly organized and get that through to the interviewer. When creating visuals about projects or initiatives you did,
take on the PAR approach. PAR stands for problem, action, result. So when you’re creating these visuals, instead of putting an entire presentation
or study that you did, you could break it down into the problem, the action, and then the result. Here’s an example of a PAR I did.
This is for the training facilitation I put on. So I start with a summary about why the training was needed, the action I took, so how I put the training program together,
and then on this page, I have the results. So I did a follow-up survey that included both quantitative and qualitative data, and I included both.
I included some percent as well as some quotes from people who did the actual training, and then a quick summary of why it was impactful.
Another tip on creating this binder is to make it look nice.
Originally when I started making visual tools like this, I had it all in a folder and it was kind of all looseleaf and I would pull it out and it was,
pages were folded. Put in some extra time to make sure it looks nice and neat and professional. Another thing that I’ve seen people do
is to put their BAMF binder in a digital version on their website, though even if you’ve put this online on a website, I still think you should bring in something physical
when you come in for the interview, but if you have your heart set on being digital, I recommend having a tablet where there’s a presentation or a series of PDFs
where they can quickly flip through it as if it was a binder. So this final section is about using the BAMF binder. This is where it comes to life.
There are a few key rules about using your binder in an interview.
I would recommend you only show your binder in person. I don’t believe that you should drop off the binder at a hiring manager’s desk
or that you should send a ton of PDFs attached to an email and expect someone to read all of it. This binder doesn’t really come to life usually
unless you’re there telling the story with it. The way I use my BAMF binder in interviews is to bring it in with me to the interview and I’ll have my resume out
and I’ll set the binder and the resume on the table in front of me. I’ll hand my resume to the person who’s interviewing me,
and then I won’t open the binder until they ask a question where I will want to reference the binder. They might ask me, “What was a challenge that you faced
“and how’d you overcome it?”
And I might start to tell the story about a project I worked on and do the whole PAR, problem, action, result, and while I’m telling that story,
I’ll be flipping through my binder and saying, “Well, so this is where it started,”
and then walking them through the presentation I did. And so it’s a tool to help me tell the story. And then once I’ve started telling a story
about something in my binder, they might be interested to see it themselves, and so they might ask to look through it, or I’ll start flipping through
and showing them other things. In some interviews, the binder stays closed the whole time, and that is okay. I just wanna make sure that you all
aren’t walking into interviews with a rehearsed speech of how you walk through each page of your binder because that just won’t come off as authentic.
It will be too forced. And you really want the interview to take itself where it may and have the binder be this amazing tool that will help you at certain points.
That’s all I’ve got.
Thanks and see you next time.