Huge congratulations to Antonia for securing her Analyst role at Elixirr. Here she explains how she found the application process and gives some great tips for other members.
Why did you choose this firm and this role?
I had always been drawn to consulting but felt very detached from traditional grad scheme applications. Elixirr was as unique in this process as it is in everything else it stands for. There were no time-consuming forms or time-constrained aptitude tests that totally ignore personality. In this case, googling a generic cover letter template would probably render your application unsuccessful. Entrepreneurship and a different style of thinking were encouraged from the start, and that made choosing Elixirr a very easy decision. I applied for a four-week internship on the premise it could lead to a permanent analyst position. This was a really great opportunity to get to know the firm I could potentially be working for full-time, and for them to get to know me.
What was the most challenging part of the application process? And your favourite part?
The four-week internship felt like an application process in itself. The most challenging part was therefore pushing that thought aside and trying to achieve tangible, impressive results on the client projects I was working on. That brings me on to my favourite part, working with clients from the first day of my internship. With many consultancy firms you don’t get to meet clients for months sometimes. Being given this much responsibility so early on was definitely a highlight and a chance to prove yourself.
Were you surprised by anything in the process?
Very early on in the application process I had a one-on-one interview with the HR Principal. I didn’t expect to have this level of interaction with a senior team member so early on. It felt like a lot of pressure because I was a recent graduate, speaking to an expert with a lot of industry experience, with no direct consultancy experience myself. It also demonstrated to me just how much Elixirr values each and every one of their recruits.
What three top tips would you give your fellow Bright Network members?
Firstly, I would say that you have to be more direct than you would normally feel comfortable with. I sent follow up emails, continuously asked for feedback, and even passed positive feedback onto the team making the decision about what would happen after my internship. This might feel unnatural at the time, but it also looks proactive and shows your genuine interest. Secondly, I would also recommend you try very hard to not let any nerves get the better of you. This is a lot easier said than done, but I could tell how much my performance improved when I was trying to be confident and attempting to channel nervous energy into enthusiasm and determination. Finally, in interviews it can be very easy to fall into the trap of saying what you think the interviewer wants to hear. Elixirr value authenticity, any attempts to game answers are definitely picked up on. It is better to be yourself, anything less will be transparent to people who specialise in recruitment.
What was the hardest question you faced in the interview?
The hardest question I faced was probably: “What is something that really interests you that not many other people know about?” It didn’t throw me because the question itself is difficult, it threw me because I had prepared for so many Elixirr-orientated questions and the answer to this would have to be entirely natural and on-the spot. It would be embarrassing if I couldn’t demonstrate a genuine interest in something that didn’t fall into the generic and stereotypical answer for this type of question.