How do you know where you stand among applicants?

How do you know where you stand among other applicants in the industry?

I don't want to walk into an interview underselling myself when I'm the most qualified candidate, nor do I want to embarrass myself by acting like I'm a hot shot when when I'm not.

At the senior analyst / associate level, what makes someone valuable, and what makes someone extremely valuable?

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Comments (15)

Most Helpful
May 3, 2021 - 12:18am

A job interview isn't the place to be humble. Act like you deserve the job, if you are overselling yourself compared to other applicants, you wouldn't have gotten the job regardless. 

May 3, 2021 - 9:29am

If you are over selling yourself, or as the question put it: "embarrass myself by acting like I'm a hot shot when when I'm not", then you would not get the job because your not the hot shot compared to the other applicants. You might as well believe you are the best applicant (but don't be arrogant).

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May 3, 2021 - 9:03am

Honestly, I wouldn't even try to stress this and guess this. What you are possibly missing is that hiring is a lot more about finding the person with the right  "fit" for the firm and job, and "skills" and even "experience" are just some of the considerations. You may be perceived as the better fit due to your personality and time spent at some random activity (e.g. playing college football or whatever) as that fits the nature of the team/firm. You may also have some unique skill or experience that you think has little value but the firm may be actively considering doing deals in that space (but they can't tell you for confidentiality reasons). 

Once you are past college recruiting, which can be more of a beauty contest with few dimensions (GPA, school, major, and internship experience), then it comes down to far more intangible elements to be honest. This is incredibly true for senior leadership hires. Hard skills matter less, soft skills matter more. Where you went to college goes close to zero in value, etc. 

With all that said.... I'll give one "tip" or item to focus on for the "senior analyst/associate level".... that is.... "can this person be seen as likely for promotion", I think you will not have to worry about your "raw skill" if you have a few years of legit experience. The firm will want you for your leadership/growth potential at that point, far more than rote analyst/modeling skills. So poise, speaking, presentation skills, breadth of knowledge of the industry, and even size/scope of network all start to factor more favorably. Demonstrated leadership (whether at the job/on deals or even in organizations like NAIOP) can be the killer point to differentiate yourself at this level. 

Also, will say this, if you are just a analyst with 1-2 years of experience, I wouldn't oversell the "deals" you've done. No one is likely to think you were the rainmaker (nor expect it), be real about how you frame your experience, people are not stupid. 

Also allongo is quite correct, your best strategy is going in like you deserve the job. They selected your resume for interview, so you can safely assume your prior experience, schooling, and general presentation passed the test. Going in as if you are unsure of your qualifications will only cause them to doubt you and substantially reduce your chance of future rounds or final selection! 

May 3, 2021 - 11:24am

^I think this is pretty much a classic job description of analysts in general (in the buyside/acquisitions setting). I don't think you really need to explain this, it's understood. 

You can say things like "analyzed/underwrote office and multifamily deals between $50m to $100m nationwide", but the fact that you analyzed/underwrote and were not directly the key to success/closing is just conveyed by your title/yrs of experience

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