Tag Archives: interviewing

Why Jake Gyllenhaal In Nightcrawler Is The Perfect Entrepreneur

Last night I decided to watch the movie Nightcrawler upon the suggestion of my friends. They were bragging that it was “a must see movie,” so I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. Overall the film was very dark and ominous. The movie revolves around a man named Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is a creepy, obsessive person attempting to solidify a career as a ‘Nightcrawler’. A ‘Nightcrawler’ is someone who races to crime scenes throughout a city in order to capture first response footage of different accidents, murders, breaking news, etc. They then sell their footage to news stations and other media hubs. I don’t want to reveal  too many spoilers, but if you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend doing so.

Why Lou Bloom is the Perfect Entrepreneur.

Lou is curious. In the early stages of the film, Lou pulls his car over after spotting two camera men trying to capture footage of victims at the scene of a car accident. He saw this as an opportunity to explore a new career. Curiosity is an extremely valuable trait for any successful entrepreneur because it is the seeking of unanswered questions that leads to the expansion of any business idea. In this instance, Lou wanted to learn everything about what they were doing…from the equipment they were carrying to the strategy they were employing. He is eager to learn, takes action and ultimately gains useful knowledge by doing so. When you are constantly seeking out new environments and new information, you are essentially opening the doors for positive change and modifications to your business plan.

Lou is persistent. He closely approaches crime scenes with confidence and assertiveness, even though his presence tends to be unwelcomed. He also demonstrates persistence when he continually asks news correspondents about increased compensation for the novel footage he captures, even though they don’t comply. Being turned down does not stop Lou from carrying on with his business endeavors. He is persistent while remaining passionate about the success of his business, and will do whatever is necessary to assuage those around him. Passivity doesn’t fly in this fast paced world. If you want to succeed, you must show unwavering intention.

Lou is constantly learning. During one scene Lou is talking to Nina, the news executive, about a business course he took. He said the most important lesson he gained was that there is so much to learn in this world, but those that learn are the ones that look hard enough to find it. This hit me. In this day and age we have an unlimited source of information at our fingertips, but the search for the knowledge we need requires stamina and persistence. A large part of being successful is having access to the information necessary to be prepared in any situation. Whether it is the information you need for an interview, a meeting or pitching new ideas to clients. What you need is all around you, you just have to want to find it.

Lou is a negotiator. Throughout the film, Lou has to negotiate many situations. Whether it be deciding on the cost of his footage or figuring out the salary for his first employee. Althogh negotiation is a two way street, Lou never begins the process before solidifying a number in mind. He will either stick with that number or settle on a better price. His most powerful technique is the will to walk away. He was fully willing to deny his partner a spot in his company or ready to bring his footage straight to another company. He always remained confident in the worth of his company and his work. He won’t settle for less without being unrealistic. Deep down, all of us has an assessment of our capabilities. Settling for someone else’s assessment of your worth will only make you unsatisfied and unhappy. A good entrepreneur is constantly evaluating their worth and sticking to this method in everything they do.

Lou is detail oriented. He thinks and plans out everything about his company and its future, down to how he wants to be addressed to the language his employees will use when they communicate within business contexts. When Lou is negotiating with Nina, he tells her exactly how he wants to be presented with other executives of her company, and exactly how he wants to appear on Live TV. This is a tedious, but valuable characteristic of any successful entrepreneur because the little things really do matter. Details are key because even the smallest overlooked details could compromise a business’ reputation.

Lou finds his passion. Lou emphasizes the importance of finding work that adheres to his personal strengths and interests. However, he is also not quick to judge new opportunities that cross his path. Sometimes it is the random opportunities in life that can become the work that makes you the happiest. As Lou becomes a Nightcrawler, he realizes it is an occupation that he has not only become very good at, but very passionate about as well. So I want to conclude with this; it is easy to write off new opportunities for fear of the unknown, failure, etc. But you must remember to alway keep your mind open for exploration because it is those  new things that you are unsure of that might just become your next passion!

Alright, enough from me. Now go watch ‘NightCrawler.’

Be A Wolf And Ace That Interview

A good interview has the power to change your career, the power to change your life. When I first started looking for a job, I was living at home in Vermont. After multiple months of networking and resumé forwarding, I received a phone call from a mutual connection that informed me there was a position opening at a bank in New York City. Despite my initial interest in Boston, I accepted the interview offer. This was an opportunity I could not pass up, the real deal. Two days later I was on a plane that was landing in JFK.

This wasn’t my first job offer or even my first interview. I knew the general expectations and had memorized a few “go to” questions, in case any awkward silences crept into the conversation. However, I had a feeling this interview would become a pivotal point in my career and my life. I knew I had to prepare much more thoroughly for this than I had ever done before. Since I am currently working at this bank, my gut tells me my preparation paid off. Below I am going to share with you some of the steps I took to ensure a smooth interview and to increase the likelihood of nailing the job interview.

The overall picture: The reason a company is interviewing you is because they want to see if you are mentally capable of holding an intelligent conversation with someone that you have never met. Now the added pressure doesn’t help this situation. Bottom line though, a person who works well under pressure demonstrates the capacity to work diligently enough to handle a difficult job.

Your resumé needs to be impeccable. End of story. I had over ten people analyze and spellcheck my resumé before I even started interviewing or forwarding it to anyone. There are no excuses for mistakes. When finalizing your dictation, perspective is important to remember. The person reading your resumé will be reading hundreds of other ones just like yours. After getting bored, it is likely they skim more quickly over the wordier ones. Stand out and impress your potential boss by describing your experience as sophisticatedly as possible, using the least amount of words.

Dress: If you’re a guy, you need to wear a suit. This is a must. Girls, you know what to do as well. You also need to have all the bases covered. These include facial grooming, quaft hair and clothing with absolutely zero wrinkles. The little things do matter now. You should try to act like you just came out of a GQ magazine article. Employers will judge you on your looks more than you would think, so don’t give them a reason not to hire you based on your appearance. I’ve talked to many employers and executives. Trust me.

Dominate the interview; show confidence while casually building rapport with your interviewer. Find a common point of interest and focus your conversation on those grounds so you can relate more easily to them. This could be something about a mutual school, club, sport or hobby that they may mention. This can also be used as a way to answer the more deep personality or experience questions they may fire at you later on.

You should be the interviewer. The employer wants to hire someone who is passionate. The best way to show passion is to be curious and ask questions. When I interviewed in New York, I researched the crap out of the industry and the company. I’m fairly certain that I asked more questions than the person who interviewed me. The night before my interview, I came up with almost 50 specific and technical questions that I could ask to show how passionate and ambitious I was. I typed them all out so they were easily accessible.  During my interview I pulled out the list and asked if I could interviewer for a little bit. I’ve heard of Ivy League grads who looked good on paper, but were eventually denied because they failed to ask questions. Don’t let this be you. Ask questions! People love to talk about themselves.

Be yourself. Remember that you are going to be working many hours at your job and people want to be around someone enjoyable and friendly. After I was hired, my boss said that one of the reasons I was appealing as a hire was because I was someone that he could easily imagine drinking a beer with or talking business outside of the office. He saw this in me more than in the other applicants he interviewed. So lastly, relax, be yourself and remember to smile too!

Interview hack for investment banking interviews: download the WallStreet Oasis interview guide. This is the only publication that incorporates real interview questions and thousands of interview insights that are shared in their company database. Reading this will help you out tons.