Tuesday, March 29, 2011

apparently there is a stage after the final stage

This is totally nerve-wracking. Today I went on a second partner interview for Ernst & Young. It was basically the same as the first one, a plain, simple interview. I went through my CV and he asked questions like 'why Ernst & Young' and 'why advisory' etc. I guess the partners just want to get to know the candidates a bit.

Such a long process. This is the fourth interview and truly the final stage (which I thought it was already at the previous interview). I cannot get this thing out of my mind, it is constantly there at the back of my mind. When I go to sleep, when I wake up, and in between.

Hopefully I will know within a week. He said that they will hire 3-5 persons and have interviewed about 7-8. So if it is 5 out of 7 I have a rather good chance of getting the job. 3 out of 8, not as good. And of course all persons that have made it this far are all good candidates.

Right now I am just fearing the worst possible.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

dinner with the girls

No news yet. Still waiting. Hopefully I will get some news next week. I am in two different processes and I think I am about to get one job offer, however, it is the other one I truly want.

Tonight I got to keep my mind of it all and had dinner with some friends from high school, a couple of them I have not seen in many years. It was nice to see them all again and do some catching up. Although, not too much of catching up since both them and I have done plenty of things in the last couple of years and it is quite impossible to get all that into one evening. We had a nice dinner and of course I provided the dessert consisting of the ever delicious oooey gooey brownies.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

cross all your fingers

I had the partner interview today and it went well. I think. (I also wore the suit for the fourth time.) If it was any other interview I would have thought it went well. But now, since there is so much at stake, I keep analyzing what I said and that I should have said and expressed much more. It is all really frustrating.

On the train going home I felt really down and sad, my mood had totally shifted. I know, I am weird. All because I want this so much and it worries me how I might react to any bad news. (Of course I am truly hoping and crossing my fingers for good news.) When I hear them describe the company and its culture, they also describe me. It is also a company that gives opportunities and if I get in I would not feel so bad and anxious about all these many months that have passed since I last worked.

Monday, March 14, 2011

final stage

Following the assessment day at Ernst & Young I this week have the partner interview. I had hoped to get it in the beginning of this week but since people were out of office I am booked for Thursday. It has been two weeks since the assessment day now and I am really anxious for the interview and want to have it sooner rather than later.

But at least I am booked and I am really looking forward to it. Thankfully it is just a standard interview and no case questions like estimation questions. I feel comfortable with having a normal interview and I am not really nervous (but I might get back on that on Wednesday evening). I just have to be myself and make a good impression so that the guy likes me and want to have me in his group.

The thing I might be nervous for is that I want this so much that I would be devastated if I do not get it. I want this so bad. I think it is my time now.

Monday, March 7, 2011

mom's birthday

Yesterday was mom's birthday so there was some baking and cooking. For some time I have been wanting to make a cake with meringue so we ended up with a Schwarzwald cake, which apparently is called Black Forest cake in English, a direct translation. In addition it seems that the Schwarzwald cake as we know it in Sweden is different from the German cake.

It consists of three layers of hazelnut meringue, all meringue layers brushed with melted chocolate on the bottoms. Whipped cream with vanilla sugar in between the layers and all around it, then topped with big chocolate flakes. Yummy.

Schwartzwald cake.

Even though I love cakes I actually was more excited about the dinner. I made home made falafel that I have been wanting to do for a really long time. Now it was time and it was truly delicious! I made falafel wraps and have not been this exciting for a dish in a while. Tortillas filled with tzatziki (home made of course with plenty of garlic), falafel, salad, tomato, cucumber, carrot, corn, and red onion.

Falafel wrap, with home made, delicious falafel!
800g of chick-peas, 7 garlic cloves, juice of ½ lemon, 1dl leaf parsley, 2 tsp cumin (spiskummin), 1 tsp ground coriander (not fresh), 1 tsp chili, 1 ½ tsp salt, one egg, and I also used about 2-3 tbsp corn starch (maizena) to make it all not fall apart. It should have been some tahini in it as well but could not find that, so I ended up sprinkling ing about 2 tbsp of sesame seeds instead. Mix it all together in a mixer or blender and let stand for 1-2 hour. Make into balls with two spoons and preferably deep fry. We deep fried the falafel in a frying pan with about 2 cm of oil in it. Went perfectly!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

the assessment day at ernst & young

It apparently has been very useful for others to read about the interview process I did with another company and people come to visit every month to read about it. I myself could never find much information about it at that time and I guess there is still not much information about it out there. It was the same in regards to the assessment day at Ernst & Young in Sweden. Not any information about it out there, but plenty on how it is in for example UK.

The day started with lunch with the seven other applicants at the same time as we got a presentation about Ernst & Young by one of the partners. Then it was time to start with all the tests. First the English test in three parts which was quite simple in my opinion. Then we moved on to the SHL tests, a verbal, a numerical, and an inductive test. The only test I had some problem with was the math test (numerical) and the main problem being the time constraint.

After a break it was time for the feared case interview. Working with cases, something I had never done before not even at university. We got 30 minutes to prepare for the case presentation. We received a three page summary about a company and the problem they have. A profitability problem had to be solved and present a strategy for how to solve it. I tried to gather my thoughts and get them in order. A woman came to listen to my presentation (luckily, I think, it was the same woman I had my first E&Y interview with) and I started talking. I felt kind of unstructured but I think I manage to get some thoughts out. She asked some questions and I answered. She could not give me any information at that point on how it went, but she said it I missed a few things but also mentioned many of the issues. In the end I felt quite satisfied as I had never done such a thing. At least I feel comfortable presenting things and never really nervous.

Then it was time for the interview and meeting a new guy. I think the interview can be very different depending on who is conducting it. He asked me to do was a presentation of my CV and to use the white board. I plainly did some sort of mind map of my CV with three subgroups of 'education', 'job experience', and 'other'. Piece of cake. Then he presented himself and I also started asking questions. I had prepared several good questions for the interviewer, like can you describe a typical working day/week at E&Y?, what is the biggest challenge with the job?, what's good working at E&Y?, are there any things you don't like working at E&Y or something you would like to change?.

At the end of the interview, the guy had one last case questions for me. I got one estimation question which I had dreaded: how many pharmacies are there in Sweden? I went with the simplest way and calculated an average for the whole Sweden based on the town where I grew up. He asked some questions linked to the estimation and I think I answered well, kept confident and presented well. When we were done and we packed up he said that I had almost been spot on with my answer from the calculation which made me feel good. And a little bit lucky too.

Walking away from the assessment day at Ernst & Young I was happy with what I accomplished. I felt that no matter what happened I was happy with how it went. Then we know how that feeling totally changed but it all turned out well in the end. Now I on for the final stage in the process and the partner interview. Cannot wait!

(Assessment dagen på Ernst & Young i Sverige)

scotch tape manicure #6 and more

I am really happy with yesterday's manicure. I love the gray with the orange. And then a few orange pearls on the ring finger.

Color Club - De-Luxe-Cious and Gosh - Orange Drops.

Then a really gorgeous pink color with gold shimmer in it. I love it. Then with some pretty flower pattern stamped on it.

Catrice - Big Spender Wanted!

Friday, March 4, 2011

crashed and burned?

On Wednesday, the day after the case interview and that whole shebang, I was all really excited and wanted nothing more than to continue to the next round. Then the optimism started spiraling down and almost hit rock bottom today. I feared that I had crashed and burned with the case. I called one of the persons in HR I have been in contact with to find out any news as I was supposed to get feedback before the weekend. She was not the one in charge of it so she could not tell me anything but she thought that would have called me by now.

That information made me loose the hope as it is not good news when you are one of the last persons to get any feedback. By experience that means that they have continued with other candidates. I tried calling the woman in charge and there was no answer. I called again after several hours and still no answers. Not really a what I was hoping for with the weekend coming up.

Then all of a sudden I noticed an email in my inbox from that woman saying she was on vacation but told me that they would like to have me continue in the recruitment process! I could not be happier.

Now I know I have what it takes to do the case interviews even though I know I can do much better. If I would not have moved on I think it would have hit me quite hard. But now I do not have to worry about that. Now I can look forward to the final stage in the process. Having an interview with a partner. That might be a bit scary.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

scotch tape manicure #5

Another one of those days decorating the nails. A gorgeous matte nail polish that first ended up with just a french manicure, and then I just continued with the striping.

OPI - La Paz-itively Hot and Collection 2000 - 228

Color Club - Mrs Robinson and konad stamping with China Glaze - Millennium