Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How to get a job in the foreign policy world?

An article, with just that title, can be found over at Foreign Policy; it's an interview with Peter W. Singer, a military expert at the Brookings Institution and the author of Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry . Many thanks to Bill Bockman '06 for the hat tip; Bill is is currently working on an MA at the Jackson School of International Studies at UW.


What is the best advice you could give to a job hunter just out of college?

I believe in what could be called "forensic backtracking." Here's how it works: Identify people that have jobs that you might want one day. Then, backtrack what they did to get there. What are the kind of experiences that they had under their belt, the sort of publications they published in, etc....

This leads to more backwards advice about interviews: Game out your interviews and practice them. Your résumé gets you onto the short list; your interview gets you the job. Prepare your answers to the most likely questions beforehand, so that you can have them ready at the front of your brain, rather than scrambling for them when it matters most. As part of this, start out with the key things that you want that interviewer to know about you by the end of that meeting and ensure that you weave them into answers. That is, work backwards: Decide the elements of your answers first and then use these to prepare for the potential questions.

Read the whole thing here.