Tag Archives: corporate recruiting

Rope Burning Riddle

Genre and Sub Genre: Verbal Folklore, Riddle/Brainteaser

Language: English

Country where Item is from: United States

Informant Data: Brendan Krimsky is a Dartmouth ’17 majoring in Computer Science. He grew up in Florida and is a member of the Kappa Kappa Kappa fraternity. Brendan participated in the Summer and Fall 2015 corporate recruiting cycles. After college, he is looking to work in a tech company, possibly as a software engineer.

Social Context: This folklore was collected during an in-person interview in Baker-Berry library. Brendan participated in two recruiting cycles, but did not end up finding his internship on campus. He interviewed for technology firms, and this riddle is from an interview he had for Magic Leap.

Cultural Context: During in-person interviews, students will often be asked non-traditional questions such as riddles or brain teasers. Though this may seem off-topic and irrelevant, these questions are often seen as true tests of a candidate’s intellect. They also serve as stress tests for students to see how they handle questions they aren’t prepared for as opposed to the usual technical questions that everyone prepares for. Getting the correct answer isn’t necessarily the point, though; more so these questions are used to see how an applicant thinks through problems.

Item: During Brendan’s Magic Leap interview, he was asked to try to solve a brain teaser about measuring time with burning ropes. After answering several technical questions correctly, the interviewer told him that this would be his last question and asked him to think through the problem out loud. Brendan was given a minute to come up with his response, and though his answer was not the “right” answer, the interviewer said he was more interested in seeing how he logically broke down a problem.

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file): Interview audio was not recorded.

Transcript of Interview: “I flew down to Florida where Magic Leap is for my second round interview. The interview went well at first, we started off with the usual technical questions about some of the languages I know and concepts like greedy algorithms and dynamic programming. After that, the interviewer paused, grabbed a cup of coffee and when he came back he said he was done asking me technical questions because it seemed like I knew my stuff. His last question was a riddle – he asked me ‘You have two ropes that each burn for 60 minutes, and a lighter. How do you measure out 90 minutes using just the ropes and a lighter?’
I didn’t know how to respond so I made something up about folding the second rope in half to burn it twice as fast. He said the right answer was to burn the first rope from one side and the second one from both sides, but he didn’t end up caring whether I got it right or not. He just wanted to see how I thought through the riddle.”

Informant’s Comments: N/A

Collector’s Comments: N/A

Collector’s Name: Sachin Vadodaria

Tags/Keywords: Verbal Folklore, Corporate Recruiting, Riddles and Brainteasers

“C’s Get Degrees”

Title: “C’s Get Degrees”

General Information about Item

Genre/Subgenre: Oral folklore: saying

Language: English

Nation of Origin: United States of America

Informant Data:

Peter Wang is a male, 21 year old Dartmouth College student in his senior year. He is currently studying Economics and is from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Peter participated in corporate recruiting during Summer of 2015, Fall of 2015, Summer of 2016, and Fall of 2016. He will be working for Applied Predictive Technologies consulting after graduation.

Contextual Data:

The saying in question is a common saying amongst those going through the corporate recruiting, or tough academic times in general. The saying “C’s get degrees” is meant to state that those with bad grades (C’s) can still obtain a degree and graduate. The saying is meant to humorously provide a sense of comfort during hard times. It is important to note that the saying is not exclusive to the recruiting process, but that it was quite popular amongst those going through the recruiting process, as it was a difficult time for all those involved.

Transcript of Associated File:

Q: Hi, what is your name and year?

A: Peter Wang, ‘17

Q: What is your major?

A: Economics

Q: What are you doing after graduation?

A: I’m working for APT in Washington DC

Q: Have you heard of any sayings, superstitions, or jokes about the corporate recruiting process?

A: Yea, there’s one sort of joke/saying that goes “C’s get degrees!”. I remember during corporate recruiting season, when interview decisions were coming out and no one was getting interviews, I would just burst out with “Hey, at least C’s get degrees!” and all my friends would start laughing.

Q: Interesting, what sort of role did this saying play amongst your friend group?

A: It was just a funny way to relieve stress and keep our minds off the bad decisions

Q: Would you say it’s specific to Dartmouth?

A: No, I would say I hear it the most at Dartmouth but I’ve definitely heard it at other schools

Informant’s Comments:

The informant stated that the corporate recruiting process can often be grueling and mentally straining, and in order to keep the mood lighthearted after a job rejection or other disheartening news, students would say “At least C’s get degrees”. Such a saying would generally elicit a chuckle from those surrounding and serve to keep spirits and morale high during difficult times.

Collector’s Comments:

This example of oral folklore illustrates the difficult and exhausting nature of the corporate recruiting process. It serves as a humorous, rallying saying intended to raise the morale of those who hear it. Its effectiveness may be debatable. It may also be classified as a joke or tease due to its humorous nature.

Collector’s Name: Matthew Kang, Dartmouth College ‘18

“Tie Color Superstition”

Title: “Tie Color Superstition”

General Information about Item:

Genre/SubGenre: Customary Folklore: Superstitions

Language: English

Nation of Origin: United States of America

Informant Data:

Shashwat Chaturvedi is a male, 19 year old Dartmouth College student in his junior year. He is currently studying Economics and Computer Science and is from Dallas, Texas. Shashwat participated in corporate recruiting during Summer of 2016 and tech recruiting during Fall of 2016. He intends on going into the tech industry after graduating.

Contextual Data:

The informant first heard of this superstition while in the midst of the corporate recruiting process at Dartmouth College, during the Summer of 2016. During interviews, both the interviewer and the interviewee wear business attire; if both are male, then a tie is considered part of business attire. The superstition is that if the interviewee wears a tie brighter than that of the interviewer, then the interviewee will be cursed with bad luck during the decision process for shining brighter than his or her interviewer. It is important to note that this superstition only applies when both the interviewer and interviewee are males, which may be an indicator of the gender imbalance within the finance industry.

Recording of Interview: 

Transcript of Associated File:

Q: What is your name?

A: Shashwat Chaturvedi

Q: Where are you from?

A: Dallas Texas

Q: What do your parents do?

A: My mom’s a banker, and my dad’s a software engineer

Q: What year are you?

A:  I’m an ’18

Q: What’s your major?

A: I’m a double major in Economics and Computer Science

Q: What extracurriculars do you do on campus?

A: I write for the DBJ, I’m actively involved with my fraternity, oh and I’m a part of the International business Council

Q: What do you plan on doing after college?

A: Uhhh I plan on going into the tech industry but I’m not sure at the moment

Q: So what do you know about corporate recruiting?

A: Uh I actually participated in it, during my uh sophomore summer, then I kinda got swayed towards tech because I realized it wasn’t for me

Q: Have you or anyone you know been involved in corporate recruiting?

A: Yea, most people I know actually have done it, it’s very easy to apply

Q: How did you personally get involved in recruiting?

A: Uh, just heard about upperclassmen doing it and they were like workshops, resources, emails about so I said why not?

Q: How did you prepare for networking?

A: They had a lot of information sessions from different banks and organizations, so went there and talked with people

Q: What were the info sessions like? The info sessions?

A:  I wouldn’t say they were info sessions, more networking, it was nice to meet a lot of alumni, they provided a lot of resources, only con was the amount of people there

Q: Did you ever follow up with anybody you met at these info sessions?

A: Yea, a couple for sure

Q: When you say that there’s a sort of implicit etiquette when talking to people when you’re following up?

A: Yea, I guess there is, you want to get to talk with them a bit more

Q: Is there a 24 hour rule?

A: Yea, you want to wait 24 hours since it’s a sort of etiquette

Q: How were interviews for you?

A: They were fine, what I was expecting

Q: Was there a specific way you prepared for them?

A: Yea, just using vault guides and talking with upperclassmen

Q: What did you wear and why?

A: A normal business suit and tie, not to the info sessions though

Q: Would you say that you have any superstitions when it comes to attire or what you’re wearing?

A: Yea, I try not to wear any bright ties or accessory pieces that are too bright because there’s a superstition that wearing a brighter tie than your interviewer means bad luck when your decisions come out

Q: Do you have any brainteasers or horror stories?

A: I got a few mental math questions but I’ve heard of other people getting brainteasers

Q: Do you have any stories of other people?

A: Yea, a lot of them got tripped up, you just have to think your way through them

Q: Would you view the corporate recruiting process as a sort of rite of passage for people at Dartmouth?

A: Yea, I agree, it’s way too common for it not to be at Dartmouth.

Informant’s Comments:

It is interesting to note that the informant stated that he is not normally a superstitious person, but that he abides by this superstition. Therefore, anything such as this superstition that may give the interviewee an advantage is abided by.

Collector’s Comments:

I believe that this piece of folklore is another example of the importance of social interaction during the corporate recruiting process. In any other situation, the color of one’s tie may be seen as an insignificant detail that is overlooked, but during the corporate recruiting process, it is considered taboo to have a tie that is too bright.

Collector’s Name: Matthew Kang, Dartmouth College ’18

Exaggeration on Resumes

Genre and Sub Genre: Verbal Folklore, Horror Stories

Language: English

Country where Item is from: United States

Informant Data: Matthew Kang is a Dartmouth ’18 double majoring in Economics and Math. He’s from Tallahassee, Florida where his father is a chemist and his mother is a computer scientist; they both work for the Department of Environmental Protection. On campus, he is a staff writer and editor for the Dartmouth Business Journal, a member of Dartmouth Model United Nations, and a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity. After college, Matthew is interested in finance or potentially working for a startup.

Social Context: Matthew was interviewed one-on-one in a study room in McLaughlin. He participated in corporate recruiting during the Summer and Fall 2016 terms.

Cultural Context: Resume drops are a vital aspect of the corporate recruiting process and are standard for every job or internship. When submitting resumes, students implicitly agree to represent themselves fairly and accurately, but occasionally students exaggerate certain experiences or skills they have.

Item: Matthew recounted a story he heard regarding a fellow Dartmouth student’s on-campus interview. The student had taken some French courses at Dartmouth and on his resume had stated that he was fluent in French. During one of his interviews, the student got an interviewer who happened to be a native French speaker. The interviewer ended up asking him some of the interview questions in French and unfortunately his French wasn’t as good as he thought it was. He was unable to properly respond and ultimately did not get that internship offer.

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file):

Transcript of Associated File: “One of my friends actually put that they were proficient in French on their resume. And it turns out that the interviewer was a native French speaker, so they conducted some of the interview in French. It turned out that my friend’s French wasn’t as good as he thought it was, so it went south pretty fast.”

Informant’s Comments: N/A

Collector’s Comments: N/A

Collector’s Name: Sachin Vadodaria

Tags/Keywords: Verbal Lore, Horror Stories, Corporate Recruiting

How to Follow Up: The 24 hour rule

Genre and Sub Genre: Customary Folklore: Implicit Etiquette

Language: English

Country where Item is from: United States of America

Informant Data: Milan Huynh is a Math major in the class of 2017 at Dartmouth. She is from Mclean, Virginia, where both of her parents work for the US government in computer networking and data base work. Milan has participated in corporate recruiting twice at Dartmouth, and been successful in receiving internships through the program. After college Milan is currently debating between accepting offers at different consulting firms. She is a member of Kappa Delta sorority and is a peer tutor on campus.

Social/ Cultural Context: Milan was interviewed, one-on-one, in a common space on campus.  She has gone through the process of formal corporate recruiting at Dartmouth twice, and when interviewed was interviewed just after completing her recruiting this term. The corporate recruiting process is highly structured, including an implicitly expected “follow up” email from students after networking interactions with recruiters.

Item: If a prospective hire is really interested in a job, it is in their best interest to follow up with recruiters after meeting them at networking events. This follow up is implicitly understood to need to occur within a certain time window after your conversation with the recruiter, and is generally a short thank you email potential requesting a phone call to learn more about the firm.

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file):

Transcript of Associated File:

 Did you follow up on info sessions? What kind of etiquette do you think exists in terms of conversations? My way to do it, is if I really want a job I tend to follow up within 24 hours after an info session.  You always try to have a maybe 5-10 sentence, at most 10 sentence follow up email saying how much you enjoyed meeting them as well as maybe an anecdote that you shared with them and why you want the job and maybe one lien about why you think you’re good for the job. I feel like the ways to get the job are very mechanical, and definitely feels forced at times but every sign of persistence matters.

Informant’s Comments: n/a

Collector’s Comments: Informant is able to give a detailed and experience driven commentary on recruiting after going through the process not once but twice over the past six months. She has a wide breadth of experience to draw from regarding what kind of etiquette she has learned exists simply from being exposed to the process.

Collector’s Name: Bridget Dougherty

Tags/Keywords: Corporate Recruiting, Customary Lore, Implicit Etiquette, Follow Up

Corporate Recruiting as a ‘Rite of Passage’

Genre and Sub Genre: Rites of Passage

Language: English

Country where Item is from: United States of America

Informant Data: Emily Ma is a Biology and Economics double major in the class of 2018 at Dartmouth. She is from North Potomac, Maryland, where her mom is an eye doctor and her dad is a scientific researcher.  Emily has participated in formal recruiting twice at Dartmouth. After college Emily aims to work in healthcare consulting and eventually go to med school.  She is a member of Kappa Delta sorority, is a Design Editor for the Dartmouth Business Journal, and she serves on the Red Cross Club executive team.

Social/ Cultural Context: Emily was interviewed, one-on-one, in a common space on campus.  She has gone through the process of formal corporate recruiting at Dartmouth twice, and when interviewed was interviewed just after completing her recruiting this term. The corporate recruiting process is highly structured and often represents the bridge between student life and the “real world,” thus serving as a rite of passage for these students.

Item: For econ majors working to ultimately go into consulting, finance or technology, corporate recruiting is a rite of passage. It is the process by which students are separated from their peers and their classes, are tested, taught, and ultimately exposed to the real world of searching for a job.

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file):

Transcript of Associated File:

Do you feel like doing Corporate Recruiting has changed your Dartmouth experience? Would you consider it a rite of passage? Yeah, for econ majors and those looking to go into consulting or finance and possibly tech.

Why do you think that? Because it is sort of like a gateway to the quote unquote real world, in the sense that you get exposed to a lot of processes and procedures that adults do in the real world when looking for a job, that you otherwise wouldn’t really be exposed to when you’re on campus.

Informant’s Comments: n/a

Collector’s Comments: Informant is able to give a detailed and experience driven commentary on recruiting after going through the process not once but twice over the past six months. Given that she has completed at least one round fully, I feel that she is well qualified to speak to the process as it pertains to rites of passage.

Collector’s Name: Bridget Dougherty

Tags/Keywords: Corporate Recruiting, Rite of Passage

Cover Letter Initials

Title: Cover Letter Initials

General Information about Item:

  • Verbal Folklore: horror stories
  • English
  • Recorded in the US

Informant Data:

  • Andrew Wolff is a junior at Dartmouth College and a Quantitative Social Science major from New Jersey. His mother is a  college advisor and his father a sales representative for medical journals. He is a brother in the Alpha Chi fraternity, is involved in TAMID, a Dartmouth consulting group for Israeli start-ups, and organized the Dartmouth Model UN Conference. He is currently planning on joining a consulting firm after graduation, and became involved in corporate recruiting during his Sophomore Summer after hearing about it from his brothers at Alpha Chi.

Contextual Data:

  • Social Context: This interview was recorded in an audiofile during a one-on-one, face-to-face interview during the Dartmouth Fall 2016 quarter.
  • Cultural Context: Corporate recruiting involves an initial documents phase where the candidate needs to submit typically a resume and cover letter before being considered for interviews. A cover letter needs to be specifically addressed to each company, detailing usually why one wants to work for that company, what one likes about the company, and what one thinks one can contribute to the company based on past individual experiences.

Item:

  • Andrew has a friend who named all the cover letters addressed to different companies that he was applying to according to the companies’ initials instead of their full names. Accordingly, because some companies shared the same initials, the friend accidentally submitted the wrong cover letters to several companies with identical initials.

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file):

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTAf70kcAJc

Transcript of Associated File:

  • “I have a friend who had sent… who named all his cover letters by the initials of the company and a couple companies had the same initials and he accidentally sent the same cover letter to three different firms.”

Collector’s Comments:

  • Most corporate recruiting horror stories begin with statements of anonymity, like “I have a friend…” generalizing the experience and avoiding any conclusion on the listeners’ part that this embarrassment actually happened to the person retelling it.

Collector’s Name: Aime Joo

Tags/Keywords:

  • Corporate Recruiting Folklore; horror stories; verbal folklore; cover letter

Female Attire Etiquette for Interviews

General Information about Item:

  • Genre and Sub Genre
    • Material Folklore: Clothing
  • Language: English
  • Country where Item is from: US

Informant Data:

  • Informant is a Dartmouth Student in the Class of 2018. She is from Westport, CT and is studying Economics and Biology. She is involved in multiple extracurriculars on campus, including the Red Cross Club, First Year Peer Mentors and Economics Tutoring. She has gone through the corporate recruiting process Summer and Fall 2016.

Contextual Data:

  • Social Context: This folklore was collected in person on audio recording during an one-on-one interview during the Fall 2016 Dartmouth corporate recruiting season.
  • Cultural Context: Informant is a Junior studying Economics at Dartmouth – a typical participant of corporate recruiting as mostly Juniors and Seniors in Economics go through recruiting. Informant has not had any corporate experience prior to interview, but has a corporate job in Winter 2017 that was not obtained through the corporate recruiting process. She has gone through the corporate recruiting process twice.

Item:

  • Pencil skirts and blouses for women are typical attire worn during interviews. The dress code for interviews is implicitly known to be business casual even though no company explicity states it. Students participating in recruiting figure out the dress code by word-of-mouth, usually advice passed down from upperclassman or friends who have experienced recruiting interviews. Females try to avoid too many flashy colors and designs in order to maintain professional. Business casual attire during interviews are important because it demonstrates professionalism and respect.

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file):

Transcript of Associated File:

Informant’s Comments:

  • NA

Collector’s Comments:

  • NA

Collector’s Name: Emily MA

Tags/Keywords:

  • Material Lore, Clothes, Interviews, Corporate Recruiting

Riddles and Brainteasers during Interviews

General Information about Item:

  • Genre and Sub Genre
    • Verbal Folklore: Riddles and Brainteasers
  • Language: English
  • Country where Item is from: US

Informant Data:

  • Informant is a Dartmouth Student in the Class of 2017. He is from Westchester, NY and is studying Economics with minors in Public Policy and Environmental Sciences. He is involved in multiple extracurriculars on campus, including Dartmouth Business Journal, Varsity Swimming, Dartmouth Investment and Philanthropy Program and Policy Research Shop. He has gone through the corporate recruiting process Fall 2016.

Contextual Data:

  • Social Context: This folklore was collected in person on audio recording during an one-on-one interview during the Fall 2016 Dartmouth corporate recruiting season.
  • Cultural Context: Informant is a Senior studying Economics at Dartmouth – a typical participant of corporate recruiting as mostly Juniors and Seniors in Economics go through recruiting. Informant has worked at a large bank prior to interview, but the job was not obtained through the corporate recruiting process.

Item:

  • Interview riddles and brainteasers are frequently shared among participants of corporate recruiting. Both consulting and finance interviews occasionally have one or two riddles or brainteasers. These riddles and brainteasers are frequently shared among participants of corporate recruiting because riddles and brainteasers are harder to prepare, as there are so many variants. These riddles and brain teasers are meant to the interviewees thinking and analytical abilities.
  • Some common brain teasers include:
    • How many heart beats does a human have in a year?
    • If you could have infinite lengths of rope, how would you cross the Grand Canyon?

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file):

  • Audio file not included because informant wished to remain anonymous.

Transcript of Associated File:

Informant’s Comments:

  • NA

Collector’s Comments:

  • NA

Collector’s Name: Emily MA

Tags/Keywords:

  • Verbal Lore, Riddles, Brainteasers, Interviews, Corporate Recruiting