We’ve been waiting for Season 5 of Suits – and today it’s finally happening! This captivating Law drama is chock full of life lessons, many delivered by Harvey Specter, one of the senior partners within the fictional Law firm Pearson Hardman. The show gives us much more than just entertainment, it’s the perfect representation of “Success in the City” and full of useful insights for ambitious graduates keen to ensure they secure their dream job:
Your appearance is just as important as your talent.
The way you look can make a good or bad first impression. It’s not even the first thing you say, but the way you decide to dress, comb your hair and so on. Even if you are the best candidate for the job, you might lose out to someone who is less talented/qualified/suitable if they look sharper and more professional than you. If you’re in an important interview, be sure to wear your best suit. We see a lot of candidates who forget to do so, or even worse – they wear a nice suit, but accessorise it with a scruffy old rucksack or casual jacket. (Also, if you don’t have a suit, it’s a well worth investment!)
Never be afraid to take risks
“Go big or go home!” is a common phrase in Suits. At SuperGrad, we see people coming in for interviews scared for their lives, unable to articulate effectively their professional accomplishments or why they are a good fit. The reality of the situation is that even if you fail miserably at interview, the worst thing that could happen is that you go home without a job, the same way you came into the interview room. You really do have nothing to lose, yet many people hold themselves back because they are scared of failing and, in so doing, set themselves up for exactly that. So take a risk, throw yourself into an interview and expect it to go your way. If it ends up not going your way, you can take the lessons from that and get ready for next time, but at least you won’t have taken yourself out of the game.
Master the art of reading people
Harvey Specter is really good at reading people. Maybe it’s because of his passion for poker or his line of business, or maybe he just has an eye for detail, but his skill of reading people can also be incredibly useful in the interview room too. If, for example, you can tell (by reading someone’s non-verbal cues) that they are particularly interested in what you’re saying or maybe that you should move on, this could easily make the difference between your success or failure. People around you are always giving out signals and if you are able to read and then subsequently act on them, this can give you a very significant advantage.
Instead of explaining a problem, fix it!
Harvey Specter hates it when people get lost in excuses rather than fixing the problem. Time is precious and any second spent talking rather than doing is a second wasted. So don’t waste valuable time in your interview on explaining why you lost a job or underperformed in a certain month, but do give raw data to back-up your real experience and make the problem something that actually supports your qualifications and skills.
Just because you’re a junior, doesn’t mean you have to act like one.
Interviews often involve a short presentation of the industry you want to work in. You might not know much about it, but doing a fair amount of research and getting excited about the presentation means that you’re entitled to own your speech in the interview room. Don’t let your lack of experience hold you back – just because you’re a junior doesn’t mean you can’t think or act like a veteran!
The moral of the story: Dress to impress, act like you know you’re perfect for the job, own your speech and value time by keeping it short (but good)!