You'd think I made this up but I swear I didn't, it comes from an actual recruiter who attended an actual MTF and encountered the following actual horrors. Let's open the floor on what NOT to do at Meet the Firms momentarily:
How about an open thread for recruiter horror stories at Meet the Firms events? I attended only one this year and my top three WTF moments were:
- A hussy who wore her going to the club skirt with a blazer. Um, no one wants to see that much thigh from a job seeker.
- A Mickey Mouse tie is only appropriate if Disney is at the event looking for accounting interns, mkay.
- A) You should take the nose ring out. B) You should make sure blood isn’t surrounding said nose ring nor smeared on your face. C) No, I don’t want to shake your biological wasteland of a hand.
You don't need to be a recruiter to share a tale from Meet the Firms, surely you've come across the inappropriately dressed, slobby, knuckle tattooed horrors without enough self awareness to tighten it up before showing their face at one of these things.
Now, we haven't discussed Meet the Firms specifically much here on Going Concern because this stuff is elementary and we aren't the accounting school counselor but let's get back to the horror stories in a second and quickly brush over some basics.
Narrowing the GAAP has some great – if slightly old – tips on how to do Meet the Firms right I'd definitely suggest checking out if you yourself are not quite a horror story but too socially awkward and dense to have the common sense to nail one of these events. A highlight:
As a general rule, most of candidates tend to gravitate towards the senior management present at the Big 4. I think the mindset is that “This person is important, he must have a bigger say in things, I need to impress him.” Fair enough.
However, if I were you, I would start from the bottom up. I would engage the lower-level associates first. They are easier to access because a lot of the candidates are busy focusing on the managers and the partners. They are also more likely to be pretty close in age to you. I would talk to them about their experiences, challenges, and rewards at the Big 4. I would get as much knowledge out of them as possible. It’s very important that you do. To end the conversation, ask them permission to contact them in the future for any questions, get their business cards, thank them for their time, and politely ask them if they could introduce you to a senior manager or partner.
Congratulations, you have effectively by-passed the twenty or so people waiting to talk to the partner or manager. The psychological effect of being introduced by someone who is already working for the firm is big, and is not lost on the partners. In a way, you have been pre-screened and you carry a subliminal stamp of approval from the associates.
It's sad we even have to say this (again!) but if you don't already own a nice, clean, appropriate suit, you better buy one before MTF or just stay home. As previously mentioned, no hoe skirts (and no, putting a blazer over your coochie cutter does not magically turn your club outfit professional), no 5/8ga bones through your septum, no silly ties, no acrylic hooker heels, no clothes that look like you borrowed them from the bottom of your big brother's dirty laundry hamper and no tacky accessories. While we're at it, keep in mind that many people are sensitive to perfume so PLEASE, no dousing yourself in Axe or stripper spray in the car. If you smoke, it wouldn't be a bad idea to pick up a throw away e-cig just for that night as gum will not cover up the smell on your clothes and many people are highly offended by the stench of cigarettes.
Are a few cat hairs stuck to your ill-fitting suit or stank breath going to ruin your chances of getting hired? Depends on how tore up everyone else in the room is, I suppose, but unless you are a 4.0 with stellar social skills and a great attitude, you better tighten up your game just for this one night. Don't worry, you can go back to being a slob once you have the job.
Commence to sharing your Meet the Firms horror stories in the comments.