With the amount of Meetup members and Meetup groups growing rapidly, especially of late, it’s important to know how to best utilize these unique and specialized gatherings for career fulfillment - use these tips to maximize the value you get from attending and networking!
“What do you love?” asks Meetup.com as you view its homepage. Just below, the website encourages users to “Do more of it with Meetup.” Based on Meetup’s own About page, there are approximately 35.3 million members of the website that belong to any one of just over 300,000 groups across the globe. Are you a part of that 35.3 million? Perhaps you should consider it. We have written numerous times about the value of face-to-face networking in our blogs and it should come as no surprise that within the recruiting field, we here at Jobspring Partners consistently see that the most important hiring decisions are made only after a face-to-face meeting has happened.
Different from other events and event series, Meetup groups tend to be very connected to – often born from – the local ecosystem, providing a consistently relevant audience that also offers the opportunity to grow your personal network with people in your own industry.
To top it off, the Meetup community is rapidly growing! For these reasons, it’s important to keep your in-person networking skills as sharp as possible. Here are some tips to reap the maximum reward from these groups and events.
Before the Event
Know the group. How many people consider themselves members of said group? What are the key goals that the group looks to accomplish? Some groups exist to solve problems, some to facilitate networking opportunities, and still others to provide additional content sharing through panel discussions or demo opportunities. It’s important to identify which camp this group belongs to in order to provide necessary context and a framework of how the night may go. For instance, if the group doesn’t do events focused on product demos from local companies, it may not be the best event for pitching your brand-new startup idea. The audience of the group simply may not be who you're looking to get in front of.
Secondly, know the event. If you RSVP on the Meetup page and show up without any other knowledge of the agenda for the evening, you may end up incredibly turned-around once the event begins. Will there be a speaker session or panel discussion or is the event an extended networking period? Having this knowledge beforehand helps color your goals for the evening. If most of the evening is blocked-off for a panel discussion, it’s unlikely that there will be a large portion of time dedicated to networking. Logically, if your aim is to collect business cards, you will most likely experience a difficult time of it if there are only 15 minutes before and after the event to speak with other attendees.
Finally, know yourself. it’s important to set some tangible goals. Whether that means your goal is to leave with a set amount of business cards, shake a certain number of hands that evening, or leave with the email address of a manager that will be hiring for a role in which you’re interested, having preset goals is important for holding yourself accountable. If possible, set yourself three types of goals: a networking goal, a learning goal, and an interaction goal. This way, you are constantly working towards accomplishing something and feel incentivized to meet, learn, and connect.
During the Event
You’ve elevatored up to correct floor and you’re standing in line to be checked in. You see how many people have already arrived: so many new faces and so many members potentially to be added to your network. What topics do you plan to discuss? Consider bringing a few pre-prepared questions for the people with whom you will be interacting. There’s no shame in having three or four questions that you cycle through during your conversations – it’s much better to be prepared.
Now that the networking has begun, it’s easy to lose track of the time as you meet all sorts of interesting people and begun discussing a myriad of topics. It’s important to note that you should constantly be cognizant of the goals you set beforehand and how each conversation is moving you closer towards those goals. More likely than not, a lot of your goals can be boiled-down to something very generic like “learning”, and this is great! Learning should certainly be one of your primary goals at these events. Provided you can either learn something new or share some of your unique knowledge with the audience, you can chalk that conversation up as a win. But it’s important to have a back-up plan in case that isn’t happening.
For example, what if you feel trapped in a conversation as it begins to derail a bit from the topics you were hoping to discuss, and you no longer feel yourself gaining value? Have no fear about politely excusing yourself from a conversation, most people will understand if you feel the need to step away. The night is full of opportunity to spend time with other individuals, just make sure you are respectful to the conversation at hand as you leave. Similarly, if you find yourself wanting to enter an ongoing conversation, don't be afraid to jump in when the time feels right. Be ready to calmly introduce yourself if the conversation lulls a bit and take the initiative to add something to the discussion to keep up momentum.
After the Event
When the evening has wrapped up, you’ll have one more thing to do to make the most out of your Meetup experience: follow-up. You can certainly let this wait until the following morning, but hold yourself accountable to do any follow-up you deem important within 24 hours. If you don’t follow up soon enough, or worse, don’t follow up at all, you risk blending in with any one of the many people that someone else spoke to. To prevent being reduced to a Meetup amalgamation, keep your follow-up short and sweet, while also personalized; make sure to add a sentence that reminds the recipient of you or the conversation you shared. It’s also recommended you connect on platforms simply beyond e-mail. Luckily, social media platforms offer a variety of opportunities to friend, follow, or connect.
The conversation doesn’t just begin and end at the event; almost every Meetup group has both a homepage where members can post discussion points or an actual discussion board to ask questions, post about similar events on the horizon, or continue to connect. Make use of these tools because the attendees of any given event are only a small percentage of the group at large. By using the group’s webpage, you’re much more likely to get the attention of other members of the community, those who couldn’t attend, and those who simply aren’t quite as active.
The Community Is Waiting with Open Arms
Now that we’ve given you the tools to make the best use of your time at the next tech-focused Meetup you attend, the next step is on you. Create yourself a Meetup profile, circle a few potentially interesting events over the next few weeks and make time in your schedule to attend! If you need a bit of help finding the most-relevant local Meetup groups, maybe start with Tech in Motion. Although we may be biased, Jobspring Partners has worked to create an inclusive, generalist community that hosts frequent events that offer something for everyone.
With top candidates staying on the market for 10 days or less, locating and hiring qualified talent is becoming increasingly difficult in the tech industry. Recruiters and hiring managers know the best architects, engineers, and developers are on the market for a matter of hours, not days. Gone are the times of making a hiring decision between top candidates over the course of several weeks or months, leaving employers in need of a fresh approach to traditional hiring methods. In today’s candidate-driven market, having a partner who can represent your brand, speak for your culture, and effectively source hard-to-fill positions is priceless.
Enter the value of retained search. Formerly considered only an option for hiring executives, retained search within the technology industry is providing hiring managers the opportunity to focus on their core business objectives while gaining a business partner who delivers quality candidates to the pipeline.
A Fresh Approach
Traditionally, retained search has been used to fill high profile, executive-level positions. The tech industry is breaking this mold by expanding it to include all levels of technical roles, from entry level to the C-suite. Companies realize technical engineers, developers, and designers at every level play a significant role in their organization. They’ve seen first-hand the value of swiftly implementing a first-rate candidate and what it can mean for future growth both technically and culturally. Retaining a recruiting firm ensures the same speed and quality you should expect from a contingency-based partnership but takes the level of consultancy one step farther.
Drew Sussberg, Vice President of Client Services at Motion Recruitment Partners, had this to say about retained search in the tech industry:
"Companies are looking for a business partner who can become an extension of the organization. They want to build a relationship with us because we have a proven history of delivering quality talent regardless of experience level or technical vertical, thanks to our specialized, localized, and team-based approach."
Advantages of Retained Search
When companies have exhausted their internal recruiting resources, they often see value in outsourcing hiring for open positions. However, working with multiple recruiting firms can be draining. At best, the phone rings off the hook with recruiters pitching their qualified (or even unqualified) candidates, inboxes overflow with resumes, and the interview process becomes all-consuming until a hire is made. At worst, hiring for open positions cuts into the time spent working on projects, decreasing production-levels and triggering missed deadlines, without yielding a long-term hire. With retained search, companies commit to partnering with one recruiting firm who understands the culture and business needs, which cuts down on the time hiring managers spend reviewing resumes and interviewing mediocre candidates.
Most companies task their internal recruitment or procurement teams with finding talent across a wide range of positions while adhering to a strict hiring process and set of internal guidelines. With today’s candidate-driven tech market, those hiring processes will often operate too slowly to secure top tech talent, resulting in the loss of valuable production time as the search continues. Retaining a personalized hiring consultant takes the guesswork out of the process, making the talent search much more targeted and efficient.
Retained search is especially valuable when it comes to bulk hiring, for which a retained search agreement usually supplies a discounted rate, as an agency partner can fill multiple positions quickly for the company. From engaging candidates with a job opportunity to hiring them, a specialized agency averages 10 days to placement. In turn, companies are less likely to miss out on top talent, which cuts down on revenue lost through the unfilled role.
Quality of Hire
In 2017, unemployment among technology professionals has dropped to 2.5%, and high-demand candidates go off the market in under two weeks. A dedicated recruitment partner has access to engage the higher quality talent whether on or off the market. Passive candidates are unlikely to be exposed to opportunities through job boards and other more traditional recruiting methods. They’re much more likely to find their new role through word-of-mouth or networking, and a specialized recruiting firm engages their expansive network to target them. Retaining a specialized recruitment partner ensures priority with a first look at that qualified talent. This is especially valuable when filling niche, but critical roles.
Curious how retained search could help your organization reach its hiring goals? Sign up here for a free consultation.
Retained search is revolutionizing the tech staffing industry by building partnerships between recruiting agencies and organizations with sights set toward both short-term and long-term goals. It eliminates much of the risk associated with filling important positions internally because getting it wrong can set a project back months (or longer) and have significant revenue consequences for the business. Retained search offers exclusive access to a large pool of qualified, passive candidates often at a discounted rate. It can be employed for a single placement or a batch of hires and depending on the agreement, can provide a guarantee of service and/or quality. Under a retainer, a recruiting agency becomes an extension of an organization’s hiring arm and can be a powerful and efficient tool ensuring technical hiring needs are met.
No one wants to play from behind. Whether in sports, projects for work, and especially in their job search. Think about it like this: in IT, it’s encouraged to approach systems proactively. Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense to approach your career the same way? Too often, Jobspring Partners has seen extremely competent candidates unexpectedly laid off, from no fault of their own, who come through our doors desperate for a role that fits their skillset. At that point, the candidate is playing from behind, when they could have been proactive and taken the power in their own hands before becoming unemployed.
Be Proactive- Start Your Job Search Today!
Had this candidate simply considered working their network and remaining connected with their closest peers to stay updated on openings in the market, they could have positioned themselves a bit better in case of the emergency that ultimately did happen. Like most things in life, the best time to prepare for the worst is before the worst can happen.
If you need more convincing, below are a few of the reasons why you should be looking for a new role while you are still working for your current employer:
The Benefit of Time on Your Side
Think critically: how long could you truly support yourself and your dependents without a reliable income? Is that two months, six months, one year? Regardless of the length, this is the maximum amount of time you will have to find a suitable replacement position once you’ve left your current role. However, if you begin looking while you’re already gainfully employed, your timeframe for finding a new role increases exponentially. Without being taunted by upcoming bills without an income, you can focus your search on a position that excites you or will drastically improve your career trajectory rather than just attempting to make ends meet.
Get Busy Working or…
Time and time again we’ve been told by hiring managers that the best candidates are the ones who are actively working. After all, employed candidates are continually proving themselves as assets to their current company. A notable quote from “The Shawshank Redemption” says, ‘Get busy living or get busy dying’ and the job market is the same way. If you’re not showing yourself in the day-to-day as employable and beneficial to a company, you will be making it harder on yourself to find a new job as time goes on!
Visit your local Jobspring Partners today to start finding your dream job!
Not Under Pressure
Have you ever wanted or needed something so badly that when you were put into a situation wherein you could get whatever it was that you wanted or needed, the pressure was simply so much that you botched your attempt to get it? Unfortunately, this happens quite often during interviews when one is facing unemployment. Contrast this with interviewing while you already have a comfortable employment situation: you will be taking a significant amount of pressure off yourself and will ultimately lessen the likelihood of self-sabotage while interviewing for the new role!
Get What You Really Want
What You Really Really Want
Finally, if you’re interviewing while currently employed, you’ll have more control over dictating your final offer! The same factors apply here as they did above, but the final offer now needs to be better than your current for you to leave your job. This doesn’t have to come down solely to money, but everything in terms of compensation should line up – focus on the total package that the company offers. Not only will you have the upper-hand to hit that higher salary number, but you can also potentially leverage your current job to get additional vacation time, flexible hours, stock options, equity, or a myriad of other perks that can be included when the offer is extended!
So, if you find yourself in a position that isn’t perfect or you feel the winds of change approaching, make sure to keep your eyes and ears open to all new and exciting opportunities. With the benefit of time, it may even be correct to call your localized and specialized recruiter, and make an appointment with them. They may open doors for you that you never thought possible!
In today’s technology driven world, change happens fast. We’ve come to expect it. If you’re someone who thrives on exploring solutions to new challenges, why should your career path be any different? Over the past five years contracting has seen a steady rise in popularity among tech companies because of the opportunities it offers both job seekers and employers.
Contracting Offers Unique & Flexible Job Opportunities
The technology industry is currently seeing its lowest ever unemployment rate, opening the door to fulltime and contract employees alike. More and more candidates are turning to contracting to build their resumes, work with Fortune 500 companies, and help with their work life balance. Jennifer Grasz at Career Builder has this to say about the future of contracting, “The demand for temporary labor will continue to be strong as employers strive to have more flexibility in their staff levels. 51% of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers in 2017, an increase from 47% last year. 63% of employers plan to transition some temporary or contract workers into permanent roles in 2017, up from 58% last year.”
Do you want to spend more time with family during the holidays and summer vacation? Click to find a seasonal contracting opportunity in a city near you!
You Can Earn More as a Contractor
One of the biggest misconceptions about tech contract jobs is they pay less on average than fulltime positions. While it’s true that fulltime employees make a yearly salary and contractors get paid by the hour, there are many other factors to take into consideration when calculating your potential earnings. For instance, if you work more than 40 hours in a week as a fulltime employee, you won’t be paid for your extra effort while contractors get paid 1.5x their hourly wage for overtime. This can have a huge impact, especially in the tech industry where employees often work extended hours.
Enjoy Benefits as Contractor
Surprise! The biggest misconception about tech contracting is that you won’t receive benefits from your employer. The reality is, as a contractor with Jobspring Partners, you are eligible to receive benefits that kick in after thirty days of employment. You accrue sick days beginning on day one of employment. Want to start investing for your retirement? You are eligible for the Jobpspring Partners 401K and will be automatically enrolled after the first 6 months of the contract assignment. Full health coverage including dental and vision insurance kicks in after 30 days of your start date. In addition, there is an option to use a Health savings account to put away money for your health plan every month that is pre-taxed. Beyond these basic benefits, you can also enjoy commuter benefits you can use for parking, public transit, metro, or bus.
Make the money you deserve and explore contracting opportunities in a city near you.
Use Contracting to Improve your Tech Stack
Contracting gives engineers the opportunity to focus on newer technologies, increasing their value as a subject matter experts in niche tech fields and opening themselves up to more lucrative opportunities in the future. It’s a great opportunity to get your foot in the door with tech giants who are only looking to hire contractors. Employers love seeing candidates with diverse backgrounds working on unique projects. We like to call them “unicorns” in our industry.
What Employers Gain from Contracting
The contracting model gives qualified candidates the freedom to develop their skillsets while being exposed to many different projects, technologies and work environments. But it also offers unforeseen benefits to employers looking for qualified talent. It gives them the opportunity to have “try-outs” for contractors hoping to find a permanent position and allows them to bring in highly specialized engineers on a project-basis they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford fulltime.
For all these reasons, contracting has never been a more viable option in the tech industry than it is today. There are many misconceptions about contracting in the tech industry. That’s why it’s important to do your own research, weighing the pros and cons of contracting versus fulltime. The results could surprise you!
With over 400 highly specialized tech recruiting professionals across North America, our agency experts know firsthand how people think and act during the hiring process. Our 2016 research study debunks the biggest misperceptions for tech job seekers and offers helpful advice on how to navigate today’s competitive job market. Here are the four most common myths you should know:
Myth 1: “If I don’t have all the required skills, I shouldn’t bother applying for the job.”
Advice from the experts: “Know where you stand and act accordingly. If you’re less qualified, be prepared to make your business case upfront on your resume or cover letter as to why they should still consider you. Always apply to jobs even if you are not sure since you are applying to the company (not just the job). Other jobs may exist that will be a better fit. Also, job specs can be very fluid in tech and some companies can/will adjust requirements and provide training for the right person.”
Check out which companies are hiring by applying to one of our many tech jobs online!
Myth 2: “If I’ve been a job hopper, potential employers will not consider me for the position.”
Advice from the experts: “It’s not the WHEN, it’s the WHY that counts most when explaining job hopping to a potential employer. There are many completely understandable reasons for leaving a job after a short period of time. Make sure to specify any of these acceptable reasons for leaving directly on the resume to avoid any negative stigmas.”
Read why "Don't be afraid to try different things" is tip #3 in "5 Tips For Young Professionals Who Want a Career in Tech"
Myth 3: “If the company has no job postings online, then they must not be hiring.”
Advice from the experts: “The elusiveness of the tech job market means that candidates should never rely on job boards alone. They should leverage their networks as much as possible and also work with a localized, specialized tech recruiter who uncovers these hidden jobs on a daily basis.”
Let us help you discover your dream job - Contact a Jobspring Partners in a city near you!
Myth 4: “If I’m the leading candidate for a Perm position, I should be able to negotiate my starting offer as high as I’d like.”
Advice from the experts: “As highly qualified as a tech candidate may be, there is and will always be competition. A candidate’s savvy negotiation and education on the marketplace (via salary reports) is expected from employers. But when candidates exhibit indulgence or entitlement in regards to a potential offer, their well-intentioned actions could backfire on them.”
Find out the Expectations versus Realities of Working in Tech
There are several myths out there about the tech job market, but the key is to identify these myths and not fall into the trap that many other job seekers may unknowingly fall into. To sum up, (1) if you’re less qualified, be prepared to make your business case upfront as to why a company should still consider you; (2) if you’re a job hopper, be sure to specify acceptable reasons for leaving on your resume to avoid negative stigmas; (3) never rely on job boards alone, instead, leverage your network and work with a specialized tech recruiter in your city; and (4) don’t be that candidate who exhibits indulgence or entitlement in regards to a potential offer – it could backfire on you.
Contact a local Jobspring Partners today and let us help you kick off 2017 on the right foot.
Many people dream of a career in tech. The industry is fast-paced, constantly changing and growing. While many people desire a role a trendy tech startup, they're not sure if they're cut out for startup life or a technology bohemeth, an IT hands-on role or a position in management. If you’re an aspiring technologist looking to pursue a career in tech, don’t get discouraged from pursuing your dream job - instead use these 5 career tips from Cassy Rowe Head of UI/UX at Scoop in San Francisco:
1. Just Do It and Don’t Hold Back
Don’t be afraid to pursue what you want to accomplish in your career. The worst thing someone can say to you is “no.” There are so many opportunities out there; all one has to do is try.
Want to jump start your tech career? Apply to your next role now.
2. Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor is key. It can be intimidating to walk up to someone who could be a role model, especially since a lot of people are afraid to ask someone for help in gneral. On the contrary, many experienced professionals are willing to mentor young people, and find it flattering when someone asks them. Mentors can be a great guide and give you a third party perspective on your career and life goals.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Try Different Things
Trying different things may seem scary for a lot of people fresh out of school because the challenge for a lot of young people is:
- Figuring out what you want to do
- Where you want to do it
- How you want to do it
No one can answer those questions except yourself. Many aren't 100% sure they going in the right direction, but there are many opportunities to explore. You can’t be afraid to try new things to figure out those key questions, as well as to find the right job that fits you.
4. It’s Okay to Take Your Time
When starting out, you don’t need to be an expert in what you want to end up doing, whether in your first, second or even third job. Make sure you take the time to slow down and try to get the most out of every position you hold so you can bring those skills into your career.
5. Make Sure You Have a Good Idea of What You Want Out of the Job
When looking for a job make sure you have a good idea of what you want out of the job, because you don’t want to be at a job you don’t like. When you know what you want, it's easier to go all in for it and target the skills you have towards the job.
Use These 6 Ways to Figure Out if It's the Right Job For You
As daunting and fast-paced as the tech industry can seem, whether you're technical or not it's a matter of wanting to be in this world. Don’t be discouraged, get out there!
Don't want to wait to start your career in tech, but need a little more guidance? Thees articles might point you in the right direction:
How do you know when you’ve found “The One” in your career? Should you accept an offer, or is this not a long-term match for you? Like finding that perfect ”one” in your life, finding the right job has its own checklist as well. Here are 6 top areas that most tech professionals can match their desires up with in order know it’s the right offer and the right company:
Company Culture. Seeing how your significant other interacts with family and friends can provide a window into whether it will be a lasting relationship. Similarly, knowing how a company treats their employees will give insight into what your office life will be like on a day-today basis. Furthermore, how people communicate and work together is crucial, since that’s the atmosphere you’ll ultimately need to communicate in and work with. Take a look at the environment and how the office is laid out; it can be a big factor in finding a place that not only fits your personality but your needs and desires as well. Do you need a collaborative, open workspace or a quiet, secluded area to concentrate? Another aspect to look for? Humility: a company with little ego is less likely to put their egos before the employees. The right job will allow you to voice your own opinions when needed.
We treasure workplace culture. Check out these IT jobs where culture is key.
Personal Goals. Even before you start your job search, sit down to think about your personal goals, values and what makes you happy. Once you access that, start looking for jobs and going on interviews, and ask yourself, “Does this company align with my values and goals?” It’s easy to get caught up in the red carpet treatment. When companies want to “woo” you, they’ll offer you all the good things: free lunches, dinners, drinks, etc. However, that celebrity treatment will eventually fade away, so don’t get caught up in all the flashy things. The right job will be lined up with your values and goals, which will make you happier in the long-run.
Mission and Outlook. When you find the perfect person you often envision your life with them five or maybe ten years down the road. It’s the same with a job. You have to envision what the next few years will look like with this company. How are their stocks looking? (Or maybe they’re a startup and not publicly traded.) How much funding do they receive? All these questions can help you anticipate how the company will look in five or ten years. You want to make sure the company you’re working for is in a market where they can expand their product and grow. The right job will have a good outlook for you in the next few years, without worrying about the company heading in a different, more volatile direction.
Work Life Balance. Balance is everything in life. There’s work life and then there is life outside of work. The right company will give you the best of both worlds: the ability to live the life you want and be able to do the work you love. Sometimes those two can be one and the same. Many companies, especially tech companies or startups, require a lot of around-the-clock work, and that might be your cup of tea. Either way, the right job will align with how you want to live your life.
Is work-life balance important to you? Here are some tech jobs where it’s a priority.
Growth. Finding the one – the job or love of your life – can have the same goal at the end of the day: both make you want to be a better person. The right job will enable you to grow professionally and personally. You should be able to climb the corporate latter, not feel stuck in a bad relationship with your company. Growing and learning is important, so you should be able to find ways throughout your job experience to continuously evolve.
Innovation. Innovative companies will have new ideas they want to implement, or aggressive updates on current product offerings for continuous improvement. You should feel excited about the project you’re going to work on, the new technologies you’ll be faced with, and all of the things you’re going to learn. You probably don’t want to be part of a stagnant company with an existing product that they do nothing but maintain; these aren’t going to be the type of companies that can adapt to the constantly changing environment.
Want to find a job that’s the right match for you? Start with these job search resources:
Looking for a quick guide to prepare for your upcoming interview? The search for a new job is time-consuming prospect that often keeps you at your current role far longer than you should be. Don’t let the interview hold you back any further in time or effort. Use these tips for before, during and after to leverage your interview opportunity for a job offer.
Stuck at the job search stage? Let a nearby Jobspring recruiter help.
1. First up: your resume. This is the first impression that you make on your next potential employer, so use this to guide what you should and shouldn’t be doing with it:
- Be concise and to the point with everything you include.
- Don’t make things sound a lot more complicated than they were.
- Start with a simple and clear objective. Use the job’s keywords.
- Tailor your experience for the role that you are applying for.
- List only technologies and skills you’re comfortable and confident with.
- Include skill level where applicable to these.
- Focus on your experience. Doing is better than knowing.
- Show how you used your skills rather than listing them.
- Aim to keep your resume to 2 pages max. It’s not a novel!
2. Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. This is your social resume, whether or not you know it. It’s important to have an updated profile as LinkedIn is probably the most used tool by both employers and job-seekers. You're more accessible to employers and recruiters the more accurate and relevant your LinkedIn profile is. Give employers the chance to come and find you first, or pro-actively apply to their jobs on LinkedIn to set yourself apart.
3. Know about the company. Make sure you have as good of an understanding as possible of what the company does, and what some of their products are. When it’s your turn to ask questions, don’t be that person. “So, what exactly does your company do?” will turn off your potential employer. You’re interested enough to interview. Act like it.
4. Research your interviewer. Use Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, the company website and any other outlets (Have they spoken at a recent event? Been featured in an article?) See if you share any common connections. Learn more about their background. Employ what you learn as topics of discussion or ways to relate to the interviewer right off the bat.
5. Have examples ready to go. Make sure you have at least 1 or 2 projects that you’ve worked on recently. If there are projects directly related to the role you’re interviewing for, bring these up. Don’t gloss over them either - go into details. Employers like hearing why you chose specific strategies, platforms or technologies.
1. Respond directly to questions. Pay attention to the question that is being asked, and focus on answering that question alone. Do not start talking about a completely different topic. There will be opportunities for you later in the interview to bring up topics that you’d like to discuss.
2. Be honest about your skill set. If you’re asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, don’t pretend to know the answer! Let the interviewer know that you don’t have the answer, but don’t stop there! Come up with a solution to the problem based on what you know about the topic. Employers are often very interested in seeing what type of problem solving skills potential employees have, and to see their thought process.
3. On that note, it’s okay not to know everything. It is not okay to have no initiative to take on new challenges. Employers are probably not going to find a candidate that has 100% of the skills they want. Part of the reason you’re probably looking for a new job is to learn new skills, and most employers know this. Show them you’re able to pick up new skills quickly by proposing a solution to the problem, even without those hard skills yet.
4. Ignore a rude interviewer. Spoiler alert: your interviewers are only human. Don’t let this put you off for the rest of the interview. After meeting with him/her, you may decide this company is not the right place for you. Keep your cool throughout the interview and make a positive impression. You never know when you might cross paths with them again. This is sometimes used as an interview tactic; working in engineering and IT is known to have situations that are high pressure. Some employers want to see how you’ll react in uncomfortable, high-stress situation.
5. Be engaged. The interview is a platform for the employer to assess your skills, and see if you are a fit for their company. It is also a time for you to figure out whether or not the company is a fit for you. When you are given the opportunity, have questions and discussion topics prepared. You need to show the employer that you are genuinely interested in the position. Start with questions specifically about the company, and the job itself. Leave compensation/benefits questions for later. You don’t want to give off an impression that those things are the only important topics for you.
Ready for the interview stage of your job search? Apply to a job here.
Always follow-up with a thank you note after your interview. This may seem like a trivial gesture, but it could be the differentiator between you and other candidates. There are many times where an employer is struggling to decide between 2-3 candidates, and end up hiring the candidate who did that one extra something. It show your appreciation for being considered for the position, and gives you a last opportunity to show your interest. Here are a few tips:
- A short letter is fine. A long letter is desperate.
- Be personal. Don’t google an outline and skip personal details.
- Thank the manager for setting up the interview and setting aside time to meet. Also thank any team members in this area.
- Bring up specific parts of the interview that you enjoyed
- Highlight key reasons as to why you’re interested in the job.
- Close the letter with an indication you look forward to hearing back, and if they have any questions they should contact you.
Here are some related job search tips: