Recruiters Advice to Get Hired in Tech

One of the common stats jobseekers hear is that roughly 80% of jobs aren’t posted online, and jobseekers need to focus on networking. What is your advice for networking effectively in order to find those opportunities?

“I would say go out there and network at any events that spark your personal interest. Don’t just go focusing only on tech events. I know that’s odd to say, but some of the best opportunities I’ve found were through hobbies I enjoyed such as traveling, music, and fitness. In my opinion, it just feels more authentic when you’re networking with people who share the same hobbies and it’s gives you a chance to talk about other things outside of just career opportunities. Chances are, most of these people probably work in tech (especially in SF) or know someone who does and can make an introduction for you.”
Dee Tran, Technical Sourcer at LiveRamp

“Connect with people that have similar skill sets as yourself. Find someone more senior then yourself, and ask if they could be a mentor for you.”
Kim Wilson, Head of Talent at Coffee Meets Bagel

What are some of the most common interview mistakes jobseekers make, and how can they prevent them?

“The most common mistake I’ve seen amongst candidates is not preparing enough. Before an interview, job seekers should be like detectives, researching as much as they can about the company and potential interviewers. It’s essential to gather key information in advance to give the best first impression possible – and it will make the candidate feel infinitely more comfortable and confident when walking into an interview.”
Christopher Cobo, Technical Recruiter at Skillz Inc

“Some of the most common mistakes I’ve seen are lengthy resumes and jobseekers applying to multiple roles at the same company. On average I spend about 8 seconds reviewing a resume and if I have to spend more time searching for the qualifications then I’m most likely going to pass. Concise is the way to go. As for applying to multiple roles at the same company, I get turned off because it doesn’t seem like the candidate knows exactly what they want. I like people who have a focus on their career trajectory. If you’re not sure what exact role fits better, it’s best to reach out to the recruiter or a career advisor and explain your situation so that they can help guide you in the right direction.”
Dee Tran, Technical Sourcer at LiveRamp

“Two that stand out to me:

    • Not being prepared! You must do your research on the company and the position that you’re interviewing for. Know a little about their history, their mission, and how you would be an asset if you were hired.
    • Not asking questions. A lot of people think that when a candidate doesn’t have questions it means they’re not really interested, but what I really mean is – you’re interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. Ask the questions to determine if this is really the job you’re looking for, if this is a manager you can learn from, if you believe in the company’s goals. Ask the questions that matter to you.” 

Sandra Young, Senior Recruiter at OpenTable

Reflecting on the people you’ve interviewed, in what ways have jobseekers really wowed you in the past?

“The most impressive interviews were the candidates who demonstrated they could be the ‘ideal’ team player. They established that they were humble, hungry and smart.

The ideal candidates showed humility with their ability to praise the contributions of their teammates and to give credit where it’s due, while at the same time admitting areas where they lacked expertise and needed more growth. They were vulnerable without letting ego get into the way. The best interviews where the ones where the candidates let their true authentic selves come out and the candidates weren’t afraid to talk about their failures.

Secondly, the ideal candidates demonstrated that they were hungry for the role by taking the time to learn about the role, the company and the culture prior to the interview. They knew where they could add value and they came prepared with questions. This showed that they weren’t just looking to get their foot into any door.

For example, when we interview candidates for the Client Support position, we give our candidates a study guide with terms they need to learn and know prior to the final interview. The best candidates spend hours studying these terms so that they are fully prepared to answer them during the interview. As a result, these candidates demonstrated to our interview team that they that they were hungry to learn, which is an important aspect of the Support role.

Finally, the ideal candidates demonstrated that they were smart communicators. They had great interpersonal skills and possessed a heightened self-awareness. The smart candidates showed through their words and actions how they fit in a team. These candidates never criticize their current employers and when they did face challenges, they turned them into positive learning experiences.”
Aliya Janjua, Director, Client Services at Advent Software

What is one of your favorite questions to ask an interviewee?

Can you name a critical moment or conflict you’ve encountered in the past (whether personal or professional) and describe how you overcame it?
Christopher Cobo, Technical Recruiter at Skillz Inc

Share an accomplishment that you have made in the last 6 months that you’re proud of?
Kim Wilson, Head of Talent at Coffee Meets Bagel

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