In the Job Interview Guide, you will find recommendations that will help you prepare for a job interview in general, and in the tech field in particular. In the previous guide, we talked about the types of job interviews and now, we will explain how to prepare a pitch and get ready for the interview itself. This guide focuses on preparing yourself for an interview.
Assuming that you have briefly read about the company to which you submitted your resume, it is important to do a more profound research before you attend the first interview. This will let you feel that you know where you are going and that you are well-acquainted with the company’s products and areas of activity. While reading and researching, you will probably have a few questions that you would like to ask – whether about the job itself or the company in general.
Researching is very important. The recruiter may become suspicious if you come unprepared and don’t do your “homework” before the interview. No one expects you to be familiar with the company’s website or its employees, however, you should definitely know about its products and markets in which it operates, as well as about the company’s founders.
Useful research sources
Preparing for the interview requires a profound research. Once you’re done researching, you should feel that you know everything you need about the founders and the department in which you’re going to work, as well as about the company’s products, markets in which it operates and its target audience. It is important to show the interviewers that you came prepared – apply the knowledge you have gained about the company in the interview itself, either directly or indirectly, and show what you have learned. However, do not recite the material just for the sake of showing that you’ve done your homework. Instead, demonstrate your knowledge as part of questions or anecdotes.
Also, it would be wise to use the words that the interviewers like to use themselves. This tip is more relevant for interviews with senior executives or founders who were featured in various podcast episodes, mentioned in articles online or appeared in the company’s YouTube videos. Incorporating words that your interviewer tends to use a lot will create a sense of closeness – not necessarily consciously, but rather automatically. In addition, learn about the values that the recruiter finds important, as well as about the norms built into the job for which you are applying. It would be helpful to know in advance about things, regarding which the recruiter would not be willing to compromise when a new employee joins the team. Use all of the above wisely and coherently during the interview – avoid sounding fake or unnatural.
Besides the general preparation for job interviews, when you submit your candidacy for a tech-oriented position (especially if it’s your first job in this field), you must research the company in the context of the industry to which it belongs, meaning the world of startups and the tech industry. This part of the guide contains a few important points regarding the tech context of the interview. For example:
Use your network of contacts starting from the early stage of applying for a job and submitting your resume. Check who works in the company you’re interested in and see if you have a mutual acquaintance. Even if that person is not your best friend, but can recommend you – write to him/her.
According to a study conducted by Lever in 2016, one of every 16 candidates referred by company staff members gets the job, compared to one of every 152 candidates accepted after applying in any other way. That’s a huge difference!
There is a correlation between the way of applying (via referrals or in any other way) and the chance of landing a job (8% chance with a referral, compared to 1.2% chance when applying in a conventional way). It should be noted that the way of applying is not necessarily related to the chance of getting an offer from the employer, but overall, applying through a person who works for the company has its advantages, which you should definitely use.
Besides the recommendations, if you know any employees in the company, they may help you prepare for the interview and provide you with useful information about the interviewers. Try to get their help as much as possible – it will allow you to be more prepared.
It is necessary to prepare for the interview in advance. In the first part of the guide, we talked about the types of interviews and interviewers. Now is the time to deal with them properly. You have put effort into searching, and after submitting your resume, the company showed interest in you – take the opportunity to show who you are and what you can do. In the third and final part of the guide, we will talk about preparing a pitch, which is the best way to present yourself during the interview. Good luck!
Charles Darwin took long walks around London. Kurt Vonnegut made listening to jazz a daily priority. Fiona Apple disappeared for 6 years after the release of her third album.
I ask because I can often be found agonising over the "more". If only I posted on Instagram more, I'll think in the bath. I'd have more followers if I pitched to more publications. I need to post 2 more times a week, minimum. I could go on...
Between you and me, I've got frustrated with myself for browsing Facebook or watching too much TV more times than I can remember.
And I'm not alone. So many of us are terrified of taking a break, creatively speaking. We won't let a moment pass without listening to a podcast, consuming an article or sharing something.
The cognitive load is real, y'all.
But like Vitamin D, sleep and good food, it's not only ok to take a break, it's essential.
Living a successful life is also about knowing when not to work. For your best output, you need to focus on your input, too.
The world won't end if you disappear from the internet for a week or so. Your creativity won't suddenly stop. Your time is now, but your time was also then and it will be again.
Many of us confuse being "busy" with being constructive. But you can only do your best work by taking breaks.
And science backs it up, too. The brain requires substantial downtime to do its most innovative thinking. The ideas you have while driving or in the shower aren't coincidental. They're a result of you taking a step back, whether you're aware of it or not.
Let yourself take a wonderful and indulgent break. Several breaks. Hell, get downright bored.
Wallow in it. Don't be afraid of it. Push it as far as you can.
When you leave your laptop behind, something always happens. A new idea or a fresh perspective appears.
Take proper breaks, often. Completely clear your mind. Your next best idea depends on it.
By taking this 10-min test I can set myself up for success