Bootcamp Highlights – How Different Companies Interview
This is a guest post by Rachel Bolt:
Interviews are stressful and can be terrifying! You don’t know what it’s like till you’ve had one – so this event gives some tips on how some different companies interview to let you know what to expect.
Even though we had a startup, a medium, a large and a multi-national company represented, surprisingly the majority of the tips were very similar!
Interview tips from all presenters
- Research the organisation. Most companies have a website that describes what they do, and has their vision, mission and values there. If they publish an annual report, read their latest one!
- Learn their values and be ready to talk about how you will add to their culture
- Be open and honest – don’t bluff, they will know. We all make mistakes too so if they ask to talk about a time that you made a mistake… don’t say you don’t make mistakes!
- LinkedIn is your friend to research people who work at the company
- Core (“soft”) skills are more important than technical skills., technical skills can be taught
- A willingness to learn and continuously improve is key
- Network – advantage if you’re referred by someone who already works at that company
- Make sure you let your references know that should be expecting a reference check
- Many companies use “behavioural interview questions”. Looks for example online and think about answers to as many as you can
Core skills examples
- Ability to receive and give feedback
- Always, always, always ?have some intelligent questions ready. It shows you care about the company
Examples of questions to ask THEM
- What does a typical day look like?
- What will the company look like in 3 years?
- How do you see this role developing?
- Are there any doubts about me that you have about me at the moment?
- Never say you don’t have any questions as it looks bad.
Cover Letters & CV’s
- Cover letter is key!? Tailor your cover letter to the company – show passion and yourcpersonality. Make it align with their values and job description
- CV doesn’t need to be tailored
- No pictures in CV’s or cover letters, this may contribute to bias
- Explain why you want the role at the start of of the cover letter
- 3 paragraphs maximum
- Tailor it to the job and company
- Tell us why we should hire you
- What makes you different – we want diversity of thought
- Awards, scholarships and extracurriculars from tertiary/recent (rather than high school/past)
They all have different processes but they all followed clear steps:
Usually the CV and cover letter screening comes first, then a phone interview or you will be given a challenge, then an in-person interview, then reference checks, then job offer!
They want to get to know YOU, how well you’d fit and add to their culture, are you willing to learn, what makes you different. They also need to check you have the basic technical skills + more (but more isn’t always necessary as personality is more important).
Most employers expect you to learn and develop on the job, especially internships and grad roles. Sometimes they need specific skills NOW so it will be more about the skills & experience.
Job interviews can range from very informal to very formal – it all depends on the organisation and who is making the decisions!
Thank you to all our presenters for giving your time, sharing your wisdom, and investing in the capability of Wellington’s emerging tech talent, and thanks to Rachel for the write up!
We ran this bootcamp in Auckland, too, here are the notes from that session.