On the hunt for that perfect ops role? Here’s what these Colorado tech companies look for

May 19, 2017

Business operations is an umbrella term for the many people and functions that keep a business running. Thus, there are many shades of operations roles. From the customer-facing to the technical, the ops team plays a significant role in the ongoing success of a company.

Thinking of pursuing an operations role in Colorado tech? We talked with a few tech recruiters to see what questions these they might ask during an interview — and what you can to do stand out above the crowd.

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The Ibotta team has been growing steadily for years. In order to keep things running smoothly — both internally and externally — they need a robust and collaborative team of operations pros. Recruiter Corissa Keuler shared some of the specific questions she asks and what she keeps an eye out for in candidates.

What are some of the common questions you ask ops candidates?

  • Here at Ibotta, we believe that a good idea can come from anywhere. Can you provide an example of a time that you implemented a new idea that had a noticeable impact within your company?

  • Ibotta is a fast-paced, nimble workplace. How well do you cope with tight deadlines?  How do you adapt to change?  

How about the more unique questions?

  • Boldness is a core value at Ibotta. Can you provide an example of a time when you needed to make a quick operational decision? What was the outcome?

  • At Ibotta, trust and transparency are at the core of our culture. What environments do you like to work in? What is essential to allow you to perform at your best?

What’s the number one way to blow an interview with you?

We love when our candidates have prepared thoughtful questions for their interview! This shows us their excitement about the position and engagement with our brand.

What is your objective in interviewing ops candidates? What can candidates do to help you meet that objective?

Ibotta is the fastest growing consumer-facing technology company in Denver! Our recruiters encourage Ibotta candidates to spend time getting familiar with our free app prior to an interview so that they have first-hand knowledge of our core business. We are seeking collaborative, innovative talent from multiple industries.

 

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Xero makes cloud-based accounting simpler and more streamlined for accountants and financial professionals as well as for small business owners. They rely on their operations team to ensure that customers from both ends of the user spectrum are able to navigate the platform and achieve their financial goals. Senior talent acquisition specialist Shelbi Davis shared some tips for those interested in operations roles at Xero.

What are some of the common questions you ask ops candidates?

Initially, we ask candidates to rank themselves on a set number of technologies. From these rankings, we pick the two highest and ask them specific questions on those technologies. This serves a couple of purposes for us: ensuring the candidates meet the technical requirements for the role and also that they are self-aware of their strengths and weaknesses from a technology perspective.

How about the more unique questions?

What was your biggest professional mistake and how did you overcome it? For anybody who has been in the tech field for more than a few years, they've made a mistake. We are looking for candidates who take a mistake and transform it into a positive learning experience.

What's the number one way to blow an interview with you?

Not being prepared with questions about the company and/or the role. Interviewing/looking for a new job is a big deal for employers and candidates. Both parties should be well informed so that they can make the best decision.

What is your objective in interviewing ops candidates? What can candidates do to help you meet that objective?

My objective in interviewing is finding a candidate with the right mix of technical skill set and cultural fit for Xero. Asking questions around troubleshooting, specific technical and soft skills helps us meet this objective. Xero is a fast-paced, collaborative environment that requires the right type of candidate to thrive and be successful.


 

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At Zoll, they provide the technology that supports first responders and paramedics in their mission to save lives, with products ranging from dispatch software to EMS billing to medical devices. With such a diverse product offering, they look for ops candidates who are eager to learn new technologies — and eager to help others understand them, too. Lead recruiter Jeremy Wilder let us in on the secret to landing an ops role at Zoll.

What are some of the common questions you ask ops candidates?

Common questions revolve around depth of knowledge with technology and experiences with customers. We love our customers, many of whom are first responders, so we need people who can be sensitive to their needs.

How about the more unique questions?

We don’t ask anything too crazy, and we really prefer to have conversations with our candidates, as opposed to straight Q and A sessions. Probably one that can take people aback is “Tell me a time you challenged a decision or direction by management?”

What's the number one way to blow an interview with you?

Either showing arrogance with no humility, or completely misrepresenting yourself on your resume and not being able to back it up during the conversation.

What is your objective in interviewing ops candidates? What can candidates do to help you meet that objective?

The objective is to find transformational people to help us improve lives through our transformational products. Candidates can help us by being prepared to have a conversation with us about why they are good at what they do and what motivates them.



 

Photos via featured companies. Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Have a tip or know of a company worth covering? Email us.

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