Though I am only an intern at Code Talent, not a recruiter, I am constantly surrounded by specialized and highly experienced recruiters. In our open office space, this means that I get to hear all the conversations they have with each other, candidates, and companies. I can say with confidence that our recruiters know Denver's tech community inside-out, and know what it takes to land a job in the industry.
Here are some of the most common mistakes discussed in the office everyday:
1. Not doing your research
I cannot emphasize this one enough. "Do your research," is one of the most common phrases I hear our recruiters say to candidates pre-interview. It doesn't matter if it's your first interview or fourth: researching the company shows the interviewer that you care about the position and demonstrates your passion for the work they're doing. Go beyond the company's homepage, investigate their latest product launch or most recent news releases. Do your research on the person who's interviewing you, too—know their background, check out their latest projects, and understand where they stand at the company. A good general understanding of the organization and the person you're talking to allows you to provide better answers, demonstrate passion, and foster more meaningful conversations throughout the interview.
2. Not asking questions
This goes along with doing your research. If you did your research, asking relevant and thoughtful questions will come naturally and demonstrate your passion. Asking 2-3 relevant questions about the position and the company speaks volumes about your interest in the job and excitement in the opportunity.
Code co-founder and Senior Recruiter, Kevin Doran, stresses the importance of asking relevant technical questions:
Ask thoughtful questions that can't be found on the company's website, demonstrate the time investment you made in researching the company and role. Other great questions to ask to could be:
"What do you need from this person on day 1?"
"How do you see this position evolving?"
"How do you see this position contributing directly to your company goals?"
3. Lack of passion & a bad attitude
Companies can sense when candidates are just not passionate about the work they're doing, and it's an instant turn off. This is especially important for small/startup sized companies, where the hiring managers are typically deeply involved and invested in their product. I've heard stories of candidates being rejected simply because the company didn't feel they were excited—or even interested—about the technology or company. Showing your drive is an easy way to stand out from other interviewees and give yourself an edge.
For more advice (including what to wear to an interview) continue reading on the Code Talent blog, here.