Tell us about an exceptional technology job candidate you recently interviewed and what quality made this person so memorable.
From portraying true joy for the role to setting yourself apart from the competition, there are a lot of different ways to impress recruiters and hiring managers when interviewing for a new job. Five recruiters from our technology practice told us about a recent, highly skilled candidate they interviewed — and what made them so memorable. If you’re a technology professional looking for a new role, take notes!
- Show your joy for the job
- Lead with your ‘why’
- Emphasize your passion
- The perfect mix of IT experience and collaboration skills
- A positive demeanor and humility
Show your joy for the job
A few months ago, I ran across a junior developer candidate as I was sourcing for a senior developer role. I knew going into the call that he didn’t have sufficient “professional” experience as a developer and was still seen as “green.” I decided to go into detail about the role. He seemed familiar with the tech stack and skills required for the role. He even went out of his way with a big smile on his face to break it down and created an entire document of drawn-out examples of different coding languages, how the entire SDLC cycle works, how the different tech stacks work and how databases speak to one another.
As we wrapped up the call, he said, “I know glancing at my resume my experience may not look like much, but I’m positive if I’m able to interview with the manager I will be able to prove my skills.” His positivity, confidence and true passion for technology blew me away. I was impressed how he went out of his way to create a presentation of the different tech stacks and break it down for me in layman’s terms — and explain it all with joy.
I never had a candidate go out of his way to take time to teach me with such patience and passion. Despite his lack of experience on paper, he got the job due to his passion and positivity.
Alex Deloera, lead IT technical recruiter, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Lead with your ‘why’
I recently interviewed a front-end developer who painted a great picture of his day-to-day responsibilities and how he and his team fit into the overall development environment. When explaining the more technical side of his role, he made it simple to understand, including the business case behind his projects and specific data surrounding his individual and team achievements.
Luke Vaughn, senior recruiter, Dallas, Texas
Emphasize your passion
One quality that always stands out to me is passion. Recently, I interviewed a candidate who was newer to the technology field and eager to begin. Throughout our meetings, and as I shared opportunities, he lit up every time he talked about his school experiences and the projects he worked on.
This passion was infectious and allowed me to see the type of person he was. He drew me in so much that I walked away saying “wow!” This also allowed me to share information about his excitement about the opportunity with potential employers and explore work environments that would fit his professional interests.
Passion is something that everybody expresses differently, and the best part of my job is getting to see and hear it while helping candidates find their next role!
Erika Campbell, senior recruiter, Baltimore, Md.
The perfect mix of IT experience and collaboration skills
I interviewed a network engineer two weeks ago who offered an excellent wealth of technical knowledge in all aspects of networking and collaboration between IT teams. He had a tenured background and strong capabilities in leading an infrastructure team and had a great way of communicating with others. He had the opportunity to meet the team and proved to be a sharp, excellent interviewer with great personality. Overall, the combination of his technical experience and soft skills made him a standout candidate for this opportunity!
Brandon Mead, senior talent director, full-time engagement professionals, Philadelphia, Pa.
A positive demeanor and humility
Recently, while searching for an applications developer, I came across a great candidate. His quick response on LinkedIn and background attracted me to interview him.
Along with his great experience in .Net, C#, and other Microsoft stack, his demeanor and communication style were noteworthy. He has worked for larger and midsized companies throughout his career for about 20 years. He is also fulfilling his dream by teaching data analytics classes in the evening.
Despite his decades of experience, I found him to be very humble, respectful and a great listener. He followed the process through and asked the right questions. His passion for app development and his comment, “I want to retire developing software applications,” definitely made him stand out as a memorable candidate.
It’s not always about where you have worked or how much experience you bring to the table; your attitude, personality and humility are equally important.
Suman Sandhu, practice director, technology, San Jose, Calif.
Robert Half recruiters (top row, from left): Erika Campbell, Luke Vaughn and Brandon Mead; (bottom row, from left): Alex Deloera and Suman Sandhu.
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