Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Body Language during a Tech Interview

This might come as no surprise, but body language plays an important factor in interviews. Granted, a tech interview is probably not like a modeling interview where looking the part is also half the interview process, but I’m not referring to the philosophy of “dress for success”. I’m talking about the way you carry yourself when you enter a room, how you sit at a desk, whether you cross your arms or if your eyes drift during the interview. Regardless of whether or not the interview is by phone, Skype or in-person, it’s important to be aware of your body language.

In a Skype interview earlier today I was speaking to a candidate about a Business Analyst opportunity. The candidate was responding to text messages on their smartphone at the same time I was asking technical questions. This took their focus away from the interview and impaired their ability to show me that they were truly interested in the job. Based on the candidate’s body language, it appeared that they were more interested in their text conversation than the job opportunity. It’s important to keep in mind that during an interview you should keep your arms uncrossed, face the person you’re speaking with and stay engaged in the conversation. Do not get distracted by other factors that could diminish your chances of making a good impression.

When I was at a technology job fair this past month all of the interviews were held in-person. It was great to see candidates so enthusiastic about the opportunity to interview. Their excitement was clearly conveyed by their body language communication style. They kept their body turned in my direction, kept their eyes and attention on me and they showed true interest in the interview process. Even with several people passing nearby and the noise factors of other conversations, each candidate stayed focused, asked questions, and responded with details.

Interviewing is all about mind set and focus. Someone once said “If you want to go somewhere all you need to do is point your body in the right direction and start walking”.

Author: Dr. Eduardo Diaz, helping you exceed expectations.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

When you have 48 hours to hire Tech

The tech recruiting process can be filled with crazy days. This was the case for my recruiting team and me this past week. We went from over a dozen job requisitions (req’s) to zero and then back to an entirely new set of req’s. It’s not often that we find ourselves with no req’s to fill. In fact, it’s nearly impossible, but that’s a good problem. It always seems easier to go from one req to another. It’s a constant on demand search that motivates us to keep moving. The challenge is managing what to do when you go from having a lot of req’s to having no req’s. The simple answer is workforce planning.

When there aren’t any req’s to fill it’s easy to slip into a zombie like state. If you’ve worked in the food industry or almost any job where a project was temporarily finished, on hold, or ended, you understand. It’s a feeling that something is missing or maybe it was overlooked. To begin with, as a tech recruiter taking a day off is actually not as easy as you might think. We are by nature working in the office, out of the office, “on the line”, or at a coffee shop. We listen for tech chat, here the murmurs, and we levitate over to make a connection. We do what comes naturally; we connect with tech.

I’m happy to say that it’s great to have a lot of tech savvy candidates keeping us tech recruiters in the loop. It’s also great to have so many great relationships with other recruiters; they are always happy to lend a hand. For example, this week, on that crazy filled day when we didn’t have any req’s to fill we were reaching out to more and more candidates, saying hello to our recruiting partners, and locating new tech events. By the time the new day arrived the chaos began. It seemed like every 2 hours we were getting 3 new req’s from every hiring manager we knew. From 0 to 60, so to speak, we were bombarded with req’s. And just when we thought it was getting busy we received another 3 more req’s that needed to be filled in 48 hours. Did we succeed? Absolutely! We planned for these type of opportunities. We knew what tech recruiting partners to reach out to, we were able to reach out to candidates who had contracts coming to an end and we already had an idea of what candidates were available and a great fit. We reached out, confirmed the details, and submitted each candidate to the hiring managers for consideration.

When you’re searching for your next career, contract or change of scenery keep touching base with recruiters. Get to know them and attend as many social events as you can. The time to hire in 48 hours happens more often then you could imagine. 

Author: Dr. Eduardo Diaz, helping you exceed expectations.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

106 Tech Interviews in 2 days

Last week I received a Skype message from the CEO at work. She asked if I would be open to taking a trip to Monterrey, Mexico in support of one of our recruiting teams at a technology event. We held a conference call with all the team members attending the event, organized a plan of action, set goals, and booked the flight.

The flight itself was its own journey. I spent 7 hours in Houston, Texas on a layover, sleeping on chairs in the airport and reading a book to pass the time. When I arrived in Monterrey I quickly acclimated to the environment. My Spanish fluency increased by a factor of 20 and my attention to reading signs and directions made me feel more like a tourist than on a business trip. When I arrived at the technology venue I headed straight to Starbucks for a jolt of life. Since I really couldn’t sleep in an airport, I was already awake for more than 28 hours. With only a couple of hours remaining before the start of the event my team and I prepared to initiate our plan: 100+ in-person tech interviews in 2 days.

Both event days were packed with students and technology professionals. I even had one of my blog readers’ show up at the event just so he could meet me in person (thank you by the way). My colleagues screened candidates, registered their names and emails and sent them over to me for their interview. One after another I asked questions, listened to responses, and provided feedback. When we had a moment to catch our breaths we made a list of candidates who would be a great fit for several technology opportunities and we pressed on. The line of candidates began to form. It was like having an audience watch over me on some reality TV show where I was the Tech Recruiter and they were all competing for a chance at a career.

At the end of each event day we discussed the pros and cons of qualified candidates. We also discussed the pattern that began to emerge. The majority of candidates needed certifications and required more hands on experience. However, it was easy to recognize that they were our future. Their knowledge and understanding of technology was incredible. I could assemble any team of tech gurus from the candidates at this event and I would know that they would succeed. They were all eager to learn, adapt, and apply their knowledge to transform any tech opportunity.

As I made my way back to California, I reflected on the next steps in the recruiting process. I organized my thoughts, created a follow up plan of action and scheduled accordingly. In reflection of those two days of interviews I was astonished that I managed to interview over 100 candidates face to face in just 2 days. I’ve heard that quality over quantity adds more value, but I would argue that if the quality of those involved is so high than the opportunity to interact with as many of them as possible becomes a requirement.

Author: Dr. Eduardo Diaz, helping you exceed expectations.