Archive for October, 2014

Cracking the Code- How to Successfully Answer Interview Questions at Tech Companies

imagesIGKJLAUMWith tech jobs on the rise, it means that the interview process is only getting tougher and tougher. So if your dream job is to work at Apple, Facebook, or Dell, you need to start preparing how to answer their open-ended, challenging questions. But, what kind of questions will they be asking and how do job seekers prepare for the ambiguous questions before landing your next role as a mobile developer at IBM?

What Types of Questions to Expect:

  1. Questions that test your logic
  2. Hypothetical questions you’re likely to solve on the job
  3. Brainteasers

By assessing your logic, skill set, or expertise, employers will ask something like this: “What areas do you feel like are your strongest? Can you describe a time where you encountered a challenging situation and how did you solve it?”

In the technology industry, your desired roll will most likely be something specific, let’s say a Software Engineer, so it is not uncommon for a hiring manager to ask how you developed software solutions in your previous position. Based on how you answer this, will give them a good idea on how you would handle situations you may encounter on the job.

The questions that come in the middle of an interview that usually throw you for a loop, are known as brainteasers. These are going to be based upon something specific, such as “Describe Google as a person.” When answering these, stop and briefly brainstorm of how to effectively answer.

How to Answer:

  1. Ask Questions– If you are unclear, do not be afraid to ask questions. Many questions can be vague and could convey a variety of meanings, so go ahead and ask for clarification.
  2. Break it Down– By finding a way of breaking down the issue, will show the hiring manager you are capable of tackling multiple issues at once and are not easily overwhelmed.
  3. Step by Step– Provide a sense of logic upon solving a hypothetical situation, for example by saying, “first I would approach this upon completing the following step.”
  4. Convey Communication Skills– This is one of the most important factors you will be evaluated on upon any type of interview so make sure you develop clarity upon answering.

As always, continue to do research on the company prior to an interview and be prepared to go in-depth about the qualifications listed on your resume specific to the open job description. For example, if the targeted company wants to learn more about your years of coding experience, be prepared to elaborate. Do you have any tips on how to crack the code? We would love to hear from you…

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Tech Jobs on The Rise

IT TalentThe technology industry will be one of the fastest-growing fields between 2012 and 2022 and as more companies continue to digitize, the demand for tech specialists has increased exponentially. The Information Technology field will continue to generate careers and growth opportunities.

According to Staff.com, in 2012, IT Jobs had a median total compensation of $90k for staffers and $116k for managers. Cloud-Computing and Mobile Application Development are two of the fastest growing areas in IT. Not to mention, some of the other hot areas in IT right now include Software Engineers, Network Administrators, and IT Managers. The tech industry will continue to develop in 2014 with a concentration in key segments including: data, mobile application, and analytics. The presence of big data is embedded from a variety of forms, ranging from your medical forms to personalized emails; and with that being said, companies are looking to automate their data entry via strategic marketing campaigns. This will drastically reduce labor cost as these programs will minimize tedious and lengthy tasks. Mobile Development is without a doubt the fastest growing segment in IT, and as it continues to evolve, more careers are being created due to smartphones becoming our personal laptops. In reference to data analytics, more opportunities are being created than ever due to the immense amount of data present. The challenge is to establish ways to effectively approach data by determining ways to gather and re-structure massive amounts of information.

This is good news for recent college graduates or those who are looking to begin a career in the IT field, as they will have a wide range of opportunities to choose from. According to Travis Almy, Director of Recruiting at TRC Professional Solutions, “In 2014, we have experienced an 18% increase in demand for skilled IT Professionals.” What companies want to see from college grads is involvement and experience—for example, internships or participation in organizations is an added bonus.

Technology is a prevalent tool that is consistently embedded in our day-to-day lives and a manifestation of future career opportunities. Whether you are looking to begin a career in this field or striving to expand your current role, refining your skillset in technology qualifies you as a valuable asset to any company.

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You vs. The System- Applying to Jobs Online

online jobsWe’ve all been there—we keep hearing how social media continues to dominate the corporate world and when it comes to job searching, it seems like online postings are one of your only options to get a foot in the door. As you apply on LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, or on a company website, it seems that all that time spent on those long and tedious applications was wasted. When it comes to applying online, the right keywords, is what can make all the difference in your application and getting a call back from the recruiter.

It is time to switch gears and put yourself in the mind of a recruiter. If you were searching for potential candidates to fill a key position what keywords would you search for?

  1. Redundancy– In order to catch a recruiter’s eye, try to incorporate your strengths and qualifications catered to the position you are applying for throughout the body of your resume. Preferably, the earlier in your resume the better- so the recruiter will quickly glance and see in your most recent position and that you had “project management skills with multiple clients.”
  2. Avoid vague descriptions– Some of the most common phrase used on a resume are “responsible for,” “team player,” “possesses strong communication and leadership skills,” or a “go-to person.” All of these phrases really do not tell us what you specifically did in your previous roles, how you accomplished your objectives or met specific deadlines, or most importantly why you would be an ideal candidate for the position. Quantify your achievements as much as possible and use specific examples that demonstrated your crucial role at that position. Employers are looking for candidates who can grow so it makes sense to want to look for progression and milestones in your career rather than a laundry list of previous job descriptions.
  3. Relevancy– If you are using the same resume for every job you apply for- it is time to step up your game. If the position you are applying for is a project coordinator, first take a look at the job description to see if you would be a right fit- then do some fine tuning on your resume by using keywords from the job description given that mirror your previous accomplishments.

Think about it this way, if you were screening hundreds of candidates every day to find the best fit for the open position- what would you be looking for? After you complete the application process, try to find the recruiter who posted the job, do your research by looking him/her up on LinkedIn and send a follow up email. Remember, recruiters are extremely busy and anything you can do to remain on top of mind professionally, can help you not only for this open position, but others you may qualify for in the future. Do you have any tips to help “beat the system” and get noticed? We would love to hear your story!

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