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Know Your Audience

One of the worst things you can ask during your interview is, “what do you do here?”

Seriously?! 😱

If you don’t even know what the company does, it means you don’t really care about that role, that employer, or your future. This is just one of many places you’re applying to and it’s going to be “just a job” for you. Tech companies don’t want to hire that person.

But it’s not just during the interview where you really need to know your audience. It’s true for your resume, for any presentations, for pair sessions...pretty much at every step of the process.

Stand out by being prepared, passionate, and, honestly, just giving a damn about your own success! 😄

Preparation Tips

Before your interviews, do everything you can to put yourself in a position to succeed.

  • Research your industry and narrow down your list of target companies.
  • Spend time tailoring your resume to companies on your target list.
  • Reach out to people who work at your target companies.
  • Look through your network for potential referrals.
  • Directly message hiring managers and tech recruiters for the open role.

Customize your resume

Draw from your primary template that has everything on it to include only what’s relevant to the role and company you’re applying for.

Modify your resume summary, if needed, so it screams out that you’re a great fit for the role. It might seem like a lot of extra work, but you'd be surprised how fast recruiters can reject a resume.

They’re looking for reasons why candidates are not a fit as much as reasons why they might fit since there are often so many resumes to screen.

Know the company

Research what the company does and know that going into your interview.

Understand what your role on a specific team means to the company. Also, most companies have a page that shows off their mission and values. Be aware of these values and think of ways to incorporate them into your STAR answers to common interview questions (this might even be required like it is with the Amazon interview process).

Learn who will be present at each interview stage

If you’re giving a presentation, definitely try to learn who you’ll be presenting to. You can ask the recruiter you're in touch with to share this info.

Are they technical? What goals do they have? Maybe you’re meeting with the VP of Engineering for a technical interview. Look them up on LinkedIn and ask them about their career and how they ended up at the company.

Oh, and be ready to answer more technical questions about your resume, too. Anything you put on there is fair game for deeper questioning.

You might not always know ahead of time who will be there at each interview stage, but you can find out at the start of the conversation with them. Pay attention to who they are and speak directly to them in their role and function at the company.

Just like you want to be seen and valued, so do your interviewers.

Add value

Show that you care by thinking of solutions to potential problems. Build a mini-app that solves a pain point or addresses negative customer feedback. Write a blog post about how amazing the company is and how you've adopted their tech stack for your own personal projects.

Do everything you can to show that you care about a company and share their values.

Additional Resources

Check these helpful guides out for more info on how to research a company.