“Make clear what your value is”: recruiters share tech interview tips (Part 1)

Successfully passing a technical interview with a recruiter is the most popular “how-to” request among IT specialists. There is no way to get an answer rather than ask a tech recruiter itself. And that’s exactly what we did: meet a series of interviews with Zero to One Search team, experienced tech recruiters, who know best how to make perfect impression and rock a meeting with HR manager! We hope, our tech interview tips will be useful for you. Enjoy the reading and make notes!

“Each candidate has its own value. Differentiate yourself!”

tech interview tips  Pedro Perez, Recruiting Team Lead

  Peru, Lima

We talked with Pedro Perez, Zero to One Search Recruiting Team Lead based in Peru, who told us how to differentiate yourself from other candidates, why it is so important and that sometimes things can go right way mostly accidentally… but that’s no reason to chill out!

Tell a little bit about your experience as a tech recruiter. What do you like the most about your job?

The first thing I started working on was hardware. I liked that, but at the same time, I had another passion – HR. I realized that and got HR degree as well. I was interested in Talent Acquisition as part of HR, so I ended up mixing my two passions. After a while, I got a call from a recruitment company, and they offered me such an option, and I said: “Sure, I’m going to try that.” That’s how it started.

 I love that feeling of understanding someone, either software developer or hardware specialist, and getting them into a new job, into a new challenge…

I really like recruitment. I love that feeling of understanding someone, either software developer or hardware specialist, and getting them into a new job, into a new challenge… Because sometimes people are not actually thinking of a new job, but once you present them an opportunity, they become really engaged, they embark on it – it’s a great feeling.

How to impress a tech recruiter? What is the role of the first impression and whether it’s deceptive?

Tech recruiters go through a lot of CVs, interviews, so the key point is that an IT specialist should differentiate itself. I mean, every software developer, every hardware specialist or anybody else has something that makes him/her different from the rest. You should not be vague about your experience. Because if you only put “yes, I’m a JavaScript developer, and I worked with x, y, z,” it doesn’t help much. If you are an expert in something particular within these frameworks, you should mention this. Otherwise, there is no way for a recruiter to know that your CV is different from the other two or three hundred ones. I’ve seen such cases.

The best way to make the first impression really good is to make a research about a client company.

As for the first impression, I do believe that the first impression counts. It is super important in terms of both CV and first interview. A tech recruiter always wants to see that a candidate is interested in a position. The best way to make the first impression really good is to make a research about a client company. When you show this, you send a signal to a recruiter that you want this job. And again, differentiate yourself from other candidates. Each candidate has its own value and it’s important to make clear what your value is.

How to distinguish a good programmer from an average programmer?

Of course, it’s mostly about things they’ve worked on. A good programmer is the one who is always learning new things. It can be not only new languages or frameworks, but it’s also about new ways to do things.

A good programmer is the one who is always updated.

And if we speak about the transition between different industries, if you say to a recruiter “that’s what I’ve already learned, and I want to learn further” – you’re a good programmer.

Can you recall some interesting stories from your practice?

Yes, I can tell you one. I was looking for a developer for an IT company. A candidate I spoke to knew that I was looking for a specialist in a particular area. He had started to work with that particular framework not a long time ago, but was really interested in working with it. And I thought back in then: “ok, anyway, this guy has great potential, let’s give him a chance.” The thing was that a hiring manager of a client company, with whom the candidate had an interview then, thought he was applying for a different position, which was in an integration team. And he interviewed the candidate, bearing that in mind. And what do you think? My candidate was so good in integration too! The hiring manager told me after their talks: “Oh, this guy was really good, he is starting next Monday!” And the candidate was also happy about the possibility to become a part of the integration team, so it all came together. He’s still working there, by the way. Everything went the right way😊

What advice you’d give to your future candidates to ace an interview with you?

Differentiate yourself. That’s the most important thing. This is the most important tech interview tip you should remember. This could be an industry that you’ve come from, your expertise in a particular language or a noticeable experience. Some people say “yes, I have 8 years of experience in development,” but don’t elaborate on their narrower skills. Ok, let’s say, I know Node.js, you know Node.js but what you used it for?

Your connections always matter.

And one more thing. Advice for people who are looking to relocate – your connections always matter. If you have a lot of connections and spread the idea that you’d like to relocate for a job, you’ll end up reaching it. Many people from Argentina, Brazil, and many other countries come to us directly, as they have friends who got contacted by Zero to One Search, as we offer positions with relocation. So, if you are looking for a job abroad, you should be focused on your network, on who do you have around and what they want. Along with differentiation, it’s a key to success.

Want to relocate to Europe? Please, check out our interviews with IT specialists and open positions we currently have. 



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