“Our Joint Goal Is Just To Have A Nice Conversation”: Recruiters Share Tech Interview Tips (Part 2)

It’s time for Episode 2 of tech interview tips by Zero to One Search recruiters.  This week, our guest is Paula Pazos, IT Recruiter based

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It’s time for Episode 2 of tech interview tips by Zero to One Search recruiters.  This week, our guest is Paula Pazos, IT Recruiter based in Argentina. Paula, the experienced professional really passionate about technologies, told us about how important it is to be open during a tech interview, what’s a recruiter’s role in building the first impression and why it’s crucial to always be sincere.

If both sides are sincere, there is a match

recruitment-tech-interview-tips   Paula Pazos, IT Recruiter


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

I started working as a recruitment intern about 10 years ago. First, I made recruitment for Argentina, but then I moved to Panama, where I started to search for candidates outside my country.

I also worked for a marketing company and was in charge of recruitment for the Barcelona office, Mexico and Israel. It was cool! In that same company, I began to work for all Latin American countries and the US. For the first time, I understood that there are significant differences between ways to make recruitment in different countries and it’s important to be aware of cultural and business particularities to be successful.

All my candidates have different seniority and roles. And I like that I use English every day. I also used to conduct interviews remotely, just with my laptop, and this is great. What I enjoy in my job is talking to people and listening to what they like, what their passions are. Moreover, technologies are my hobby and doing this job I can learn about different applications and what is happening around the tech world – I love this very much.

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

Be clear about what you want. It helps to understand what particular opportunities are the most suitable for a candidate. I always tell candidates that they should be super sure about what they are applying for – this is the key to success.

Be clear about what you want.

Another tech interview tip is to express your ideas correctly, to be open while talking about your projects. A recruiter will never get bored of it – speak about any challenges, anything that you’ve done at your previous jobs.

Actually, if a recruiter and a candidate have a great conversation – this is an indicator.

And what about the first impression?

I think it’s not only about a candidate. A recruiter’s behavior also matters. I try to always be very open, letting my candidates be themselves. Even if an interview is the first for a candidate – you should put yourself in his/her shoes. Interview is a nervous thing. It doesn’t matter whether it’s first one or not, via skype or in person. During international interviews everyone is always excited and nervous. And I’ve been there too. So our joint goal is just to have a nice conversation.

If a recruiter creates a good atmosphere, it’s unlikely that the first impression would be deceptive.

How to distinguish a good programmer from an average programmer?

A good programmer can compare stack and know how to do his job the right way. A good programmer should know that not every stack suit for all the apps he/she wants to build.

A good programmer can compare stack and know how to do his job the right way.

It’s important to be able to analyze and compare, to make sure that your solutions are working not only now, that you deliver long-lasting options. Of course, it depends on the scalability of what you’re doing, but the more variants of implementation of a task you consider the better.

Can you recall some interesting stories from your practice?

What I remember is that some months ago I had a long and interesting interview with a candidate (he was subsequently hired), but… The thing was that I did not have a Wi-Fi connection in my house that day, so I conducted an interview from McDonald’s. In fact, it was not that bad, as it seemed like an office room, I had a separate space. However, people kept entering and asking things like “is this seat free?” and I had to answer and react all the time. I told a candidate about this situation, we laughed, so everything was good, he understood that?

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

Get prepared. To check some information about how to pass through this international interview. And be sincere.

If both sides are sincere, there is a match.

I remember candidates who said that it was their first interview of such kind and they did not know what to do – it’s ok, that’s so important for me to know that. It’s a signal that I should be more attentive, careful. I want them to feel relaxed and secure, to freely express their thoughts. Basically, my main advice is to be themselves – this advice will also work during an interview with a client. It’s also useful to write down what you’ve done and what you’re looking for, what you want to focus on in your future job.

This was the second part of tech interview tips from our team. If you still had not a chance to review the last week’s conversation with Pedro Perez – use the hyperlink!

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