How to Prepare for an Interview According to Silicon Valley
Ever wonder what Silicon Valley and the endless slew of tech jobs coming to Washington, DC look for in their candidates? We caught up with Yelp Sales Recruiter Kendall Sims for some insider tips on interview prep, how to stand out, and more.
With heightened competition for tech jobs, what makes an applicant stand out?
“They are engaging and good at being themselves. We have a five-star training program, that will teach you everything about Yelp, the products, and how to be successful in the role. But we also look for soft skills– someone who is eager to learn and coachable.”
What are the best ways to prepare for an interview at Yelp?
“One of the best ways to prepare for an interview at Yelp is to do your research. We send over a couple of links to read before the interview that give candidates information on the role, the product, and all things Yelp. Yes, we’re interviewing you, but this is also an opportunity for you to learn more about the company and see if the position and company are a good fit for you.”
What is the best way to follow up?
“The best way to follow up after an interview is with a detailed thank you note. Shoot your interviewer over an email thanking them for their time, mention a specific takeaway you had from the interview and restate your interest in the position. It’s a small gesture that can go a long way.”
Is there anything an applicant should not mention during the interview?
“Speaking negatively about a previous employer is always a definite interview don’t. You can speak about why previous employment ended while still keeping it positive and professional.”
Is there anything an applicant should not do during an interview?
“One of the biggest things that you do not want to do during an interview is be disengaged. Stay in the moment – actively listen and participate in productive conversation. It’s important that you stay engaged, so that you don’t miss anything, but most importantly so your recruiter/interviewer knows that you’re interested in and excited about the role.”
And what should we be doing during the interview?
“Take notes and ask questions. You’ll get a lot of information during your interview process that could be helpful when making a decision about the role. Ask questions. If something is unclear during the interview, then make sure you speak up and ask for clarity. Once again, we’re interviewing you, but you’re also interviewing us.”
“Have some questions prepared as well. Is there something about the role, the company or your interviewer’s experience that you’re curious about? Make sure you ask those questions during your interview. Your interviewer will always be more than happy to answer you. Lastly and most importantly, relax and be yourself.”
What’s your biggest gripe about all the resumes you’ve reviewed?
“The biggest resume gripe is any type of grammatical or spelling errors. Your resume is like your personal flyer. Double check it and then have a friend or family member triple check it. It should be as perfect as you can get it.”
What's the perfect pre-interview checklist look like?
Do your research
“The perfect interview checklist always starts with research. Make sure you understand what you’re interviewing for and be prepared to speak on why you’re interested in the role.”
Set an alarm
“If you’re going to an in-person interview or having a skype interview, set an alarm. It’s always good to be early to an interview. It will definitely make you feel a bit more relaxed, prepared, and ready to nail it.”
Plan everything out
“Take care of all of the fine details. Are you traveling? Plan out your route and make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to arrive early. Having a phone interview? Make sure you’re ready for the call in a quiet area.”