Advice on getting an interview with the tech elite

13 Feb

From when I was a little kid hearing about the perks to 6 months ago, I would have fallen over myself to have a chance to interview with a company as selective as Facebook or Google. Out of some incredibly good fortune, I just had the opportunity to interview with both and just accepted a role at Facebook. I got asked if I had any advice for getting an interview given my experiences and thought I would share:

 
Background:
I was pretty content with my role for 1.5 years as an e-commerce marketing analyst for Vistaprint focusing on making business recommendations by drawing insights from the data, leaning heavily on SQL. I graduated in 2011 from Cornell in Operations Research Engineering.
 
LinkedIn:
I was actually sent a LinkedIn message by a Google recruiter. How exactly that happened is a mystery but my guess is the skills and experiences I noted. Make sure to have enough detail and try to look at the specific skills asked for in job descriptions you are interested in and relate those to what you do. Let other speak for you. Write down some relevant “Skills” that you have and then go to your colleagues and endorse their skills if you genuinely believe they have them. In turn, some of them will endorse you back and you know have their reputations willing to back you up. Everyone’s profiles at Facebook and Google I have looked at have them. The best time to get these recommendations is when you are changing roles or leaving your company. It may feel awkward but if they really like you, they will be happy to do it. 
 
Alumni of your company:
Take advantage of turnover in your company. Make sure to touch base with people as they are leaving to see what they are doing and how cool it sounds to you. It is really difficult to keep in touch with them because you have to go out of your way to see them but it is totally worth it. Just grabbing dinner or drinks with former coworkers every quarter or so will give you a wealth of stories about your current company and how decisions really get made. In addition, they will keep you in mind when they need to hire and you are perfectly qualified because you share their qualifications. Especially If they are doing well in their new company, their recommendation will carry a lot of weight. My network at Facebook was instrumental during my recruiting and interview process.
 
In summary, make sure your LinkedIn is as good as you can make it incorporating skills and recommendations because poaching from the top companies and some start-ups does happen that way and make sure to keep in contact with alumni of your company. 
 
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One Response to “Advice on getting an interview with the tech elite”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How to Get An Internship and Job - Life After College - August 3, 2013

    […] I approached senior year with three objectives: have a ton of fun, do well academically because I started to really figure out how classes and getting good grades work (key= doing super well on homework and practice exams) and get a JOB. I took all 3 priorities really seriously had a fun and productive year. The club I had founded called the Engineering Career Fair Team as a sophomore was now quite established and even made a profit of $30,000 in the first year so I handed it off to a very worthy successor. Between that, my month long malaria intervention in Ghana, 4 years of funny tour guide stories and a GPA that now had some healthy separation from 3.0, I attacked the job market with fury. Simply put, I made it rain on Cornell’s on campus recruiting system. I applied to every job I thought I would take and that was probably 50 jobs in total with their own cover letters. 50 applications turned into 12 interviews turned into 4 final rounds and 3 offers. Playing the numbers game is probably not recommended by most but I ended up finding a place that I had never heard of called Vistaprint and could not gotten much luckier. Getting a job at Vistaprint: I chose Vistaprint over a strategy consulting firm because the people all seemed really smart and genuinely happy with their jobs. I had an awesome 2 years living in Cambridge, MA meeting amazing coworkers and learning more than I can write about thinking analytically, constantly growing and being better each day and how a workplace really functions. Becoming a data analyst takes a lot of great mentoring and on the job experience but the key skills are data driven problem solving and SQL. Getting a job at Facebook: I’ve already documented this in my blog. Check out this part of my journey here. […]

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