Interviewing Cycles

Most interviews that I have gone through were between 3-5 rounds ranging from 2- 8 weeks.There are many different ways interviewers conduct interviews. I share here below the common interviewing cycle based on my own experience.

  1. Step 1: 30 minute phone interview with a HR manager

    • The goal during this interview is to quickly assess Will/Skill. Do you have the willingness to work an exceed in this job? Do you have the right skills? The HR manager is a generalist and hence she/he won’t be deep diving into technical questions. You have a good chance of passing the first screening interview if you present a coherent story about you and how your skills are suitable to their needs.
  2. Step 2: 30-60 minute interview with Hiring Manager 

    • This is a key interview. He/she will assess your technical knowledge and overall cultural fit for the role. You need to bring your A game in term of preparation. Check out how to do research for preparation here. It would be useful to find out who his/her boss is (you can likely find this out on LinkedIn). After you, go to Youtube and Google to see if the person has given any interviews. If so, you can use direct quotation of the person during the interview. For example, if you are interviewing with LinkedIn in Asiapac, you can easily find out the VP in charge is Olivier Legrand. From there you can go to Google News and search for his name, and the second link will take you to an interview with him talking about LinkedIn’s Growth Strategy in Asia. During your interview with the hiring manager , you can mention that “I would love to work for LinkedIN. I was watching Mr. Olivier Legrand sharing on Bloomberg that Asiapac is a growth engine and LinkedIN recruiting business up 41% in Q1. This is a testament that LinkedIn is adding real values to job seekers and recruiters, which is a passion of mind to do the same thing.”
  3. Step 3: 30-45 minute interview with different team members

    • The next step is to interview with different team members. They will test your technical skills more in depth. Certain jobs work closely in a team setting. As such their success depending on your contribution. If this is the case, you need to find out who are the partners that you will working the most closely. From there, get into the mindset of how you can add value to their work. For example,you are interviewing for a customer support role to provide post-sale support. This likely means you will be working closely with the sales person who bring in the deals. Once the person closes the deal, they will pass the clients to you to provide support. How you can help the sales person is to make sure your are always responsive to help the clients. If the clients call you with a problem, you need to fast and solve the problem as soon as possible. If you don’t, the client will call the sales person and complaint. By doing so, the sales person has to take time away from his/her job and handle your job. The point is to understand what the interviewer’s jobs entail and think about how you can add value to the team’s work.
  4. Step 4: 45min-1 hour: Panel Interview & Presentation. 

    • I personally love Panel interview and presentation because this is my chance to shine and show them what I can do on the job. Often the company will ask you to prepare and present a powerpoint to present a client. Or they ask you to present on your plans for the first 30 days on the job. To read how to create a powerful presentation, read here.
    • To truly provide a powerful presentation, I seek to provide  new useful information to the audience. This is not an easy task because the interviewers know more about their company, products, and industry trends than I do. But I set the bar high and aim to impress. The way I do this is to get into a mindset that “assume I already got the job, what deliverable can I produce in the first few weeks?” I then work backward and see if I can provide that deliverable during the interview. For example, when I was interviewing with Khan Academy, I put myself in the mindset that what would I be doing if I get the job? From there, I created an actual Go-To-Market Plan complete with a full market assessment, mapping of key partners, and step by step implementation. This Go-To-Market Plan show my dedicated to the job and also showcases how I would be able to add value to the company right away.