Be The Top Pick: Tips to Crush the Job Interview

Hiring was a common thread in conversations at both community dinners we hosted this week – one in San Francisco and the other in Austin (included a picture further along – great time as always!).

It’s a strange hiring market out there especially at early-stage companies.

All three of these seem to be true:

1. Almost every company seems to be hiring.

2. Lots of talented folks are seeking jobs.

3. Yet not a lot of positions are getting filled.

This week, I’m breaking down what we’re seeing and hearing in the market and what candidates can do to differentiate in the hiring process.

Let’s get into it.

The hiring market:

Here is what we are seeing:

·      Companies are looking for very specific roles/skill sets and have become more patient/careful in their hiring process, heartburn from some bad hires during the “war for talent.”

·      Flip side is also true: candidates are becoming more picky with the companies they join after being burned through Covid and ‘down-market’ times. 

·      There’s a salary/title misalignment between candidates and employers, many candidates jumped over to bloated salaries in 2021 and now think that’s their new floor (although the market has changed dramatically).

·      AI is making companies rethink roles, team size and attributes it takes to be successful. 

·      Lots of experienced, talented leaders/ICs are turning to consulting or fractional work. 

·      The speed at which some younger talent tried to climb the career ladder during the ‘good times’ left a skill gap.

Overall the hiring market seems to be swinging back in favor of the employer but both sides need to remember how quickly it can ping-pong back and forth.

Recruiters are still reporting it as a challenging time to fill roles, with both employers and candidates being more gun shy than previously.

Both should make some concessions to close the expectation gap and get more roles filled which should help with overall market growth.

Nailing the interview process:

Here’s one way to nail the interview process once the interview is landed:

1. Research, research, research – consume it all. Download the ebooks, listen to the old webinars, listen to podcasts employees have done, read any third party articles.

2. Reach out to 4-5 employees that are doing the same or adjacent roles and send them a note.

3. Conduct the calls with the 2-3 that respond and get a better sense of the role, what the hiring process looks like, the true culture of the company (not just what it say on the website), what the hiring manager’s personality is like and maybe *if they are super nice* they’ll do a mini demo for you (record this).

4. With that new information, revisit your personal career story and tweak it to highlight the culture and traits that you’ve uncovered in step 3.

5. Have the 1st interview. Interview them just as much as they interview you. Top performers have their pick of companies so, even if you don’t, you need to give the perception that you do + you may find out some things that make it not a good fit and save yourself a lot of trouble anyway.  Ensure that you leave them thinking that you want THIS role, not just any role. Ask/understand exactly what the hiring process looks like from here and set next steps on the call.

6. Follow up IMMEDIATELY with a thoughtful note referencing things you talked to on the call. Plus nobody is perfect so if you flubbed an answer that you want to clarify or missed something you wanted to highlight – this is a perfect chance to get those thoughts out.

7. Try to find a mutual connection who knows that initial interviewer and get someone to ping them with a note of support. Simultaneously go back to the 2-3 friendlies that you spoke to before the interview, thank them for their insight and ask if they can ping her to see how it went.

🍿 GTMnow’s FIRST digital event:

Exciting news! We will be hosting monthly digital events, kicking off the series with none other than Lars Nilsson who coined the phrase account-based sales development himself.

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That’s it, that’s all.

I’ll leave you with something that helps to put everything in perspective when it comes to hiring:

Regardless of what seniority or role the person is you’re reaching out to, the recipient of your efforts is a human being just like you, me – all of us.

Approaching every interaction with empathy, respect, and a genuine desire to connect can help foster meaningful connections in the hiring process.

Alright, have a great weekend ahead!

Barker ✌️

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Before helping found GTMfund, Scott spent 4 years at Outreach as Director of Strategic Engagement. He was in charge of aligning key relationships with VCs, BoDs, ecosystem partners and community members to drive revenue and strategic initiatives across Outreach. Scott initially ran revenue/partnerships for Sales Hacker (which was acquired by Outreach in 2018). Prior to Sales Hacker, he led and built outbound Business Development teams at Payfirma and MediaValet. Scott also advises for a number of high growth start-ups and is the host/author of The GTM Podcast and The GTM Newsletter. At GTMfund, Scott leads all fundraising efforts and runs the media arm of the firm. He’s also responsible for assessing investments, team management, LP/community relationships and GTM support for founders.

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