The worst part is over and you can now take a deep breath and relax. At least for now. What is left at this moment, except maybe a second or third interview, is the feedback. The last verdict. Did you get the job?
There is no simple way to answer this because every employer is different. But frankly, many of them suck at giving feedback. In way too many cases, the candidates never here from the employer ever again. We advise you to set an expectation early by asking about it when you talk to them the first time. So for your own piece of mind, end the interview by Q-ing when you will here from them again and how long they think the whole process will take.
If you are given a time frame
If you are lucky enough to meet one of the organized employers, they will probably let you know themselves. If they don’t get back to you within the time frame they gave you, wait until the window has passed and then contact them by email. If they don’t reply to the email within a day or two, call.
If you don’t hear anything for weeks
I’m sorry, but it’s usually not a good sign. It usually means that something was off in the interview, or that they found a better fit early on. But they should have the decency to let you know fairly quick. So it is a bad sign for them as well, because they haven’t learned basic human manners. Which is much worse than missing a job opportunity. This may lead to irritation and maybe a few tears of pity, but pick yourself up and try again, somewhere better.
If you get a second interview or job offer while you’re waiting for feedback
Call or email them to let them know what’s happening. Wait to accept any offer until all processes are finished, but do use it to speed things up if things are moving a bit slow. Waiting for everything to be settled before you make a decision does not mean you’re lukewarm about the opportunity you are presented, it just means that you want all the facts before you make a life changing decision. The employer will understand this, and most likely be more into you because you’re a hot commodity. It’s kinda like dating.
To summarize; it depends on what employer you are dealing with, but if they’re well mannered and organized they’ll get back to you within a reasonable amount of time. And as long as they communicate with you, it’s easier to wait, right? It’s just rude to keep you in the dark for a long time or not responding at all. And that’s not really the kind of “messy” environment anyone wants to join anyways.
And remember, negative feedback is a part of the game. Most people experience it multiple times in a job hunt. But you will eventually end up somewhere you’ll excel and be happy while doing so.
Now that you look and smell amazing and are on your way to meet your future, you need to know when you should arrive. As we addressed before: it all plays down to first impressions!
Arriving too early
Many people might think it is a good idea to come maybe 10-20 minutes before the scheduled interview. They think that this might show engagement and timeliness. Which it can, however it can strike back in an unexpected way.
It might actually put an uncomfortable pressure and stress on the employer. They might be in the middle of something and feel rushed when they hear that you have arrived 20 minutes before. This might put a damper on the interview from the start, and it might be best to just try to avoid this. If you arrive ten minutes early, then just tell the receptionist that they can wait a little bit to announce your arrival.
Arriving too late
Well, not necessarily. Shit happens. It’s how you deal with it that shows how responsible you are. Let them know as early as possible in advance that you’re going to be late. Why is not so important but if they ask, you had a meeting that ran longer than you thought. You’re a busy and important person, right? Ask the interviewer if it is OK that you’ll be there 15min late or if he wants to reschedule. And be realistic about when you will be able to be there. DON’T REPEAT THIS, second strike and you’re out.
Arriving on the exact time
This is basically what you should do to avoid all anger and self-loathing. Arrive on the strike. It shows timeliness, it doesn’t stress out the employer and you don’t have to come up with a transparent white lie. Lies are for sinners, right?
This will prevent all unnecessary stress.
You have now made it through the horrific application process and beaten out a lot of competitors. You are now in the top tens and should start preparing for the next nerve wrecking stage in the jobhunt; the dreaded interview.
What you are going to wear might seem like a very unnecessary ordeal to consider, but it is in fact quite important. It all plays down to what kind of first impression you are giving out.
So all you gamers and hoodie-lovers let’s get into it, huh?
Research the company
Firstly and most important, research the company! What kind of market are they in? What do they value? Look at company photos: how are their employees dressed? This will give you an insight in what kind of people they are and how they like to dress. With this newfound information you can easily put together an outfit that will impress and make them feel like you fit right in. Which you do, right? wink*
Show off your personality
Even though it is beneficial to dress like you are one of them, it is important to show off your personality. Give them a feel of who you are, but at the same time show that you can be trusted to represent their brand. If you have a favorite item of clothing that truly shows off who you are, wear it! Unless it has racist slurs or any pro- Donald Trump slogans on it.
Show that you have made an effort
Even though you don’t normally suit up on a daily basis, the interviewer will appreciate that you have made somewhat of an effort to look nice. Do you have a nice blazer? Wear it over your favorite t-shirt with some nice trousers and clean shoes. It will immediately give off an impression that you have your shit together and that you can organize your work well. Psst! nobody does.
Hairstyle and makeup
Soo, hairstyle. This is a very important step! Everything can look very dapper from your neck down, but if you don’t have your head under control it can make all your efforts you made into the outfit go to waste. This is not something we want to happen so read on to get some life-changing tips.
Firstly: less is more and simplicity is key. You want both your face and your hair to look very natural and sleek. You want to look professional and like you just woke up like that. You are not Beyonce, but you can be.
For the guys: get a haircut, and style it so it looks neat. Groom or shave your beards, wear cologne and brush your freakin’ teeth. If you usually wear makeup you can do this now as well, but like with the women: don’t overdo it!
For the women: brush your hair, style it so it looks sleek and well put together, but don’t go all prom style. If you don’t have glass skin or look like you have just been running in a field of flowers, you can wear makeup. The rule of “less is more” applies here as well. The important thing is to look energized and awake.
With this little guide, you can make a great first impression and hopefully get the job! Good luck!
You have finally got the call. The call that granted you innpass to the next level: the job interview.
Congrats! Now you have to prepare what you are going to say, do and how you are going to act. But don’t worry, we have the ultimate guide you can count on.
There’s usually three rounds of interviews. The first one is about getting to know you as a person and candidate. The second is about your passion for the field and work you’ll be doing where you need to be prepared to be challenged on a professional level. The third one is the final talk before they make the decision.
This guide will prepare you for the first interview, which is kind of relaxed and informal. So stressing out about this one is a waste of energy!
Do your research!
Start by looking into their future goals and plans. Conducting the interview with this in mind will make you seem like a good long-term investment. You should also be ready to talk in depth about the industry, the organization, and the position you are applying for.
Use the company’s website, their annual report, and newspaper/business magazine articles to gather as much information as possible.
Anticipate what the interviewer will ask
It’s best to prepare for a wide variety of questions by thinking about your own career goals, long-term plans, past successes, and work strengths, but you should also brace yourself for the deceptively simple questions that most employers like to throw at their interviewees.
Some of these questions can be: “What is your biggest weakness?”; “Why do you want this job?”, “Why did you leave your other job?”, “ Where do you see yourself in five years?”.
Think of questions to ask the interviewer
Participating actively during the interview gives a good impression of your level of interest in the job. It’s a good idea to come prepared with at least three thought-provoking questions to ask your interviewer.
These can be: “ What are the chances of professional growth in this job opportunity?” or seem interested in the interviewers position “How long have you worked in this company?”
What to bring to the interview
Something to make notes on: this shows that you came to the interview prepared and that you are interested in what the employer has to say. It also helps to have something to note on so that you can remember important company information, questions or names. If you forget your notepad at home, ask for a pen and paper, it shows interest.
A note with the name of the interviewer: Learn your interviewer’s name and job position before going to the interview. You’ll find it on the job listing or an email signature. But remembering names is hard, spare yourself some awkwardness and write it down in your notes.
Rather write that we’re in 2018 so you don’t have to bring anything. But be prepared to orally summarize your CV in the start of the interview so that they can free themselves from the computer screen and have a more natural conversation. And it’s OK to not provide references before the second interview.
Practice interview etiquette
How to greet: A firm handshake might be awkward. Just shake their hand however you like. Then introduce yourself and be prepared for a little smalltalk. Might be smart to plan something in advance that is more interesting than the weather.
How to respond to questions: Listen carefully and take time to phrase your responses well. Be brief and don’t ramble on, but make sure you answer what is asked, keep focus and highlight your skills. And of course, have good manners; don’t interrupt the interviewer or laugh of silly questions. The last one might be hard..
How to close the interview: Towards the end of the interview let the hiring manager know that you think the job is an excellent fit and that you are very interested in the job. It’s appropriate to ask what the next step in the hiring process will be and when you might expect to hear back for them. Finally, thank the interviewer for the time they spent interviewing with you.
Thank you note: This might not be necessary, but taking the time to say thank you not only shows that you appreciated the interview, it also gives you an opportunity to reiterate your interest in the job.
In addition to saying thank you you can refer to anything the interviewer mentioned that enhanced your interest and summarize why you think the job is a good match and why you’re a strong candidate for the job. However: don’t overdo it! You don’t want to look like a “kiss ass” either.
It’s minus 23 degrees. I was freezing wearing four different layers of clothing. I’m now in a bikini, about to jump into an ice hole to pitch WA.works. At this point, fond memories of my desk and headphones run through my mind
-why do I do this to myself?
6th and 7th of February 2018, Polar Bear Pitching invited international startups, investors and media to the freezing city Oulu in north of Finland. They all gathered in the town square for an out of the ordinary pitching competition, where 26 startups had to enter a hole in the ice to sell their business idea to a jury. I was super excited when I applied for this unique opportunity for Wide Assessment to get international exposure, but it quickly turned into remorse and fear when I realized that I actually had to go through with it..
#showmesisu was the order from the jury, a hashtag for Finnish courage and strength, but not exactly what I was promoting when I was walking the plank leading to JBear and the gaping ice hole. To make matters worse, the pitching was delayed by an hour because the hole had to be re-carved due to the insanely cold conditions. Eeek!
«Is this your first time?» JBear asks surprised. Apparently, ice bathing is a thing in Finland. As I undress my robe, joyful glimps of coffee, colleagues and computers flash through my mind. «Why Stine, why do you torture yourself?» I think as I dip my toes in the water.
I. Can’t. Breath.
So I do it three times quickly, and start my pitch. To my surprise, my voice is holding up. I’m pausing and articulating like I practiced, and I’m not referring to an imaginary powerpoint like I did on my dry runs (pun intended).
Like a marathon runner I raise my hands on the finishing line. Then I quickly get out of the water and grab the first warm and fuzzy thing I see, JBear, and then rush for the sauna with a reporter on heels.
And I suddenly remember all the reasons why I sign up for shit like this. We’re on a quest to make global changes, and global changes doesn’t happen just because we create awesome technology that can single out IT talents. Candidates, companies, partners, investors and media from all over the world need to know about it.
And the world’s stage is not at my office in Bergen, Norway. So I’m slowly becoming comfortable being alone in a foreign country, speaking a second language, networking with complete strangers, and promoting my passion on stage, online and in water…
I’m willing to sign up, download and give a 3-day-try to almost any tool that promises to make our work flow better. I especially have a thing for desktop apps.
But frankly, I delete or forget most of them within the first month.
But the keepers are heavily used and appreciated, so I thought I would share them
The WAis an online profile for IT candidates that effortlessly highlights and shares their technical abilities with potential employers, without compromising on their right to control who can view their résumé.
Used for: 7 months
Runs on: Web
I (would) pay: 50 000 NOK/ $6000 a year for Premium Features
Why I love: The low key poking feature introduces us to candidates we would never reach through regular recruiting, and their WA profiles instantly tells me if they fit our team or not.
Most loved feature: Premium Search, where you can look through anonymous skill profiles and poke the ones you would like to get to know. The candidate then choose whether or not they want to let mer access their full profile or not.
What could be better: The design. (Coming soon!)
The Pastebot tracks everything you copy in a history list, and then lets you paste previous clips (including screenshots and snippets).
Used for: 1 year
Runs on: Mac
I pay: 109 NOK/ $13 a year
Why I love it: Most of my clipboard contains links, snippets or email address I will need multiple times. I was longing for something like this. I even made my brother program a temporary solution, but not as good as this one.
Most loved feature: Paste second copy.
What could be better: So essential that it should be a part of the Mac package.
Newton is a modern, clean email client for those who get lost in Gmail and hate Outlook.
Used for: 1,5 year
Runs on: iPhone, Android, Windows, Mac
I pay: $49.99 a year
Any.do is the task managing tool you’re going to keep using. Though the design is Trello inspired, it’s even easier to use and better for task handling.
Used for: 3 months
Type: Web, Chrome, Mac, iPhone, Android, Alexa
I pay: Nothing. All my needs are served on the Freemium model.
Why I love: It’s synced on all devices and let’s me categorize and schedule both business and personal tasks without everything becoming overbearing and messy. I also love that the deadlines are not sorted on dates, but today, tomorrow, upcoming and someday. It’s less stressful somehow.
Most loved feature: Switching the sorting between categories and deadlines.
What could be better: I’m missing “task in progress”. It would be motivating to see that tasks are started, not just pending or finished.
Used: 2 years
Type: Web, iPhone, Android
I pay: 4500 NOK/ $555 a year
Fiken is a Norwegian self help accounting system that easily let’s smaller companies deal with accounting, invoicing, salaries and reports.
Why I love: I love the automatic features that are integrated with Altinn and how easy it is to navigate through the system.
Most loved feature: Fiken is able to read receipts and suggest which VAT code to register them as. This save us a lot of typing and researching time!
What could be better: We miss an integrated time tracker, but have heard rumors that it’s coming in 2018.
These are my top five tools for general work tasks. All of them are focusing on doing the main task best, instead of bombarding you with dozens of half-ass features to solve all your problems.
I also highly recommend Pivotal Tracker for software developement.
But that area is a jungle I’ll have navigate for you another time..
We decided to keep the tradition we started in our original recruitment agency and add an honest list of 2017’s wins and losses to our Christmas greetings.
With this, we want to thank users, customers, partners, investors, board and supporters, and wish you all a merry Christmas and a heck of a new year. We can’t wait to update this list next year:
Money at beginning: 1,1M NOK
Money raised during: 2M NOK
New investors: 6
Current owners: 14
Loan granted: 1,5M NOK
Money at end: 2,7M NOK
Articles written: 4
Reporters approached: 20
Articles published: 2
Pitches held: 1 billion
Piches nailed: 1
Candidate launch: February
Company launch: May
Customer launch: August
Average delivery delay: 2 months
Average bugs in releases: 4
Signed up: 3900
Signed down: 100
Countries 2017: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, UK
Countries 2018: USA
Current pokes: 1100
Going in: 3
Going out: 5
Planned hires 2018: 5
The founders of Wide Assessment were both surprised and happy when they managed to raise doubled the amount of capital intended in the second funding round.
Wide Assessment was established in 2016 and finalized their first funding round of 1,1M NOK in the fall the same year. When the company opened the next round a year later, the interest from investors was so surprising that they decided to do two parallell rounds. Within just weeks, both were closed at a total of 2M NOK.
The story begins with a daughter and a father who realize that they can work together without getting on each other’s nerves. The seed for creating a new tool for evaluating IT skills started to grow in the father’s recruitment agency. Together with CTO, Eivind Hjertnes, the team developed WA.works, a recruitment platform that slowly but surely started to replace the original work the agency was an expert at. This attracted big clients like Knowit and Capgemini, as well as smaller tech companies.
Business Angel Ole Tom Pettersen have big faith in the new solution and have invested in all of the funding rounds.
The capital will be used to validate the model for scaling in the IT market. By the end of 2018, Wide Assessment will be aiming for Seed Capital to be able to expand to other industries.
Don’t get hung up on job titles and demands. Job listings are usually too vague about the actual work tasks, and too specific about the demands in regards to experience and education.
Rule of thumb: always apply, it’s up to the company to figure out if it’s a match or not. But clicking your way through a shitty recruitment system might not seem worth it if you’re not all that sure of your own interest, or the chance of getting an interview. So until WA.works reaches world domination, here are some guidelines for spending your time wisely:
Part time job
JK. It’s hard, but not impossible, to find a relevant part time job. Most consultant agencies have summer trainee programs that can serve as a good entry. Start early and talk to company representatives when they visit your school. The competition is usually stiff, so make use of your network to get through the door. We also recommend looking towards startups. Salaries might be low (or non-existent) but your growth and résumé will definitely benefit more from this than spending the hours stocking shelfs at IKEA.
Evaluate if the position is a good start for growing competence and career. And first and foremost, figure out which one of those is most important to you. Some thrive in a smaller environment where they are challenged each day, while others are motivated by big organizations with more obvious career opportunities. Nevertheless, find a place you can stay for a couple of years and don’t be too fussy about salary and their customer product. Your first job is all about getting to know your industry beyond profession, and building a solid foundation of the network you will use for the rest of your career.
What do you WANT to work with? After your first job you have a better understanding of what direction you want to take from here on. Now you can make conscious decisions on what kind of company you’d like to be a part of, and what role you want in that company. What are factors that make you excited about a work place? Funny coworkers, new technology, responsibilities, salary, flexible hours? Some of these are possible to negotiate as part of your contract. Others are kind of a gamble, but a gamble that can be minimized by for example visiting the work place outside of the interview situation, or asking around in your network.
First Management Job
First management position usually comes to you through internal processes. It’s hard to get that kind of responsibility externally without having proved that you can handle it. But you can use your application text and interview to convince them about your leadership abilities. They are looking for someone that will be respected by the team, that you’re comfortable using management methods (what kind depends on position), and that you can guide the company through trends and opportunities that arises.
Nb! Education level (degrees and certifications) is either a strong influencer or a hard demand in this case.
Other Management Jobs
You will get a new managing position through close relationships to customers and suppliers, recognition in your network, an impressive résumé that proves results over time and great references. Like in your second or third job, you are now in a better position to evaluate what’s important to you. While immediate industry knowledge have been a key factor for a long time, your management level might have exceeded that need at this point.
Many people who have had a great career choose to challenge themselves by venturing off on their own. This area of your life is very much about self-fulfillment and realizing goals and dreams.
For those of you who that are facing some of your final career decisions, it can be quite hard to know what the guys on the other side of the table are thinking. You have some of the best competence and experience on the market, but it might also be outdated if you have spent most of your recent years at one place. New employers are also concerned about your priorities at this point in your life; are you looking to have more free time or are you ready to pull up your sleeves and put in the hard work? This is something you have to evaluate for yourself as well, and figure out how you want your ambition level to be perceived in an interview.
And don’t worry, the companies that are looking for 25 year olds will not even invite you to an interview, so don’t feel you have to compete with their lifestyle and career ambitions. The companies that are interested in you want you for the mistakes you have made and learned from, the overview and calm you have in all situations, and the valuable relationships you have obtained over many years in the industry. But it is a good idea to freshen up on new technology before an interview to show that you still keep track of trends and developments!
You’ve spent almost three years finishing your bachelor’s degree and you are now facing the difficult decision of whether your should enter adulthood or continue in the safe womb of studentship, so what should you do?
If studying hard (and probs “socializing” equally hard) is all you have been doing for the last three years, I recommend you to enter the real world.
IT educations are too theoretic to compete with actual work experience. Some subjects are still basing grades on pen n’ paper programming, and most practical assignments are missing the context and legacy you deal with in big projects.
Therefore, you have to start with evaluating your actual competence. For example; are you a good programmer or just a great student? Compare these two factors and see how they fit with our general guidelines:
**If you have amazing grades and most likely will continue to have this during your master’s, let’s be honest, a consultancy agency will snap you up even if you’re competing with more talented programmers.
*Find a job is easier said than done. Whilst doing so, we recommend doing internships and creating or joining relevant projects, so that you are building competence and can increase your chances of landing an interview and being impressive in it.
Students with relevant part time jobs, summer jobs or internships have relevant work experience and therefore need to consider what’s their best learning method and their chances of getting good enough grades going forward. “Reconsider Career Choice” appears twice in the guidelies below because if you actually have experience and haven’t increased your level in programming, you might just be aiming for the wrong field.
Degree level is almost always used as a filter to make the workload manageable. A master’s degree stands out in the recruiting process, especially in bigger companies with many applicants.
However, the IT industry is somewhat unique because IT knowledge is available and acknowledged even without degrees. It is possible to be great in your field without any formal background. And many IT candidates are typical self-thought geniuses that lack the interest or ability to succeed through theoretical studies and exams. That’s one of the reasons why we want to create a CV that better mirrors a candidate’s actual competence level and context, and a tool for companies to discover this without being fixated on degrees.
To sum it up, a master’s will generally get you through the door, but getting further will be hard if your grades are bad and/or you actually suck at the tasks they want to hire you to do.
This is of course just a general observation, and deciding on education is always a very subjective and individual choice. Motivation is for example a very important factor that have not been discussed in this blog post.
Our guidelines are based on nearly ten years in the IT recruiting industry from local, national and international agencies. If you’re having troubles deciding what to do, feel free to comment on social media. We are happy to answer questions and give advice. And please speak up if you disagree; more perspectives will help the students with this dilemma!
We are using our experience to change how small companies attract and hire IT competence by reconstructing the CV. Though we’re keeping parts of it, a WA will mostly focus on the candidates’ skill level and context, so that this can be matched with our costumers’ needs.
Personally, I have more IT passion than skills, and more experience trying to challenge the recruitment industry than being a part of it, so I’m doing this because I truly believe that our team can attract the people, capital and market shares needed to untangle the knots in today’s market.
If you ask our Sales Manager, he’s doing it because of he has spent the last decade trying to help candidates and customers do this manually, and made money doing so. But he knows there is a better way to do things, and he want to be a part of that turnaround.
And our Lead Developer is just tired of crappy systems and wants to build something better.
Famous words by the Linkedin-founder..and by his definition, we are right on time!
While we have great plans for the design of WA.works, we made a conscious (and financial) decision to finish all basic functionality as soon as possible to enter the market, and implement a comprehensive and intuitive design when we’re further along.
And if you haven’t seen our new solution yet, please feel free to register!
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