More stories

  • in

    Tech Candidate Spotlight – Christine Kim, Senior Software Engineer

    Can you share a little bit about your educational background?

    I graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science from Brandeis University. I also worked at the IT Help Desk while at school, and had an engineering internship my junior year summer.

    Having a solid foundation during my B.S. Computer Science degree made the biggest impact on my tech career. Since then, I had supportive managers who encouraged learning and attending conferences.

    What would you like to learn more about?

    Eventually, I want to take on a people manager role and would love to know what that entails. I’m sure there are a lot of things that I don’t yet have experience with.

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    I wasn’t one of those students who always knew I loved coding or computers. But in high school, I took one mandatory Computer Science class. Even then, I didn’t take away much except that it was pretty fun and made a lot of sense to me. Later, when I went to college, I realized CS could be a career.

    How has your skill set evolved throughout your career?

    At first, I came with a lot of basics and academic part of Computer Science knowledge. I didn’t yet know how I would apply it to real-life projects. But through my internship and personal projects, I saw how a real company runs. Then, in the first few years of my career, I rotated around different teams and projects. I realized what I really loved and that I was passionate about Android Development.

    Related: Ready to Start Programming with AI? A Quick Guide for Software Engineers

    If you chose to specialize in one area, what was it and why?

    I chose to pursue Android Development in depth because something about the platform resonated with me. I personally prefer Androids for my mobile device, but that wasn’t the complete reason. I enjoy that Android development feels like a mix of back-end and front-end engineering, and I like how easily accessible and visible my work can be.

    Is your new role different from previous ones?

    My new role is completely remote, which is different from my in-office role at my last company. Although my last company transitioned to being remote during the pandemic, I still had a rapport from the in-office days. That kind of connection is harder when you start with a remote company, but I love the culture of flexibility and work-life balance.

    Related: How to Maximize your Job Offer as a Remote Engineer

    What are you most excited about in your new role?

    I’m most excited about getting to know the product space better because it’s not a product that I personally use or have experience with. I’m also excited about working with the native mobile SDK. It’s different from the feature work that I’m used to doing.

    What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

    It was really hard to find the right opportunities for me, and I wasn’t even sure if I was looking in the right places. It was also a lot of legwork on my part to find those opportunities, apply, and then wait indefinitely for somebody to reach back out.

    Related: 9 Smart Tips for Jobseekers to Identify & Avoid Job Scams in 2023

    What’s your best advice for jobseekers on the Hired platform? 

    I think having a solid profile is the most helpful. That way, recruiters can best assess your background and send you the job opportunities that you are best fit for. After that, it’s all about being patient and going back to interview basics.

    Related: Get Employers’ Attention: How to Craft an Effective Hired Jobseeker Profile Headline

    What would you tell someone who’s curious about Hired?

    Hired is a no-brainer to sign up on Hired. It widens your search for a new job and gives you a better fighting chance than a lot of other platforms.

    Any general advice you’d like to give other tech professionals?

    Going back to interview basics is important no matter where you are in your career. And it’s equally as important to know how to present your valuable experience in a short amount of time in an interview setting.

    Thanks for sharing, Christine! Looking for a tech or sales role? Complete your free Hired profile today!

    Looking for tech talent like Christine? Get a customized demo.

    About DraftKings

    DraftKings is an innovative daily fantasy sports contest and sports betting company. Founded in 2012, DraftKings has 1501-5000 employees and is headquartered in Boston.


    401K plan, tuition reimbursement, health/dental/vision/life/disability insurance, diversity program, flexible working hours, employee groups and committees, and more.

    Tech Stack

    C#.NET MVC, React, JavaScript, Swift, AWS, MySQL, Bitbucket, JIRA, Datadog, RabbitMQ, Python, Confluence, Single-Page Applications, Redis, AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), Amazon Relational Databases (RDS), .NET, Xamarin, Octopus Deploy, Bamboo, Git, Elastic Stack (ELK), new relic, TypeScript, Redux, Docker, Chef, Powershell, Ubuntu, NGINX, VMWare vSphere, Akamai, Kotlin, Solidity More

  • in

    Why You Should Ask for a Reverse Interview (& How to Prep for It)

    Job interviews are typically seen as a one-way street – employers asking the questions and candidates providing the answers. While your primary goal in an interview is to advance in the hiring process, it’s also an opportunity to evaluate whether or not the job is a good fit for you. This is where a reverse interview comes in. It empowers you to take a more active role in the conversation. After all, you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you.

    What is a reverse interview? 

    A reverse interview, also known as a “reverse job interview” or “candidate-led interview,” is a type of job interview where the candidate asks the questions. The purpose of a reverse interview is for the candidate to gain a deeper understanding of the company, team, and job role, and to assess whether the organization is the right fit for their career goals and values.

    During a reverse interview, the candidate typically asks questions that go beyond the surface-level information provided in the job description or initial interviews. These questions are designed to uncover important details about the company’s culture, expectations, and work environment, as well as to assess whether the company aligns with the candidate’s professional and personal aspirations.

    In a reverse interview, you gather information that goes beyond what is typically found in job descriptions or company websites. This proactive approach not only demonstrates the candidate’s genuine interest in the position. It also helps them make informed decisions about whether the company and role are the right fit for their skills, values, and career aspirations.

    By engaging in a two-way conversation, you gain valuable insights into the work environment, expectations, and growth potential within the company. Ultimately, a reverse interview is a powerful tool for both the candidate and the employer, fostering a more transparent and collaborative hiring process where both parties can assess if there is a mutual fit and alignment of goals.

    The benefits of a reverse interview

    Showcasing your interest

    A reverse interview is a golden opportunity to demonstrate your genuine interest in the company and the role. By asking insightful questions, you convey that you are not just looking for any job but are invested in finding the right fit.

    Assessing cultural alignment

    Culture is a crucial aspect of job satisfaction. A reverse interview allows you to delve into the company’s values, work environment, and team dynamics. This insight helps you evaluate whether the organization aligns with your professional and personal values.

    Understanding expectations

    Flip the script and ask about the day-to-day responsibilities, project expectations, and success metrics for the role. This not only shows your proactive approach but also ensures you have a clear understanding of what is expected in the position.

    Gaining insider perspectives

    Engaging in a reverse interview provides you with valuable insights from those on the inside. Ask about the challenges and opportunities the team faces, and listen for cues on how the company addresses these aspects. This firsthand information is priceless.

    How to prepare for a reverse interview

    Research extensively

    Before the interview, delve into the company’s culture, recent projects, and any news or updates. This knowledge equips you to ask specific and informed questions, showcasing your dedication and preparation.

    Craft thoughtful questions

    Prepare a list of questions that go beyond the superficial. Inquire about the team’s collaboration style, the company’s approach to innovation, or any recent successes. Thoughtful questions demonstrate your strategic thinking and genuine interest.

    Related: Best Reverse Interview Questions; How to Offer Reverse Interviews 

    Tailor your questions

    Customize your questions based on the role and industry. Tailoring your queries to the specifics of the position not only showcases your understanding but also highlights your suitability for the role.

    Practice active listening

    During the reverse interview, practice active listening. Pay attention to the responses and use them to guide follow-up questions. This not only demonstrates your engagement but also allows for a more natural and dynamic conversation.

    Related: Want to Ace Behavioral Interviews? A Guide to Prep Jobseekers 

    3 examples of questions to ask in a reverse interview 

    There are many questions you could ask to learn more about the organization, the company culture, the nature of the work, and measures of success in the job. Here are a few questions to shed some light during the reverse interview on what it might be like to work for that employer.

    Related: What Questions to Ask Your Interviewer During Your Employer OnSite

    1. What decisions can I make without approvals?

    It’s important to know how much autonomy you’ll have performing your job function. It’s even more important to ensure your expectations are aligned. The details can be worked out after you start the job, but it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting into ahead of time. Will you be working for a micromanager or someone who gives you direction and lets you run with it?

    A more senior role may come with more autonomy, while a junior position will have less. Countless decisions can range from expenditures to resource allocation to agreements with vendors and other partners, depending on the specific job function. The important thing is to get an understanding of the degree of autonomy you will have in the context of the job role and level of seniority.

    For an engineering or technical role, understand:

    the limits of your authority to determine the course of a project

    the approach to solving a particular problem

    when and how to engage with other parts of the organization

    2. How does the team communicate?

    Effective communication is a critical factor in the success of any organization. Work has become increasingly collaborative, especially in engineering and technical fields, and communication styles can vary widely among managers. Exploring how team members communicate with each other and with the manager will give you an indication of the pace of work and team dynamics.

    Technology has given us a wide range of communication and collaboration tools for real-time messaging, document sharing, and audio and video conferencing. Which of these tools are in use within the organization, and which ones the manager prefers to use, is an important element of the work environment. Is the role remote? If so, it’s even more critical to understand integration into team meetings and the daily flow of communication.

    Do they prefer written or verbal communication?

    Do they like to meet face to face when possible?

    Do they want regular updates, or do they only need to know when something deviates from the plan?

    Think about how these communication styles compare with your preferences. Consider how you might accommodate any differences.

    3. How do you bring out the best in people?

    It goes without saying: you’ll present yourself as a self-motivated and driven professional during the interview. But a good manager understands the importance of creating an environment for each individual on their team to flourish. How an organization views this aspect provides insight into their values and working for them.

    Do they take an interest in the professional development of their team members?

    How do they remove roadblocks and protect the team from internal and external demands that distract from the true priorities?

    To what extent do you have opportunities to be mentored or coached?

    Discussing these topics shows you how supportive you can expect this person to be.

    Use reverse interview questions to find the right fit

    Asking for a reverse interview is not just a bold move; it’s a strategic one. The interviewing process is all about finding the right fit, and this applies equally to the employer and the jobseeker. Is the job a good match for your skills, interests, and values? 

    If so, there is a foundation for a good working relationship and you are more likely to be a productive and successful employee. By actively participating in the conversation, you position yourself as a candidate who is not only qualified but also deeply committed to finding the right professional home.  More

  • in

    How to Identify Value-Driven Employers in the Job Search

    Values are the principles guiding actions and decision-making. Company values not only shape the workplace and culture but the hiring process too – and in turn, your job search. As this turbulent hiring market tests employers and their commitments, jobseekers should understand which companies remain dedicated to their values. 

    Three pillars of hiring: equity, efficiency, and transparency

    At Hired, we believe the most successful companies are guided by strong employer brand values and fair hiring practices. Our observations of successful companies tell us equity, efficiency, and transparency are key to making hiring better for everyone.

    Equity levels the playing field to open opportunities to a diverse range of talent and reduces the wage gap by offering fair pay. Efficiency expresses how streamlined companies are when advancing candidates through the hiring funnel. Transparency refers to how openly companies communicate salaries or salary bands to candidates, as well as insights into the hiring process and expectations. 

    On Hired, we find that transparent expectations through detailed jobseeker profiles and openness about jon preferences lead to better matches and is a productive use of both parties’ time.

    Why equity, efficiency, and transparency matter to jobseekers


    The challenges of 2023 – economic uncertainty and layoffs to name a few – put DEIB at risk. Some companies scaled back DEIB efforts when budgets shrank. However, the best employers and those who will succeed in 2024 are the ones who continue to prioritize and stay accountable to DEIB initiatives. Forward-thinking companies know that bias-free processes lead to more innovation, higher retention, and better performance. 

    Underrepresented jobseekers often face systemic biases and barriers that prevent equitable access to opportunities. This is frustrating and often disheartening, especially as it affects overall career advancement. 

    Equitable hiring keeps companies accountable and creates fair and unbiased opportunities for jobseekers to succeed. Equitable companies foster inclusive cultures where employees feel respected, valued, and supported to reach their full potential. They enact policies that provide access to growth opportunities and flexibility so employees thrive personally and professionally. Fair hiring practices speak volumes about the supportive, fulfilling work environment you’d experience as an employee. 


    The hiring process is already stressful as is. Jobseekers certainly don’t need an unorganized interview process on top of that. Have you spent time jumping through hoops just to reschedule last minute – or worse, be ghosted entirely? Even experienced talent are facing inefficient, opaque hiring processes that waste time, generate anxiety, and create barriers to career advancement. 

    The good news is that companies with efficient hiring processes are out there and they’re fostering positive candidate experiences. An efficient hiring process shows a company respects jobseekers’ time, has an organized culture, and uses best practices to facilitate skills-based hiring.

    The companies that streamline their processes value your time and energy. When you experience an organized, fast, and respectful interview process, you know that culture carries through the entire company. Consider an efficient hiring process a first look into:

    Work culture

    How organized a company is

    How decisions are made

    What working cross-functionally is like


    Talking about money shouldn’t be uncomfortable – especially when it’s employers discussing salaries with candidates. Luckily, 2023 brought meaningful progress in salary transparency, thanks to laws enacted across the country. 

    Salary transparency leads to fair, equitable pay and informed negotiations. This fosters trust and advocates for merit-based recognition. Open compensation practices empower employees through insight into growth trajectories and ensure they are valued competitively. 

    Many companies are now publicly sharing salary ranges for open roles, which empowers jobseekers to advocate for fair pay. When candidates know where they stand, they can confidently step into a role that recognizes their worth. Plus, companies that post salary ranges and openly discuss compensation philosophies are more likely to pay employees fairly, award merit and advancement, and eliminate wage gaps.

    How to evaluate an employer’s commitment to these values

    Ideally, every company will embody equity, efficiency, and transparency in their actions and not just words. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. The hiring process and day-to-day culture may not reflect what’s outlined on the company website. So how can jobseekers assess how committed employers really are to these values? 

    Signals to look for from employers

    To find out whether an employer is equitable: 

    Listen for specific, detailed responses from an interviewer to equity-related questions. Can they give examples of what they’re doing to drive DEIB forward? 

    Research company policies on DEIB, their track record in hiring and promoting diverse candidates, and initiatives to support a diverse workforce

    Take the details into account: How serious are they about representation? Are you only being interviewed by white men? Are you interviewed by women but realize they’re the only ones at the company?

    Read company reviews online to get a feel for their current/former employees’ thoughts on equity

    Review if they have won awards, are involved with charitable giving, or have employee resource groups

    To get a feel for how efficient an employer is, look for these cues: 

    A clear and concise interview structure

    Prompt follow-ups and responses

    Well-organized communication from the company

    No last-minute cancellations or rescheduling

    An interview panel that is up to speed and doesn’t waste time

    Clear information is provided about the role and company 

    Instead of ghosting, they communicate clearly and honestly (and don’t leave you waiting indefinitely!) 

    To understand how an employer values transparency: 

    Observe whether they share salaries or salary bands

    Evaluate their openness (or lack thereof) to negotiation

    Research industry standards (try Hired’s Salary Calculator!)

    Inquire about the company’s compensation philosophy in the interview process

    When evaluating an offer, consider the entire compensation package beyond just salary, including benefits and bonuses

    Research the company’s reputation regarding employee satisfaction and fair compensation

    Research news articles, funding announcements, yearly revenue growth/declines, stock filings, quarterly reports, and layoffs

    How to ask about company values in interviews

    To inquire about equity you might ask: 

    “How do you ensure fair and unbiased hiring decisions?”

    “How do you support employees of different backgrounds in their career advancement,?”

    “How do you accommodate different needs and work styles in your team?”

    “What is the company’s approach to work-life balance and flexible working arrangements?”

    “Does your company offer equitable career progression opportunities for growth of employees with varying backgrounds within the same role?”

    “Do you think the career advancement policies of the company are fair for all, regardless of their background?”

    To inquire about efficiency you might ask: 

    “What is the company’s approach to decision-making and project management?”

    “How do you ensure effective communication among teams?”

    “What systems and tools are in place for tracking progress and accountability in projects?”

    “How does the company handle deadlines and time-sensitive projects?”

    “Can you provide an example of how a typical project is managed from start to finish?”

    “What will the interview process entail and what is the expected timeline?”

    “Where would efficiency rank in terms of importance for tasks?”

    To inquire about transparency you might ask:  

    “What is this company’s compensation philosophy?”

    “How is the salary for this role determined, and how often is it reviewed?”

    “Are there opportunities for bonuses or performance-based increases?”

    “What are the KPIs that would impact my compensation?”

    “How does the company ensure equitable pay practices across all levels?”

    “How is the company communicating to its employees regarding company goals, progression to them, shifts in team structures, and market trends?” 

    “How often are company-wide meetings?”

    Top tech employers exemplifying equity, efficiency, and transparency

    Which companies walk the walk when it comes to these values? We crunched the data and are sharing which companies (many of which are actively hiring!) ranked the highest across each value:


    Small businesses include companies with 1-299 employees

    Medium businesses include companies with 300-9,999 employees 

    Enterprise businesses include companies with 10,000+ employees


    North American Small Businesses

    Hazel Health

    Parachute Health


    North American Medium Businesses

    Beyond Finance



    North American Enterprise Businesses

    Yum! Brands

    Acuity Brands


    UK Businesses





    North American Small Businesses

    Butter Payments

    Parachute Health


    North American Medium Businesses


    Capital Rx

    One Medical

    North American Enterprise Businesses



    Yum! Brands

    UK Businesses



    Education First


    North American Small Businesses




    North American Medium Businesses



    Beyond Finance

    North American Enterprise Businesses



    Yum! Brands

    UK Businesses




    Hired has specific features to help amplify companies with these values. Check out some of the features we’ve developed based on data and insights to reduce bias.


    For each core value, our data team produced a sub-score based on the average across the individual metrics. From there, a weighted average across those sub-scores produced the final combined score, which was then used to determine the company rankings. Get more details on the methodology here. More

  • in

    How to Recover After a Bad Interview

    Don’t stress over a poor interview – use it to improve

    So you don’t feel great about an interview you just had – now what? No matter how much you prepare, some interviews simply go terribly. Like so many obstacles life throws your way, it’s up to you to choose how to react. So, what are the next steps? Use these pointers to guide you through any stumbles and recover from a bad interview.

    1. Take a step back and reflect

    Before rushing to any action, take some time to reflect on – but not obsess over – what actually went wrong in the interview. It’s important to cool down from any frustrations or anger you feel immediately after. Avoid over-analyzing each answer. The key here is to be as objective as possible. It’s entirely possible to recover from a bad interview. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate how you handle setbacks too.

    Say you made more minor mistakes such as being too vague about your weaknesses or forgetting to mention a volunteer experience on your CV. There’s no point in stressing over it. It doesn’t make sense to bring this up to your interviewer after the fact.

    Christy Rosen, Certified Career Coach and Interview Professional, tells interviewees, “Don’t beat yourself up. Reflect and figure out what happened. This is key to understanding what went wrong. If you feel like the interview didn’t go well, more than likely it didn’t. So what did you do wrong? Did you investigate the job description and know everything? Specifically for this job, did you take the time to prepare for the interview?”

    Related: Want to Ace Behavioral Interviews? A Guide to Prep Jobseekers 

    2. Ask for feedback 

    Christy is a big advocate of asking for feedback. She loves it when people ask because it shows:

    They want to be better

    They are willing to take constructive criticism

    “In a follow-up email, post-interview express how much you appreciate the interviewer’s time. This is also a good opportunity to address any blunders. Say, ‘I love this question you asked me. Quite honestly, there are some elements I neglected to tell you that I would like to share here.’ (Keep it concise.) This is a great way to showcase your ability to self-reflect.

    In an interview, I recommend asking for feedback at the end. You can say, ‘I enjoyed our interview. Do you have two or three points of feedback for me about how the interview went for you?’ This opens up a professional conversation at the end and is another way for you to stand out.”

    3. Attempt damage control, elegantly

    If you made a mistake that might seriously impact the interviewer’s decision, such as failing to mention your only relevant work experience to the role you’re interviewing for, it’s worth at least considering a shot at damage control. In short, if you think it’s a mistake that would likely turn a ‘yes’ to a ‘no,’ you’ve got nothing to lose by trying to patch things up.

    The easiest way to bring up additional information is generally in your thank you note after the interview. Interviewers will already expect it so adding in a few additional sentences wouldn’t be odd.

    First, figure out exactly what you want the interviewer to take away from your note. Then, find a concise way to write it. Try to avoid making it sound like an apology. You’re simply adding new information to what was discussed during the interview, not admitting to a mistake.

    If, in the worst-case scenario, you had an incredibly off day (perhaps you were ill), it might be worth asking for a second chance entirely. The worst that can happen is they deny it. But if you already think you bombed the interview, there’s no harm in asking. This is particularly true if you really want the job. Don’t make a habit of this though and make sure your second interview is miles better.

    4. Learn from your mistakes

    Perhaps most importantly, a bad interview is a good learning experience. Each mistake helps to better prepare you for future interviews. Use your mistakes as learning material to prevent them from happening again.

    Analyze your mistakes

    Start by identifying all of the mistakes you made, then determine what the main cause was. Perhaps your missteps were a result of nerves. This is common and results in fumbling over answers or rambling.

    Or, if you were underprepared for the interview, you didn’t anticipate the interviewer’s questions. If so, you may have not prepared solid answers or forgotten to mention relevant experiences.

    Taking the reflection piece a step further, Christy says, “Think about what to hone in on for the next time. Focus on the learning piece. What will you do differently? How will you better prepare? How will you boost your confidence?”

    5. Practice for the next time

    If nerves are your issue, practice is your friend. Ask a friend or family member to mock interview you with their own questions. This helps you be more comfortable thinking on your feet and answering questions on the fly.

    In addition, practice your answers to the most standard interview questions. This may include why you want the job, why you’re passionate about the company, and your strengths and weaknesses. 

    Christy emphasizes practicing a lot for the “tell me about yourself” question in particular. “If you nail that, you’re going in the right direction for the rest of the interview. It’s one most people mess up. Confidence in knowing what you’re doing in the interview is crucial to setting the stage.” 

    It would also help to write down the questions you had in the interview (reflecting on what you said) and preparing for future interviews based on these learnings. What would you ideally have said?

    Related: 30 Behavioral Interview Questions You Should Be Ready to Answer 

    Another helpful tip as you practice is to remember to breathe. Reflecting on her coaching experience, Christy explains, “Breathing helps your brain work. It’s also important to pause. You can ask: ‘Do you mind if I think about that for a second?’ Most people don’t do that. They just start talking and figure out the answer as they go. The interviewer sees and hears this. It’s a bit of a ding against you.”

    Related: Who (And How) to Ask for a Job Reference 

    Give yourself a fair shot

    If you were under-prepared for the interview, ask yourself whether it was because you didn’t spend enough time beforehand or you prepared for the wrong questions.

    It can be frustrating to feel you spent a lot of time getting ready for an interview that went in a totally different direction. But you can use this experience to better gauge the types of questions to expect in the future.

    If you simply didn’t spend enough time preparing, ask yourself why that is. Perhaps you weren’t motivated by the job in the first place and you shouldn’t have pushed it to the in-person interview stage. Maybe you couldn’t find time in your schedule to prepare or it took longer than you expected. If so, budget extra time for future interviews. 

    Regardless of how bad you feel after a poor interview, remember that it will never be your last chance. That is, whether you ask the same employer for another shot or use your blunders to fine-tune your skills for the future. Someday you’ll (hopefully) be laughing about terrible interview stories. Maybe you’ll use your experience to coach someone else on how to recover from a bad interview.

    About Hired 

    Hired is the most efficient way to find a tech or a sales role you love today. With unbiased insights, DEI tools, skill assessments, and dedicated Candidate Experience Managers, Hired works with over 10,000 companies around the world to connect thousands of active and qualified candidates to employ their full potential. After registering, platform jobseekers match with top employers thanks to better data, preference curation, and compensation transparency. Backed by The Adecco Group, Hired is rated by G2 as a leader in Recruiting Automation, Job Search Sites, and Diversity Recruiting. 

    Originally written in April 2019 by Napala Pratini. Updated by the Hired Content Team in January 2022 and December 2023. More

  • in

    10 Ways to Mitigate the Risks of AI-assisted CVs

    In the rapidly evolving landscape of job recruitment, a groundbreaking study by Oriel Partners, a London-based PA and administrative recruitment agency, has shed light on a significant shift: the rising influence of AI in enhancing CVs.
    Our agency embarked on a research project to delve into the capabilities of ChatGPT, an AI tool increasingly used in CV creation. By modifying 100 real CVs for a specific job listing and comparing them with their original versions, we aimed to uncover the extent of AI’s role in this domain.
    The results were eye-opening. ChatGPT made an average of 14 embellishments per CV, with changes ranging from slight rewordings to substantial additions in skills and experiences. This finding raises critical questions about the authenticity of AI-assisted CVs.
    We categorised these modifications into three main areas:

    Embellishments to CVs
    Avg. Number of Embellishments

    “Embellishments” to Profile section

    “Embellishments” to Key Skills & Attributes

    “Embellishments” to Professional Experience


    This led to a noticeable discrepancy in scoring between the AI-enhanced and original CVs when using an AI-powered screening tool. The embellished versions scored an average of 9.4 out of 10, contrasting 8.3 for the unaltered ones, suggesting a potentially unfair advantage for candidates using AI tools to “improve” their CVs.

    Type of CV
    Agv. Scores

    Embellished CVs Avg. Score

    Normal CVs Avg. Score

    The implications are profound, especially considering a recent Kaspersky survey that found 42% of workers would consider using AI like ChatGPT for their job applications. This trend marks a significant shift in recruitment dynamics and highlights the need for new strategies to maintain fairness and authenticity in the hiring process.
    As Co-Founder of a recruitment agency, I find these developments concerning. The ability of AI to fabricate details on CVs challenges the traditional methods of screening candidates. This necessitates more rigorous measures in the interview process to distinguish genuine applicants.
    Therefore, we advocate for a balanced approach to using AI in recruitment. Employers should develop methods to detect AI-enhanced CVs, potentially integrating more thorough interviews and skill assessments. For job seekers, this serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of authenticity in their applications.
    Our study marks a crucial step in understanding and managing AI’s role in recruitment. We call for responsible and ethical AI practices that safeguard the interests of both employers and job seekers.
    Here’s how to mitigate the risks of AI-assisted CVs:
    1. Enhancing Awareness Among Employers
    Employers need to be educated about the capabilities and limitations of AI-assisted CVs. Understanding how AI can embellish or alter CV information is crucial in developing a discerning eye when reviewing applications. Workshops, webinars, and training sessions can be instrumental in raising awareness.
    2. Implementing Advanced Screening Technologies
    As AI evolves, so must the technologies used to screen CVs. Employers can invest in advanced software differentiating between human-generated and AI-assisted content. These tools could look for patterns typical of AI, such as overly polished language or skills that seem incongruent with the applicant’s experience level.
    3. Encouraging Transparency from Job Seekers
    Organisations can encourage applicants to disclose if they have used AI tools in their CV preparation. This transparency allows employers to view the CV in the proper context and appreciate the candidate’s honesty. A statement or a checkbox during the application process could facilitate this transparency.
    4. Incorporating In-depth Interviews and Assessments
    To counterbalance the potential inaccuracies in AI-enhanced CVs, employers should place greater emphasis on interviews and practical assessments. Behavioural interviews, case studies, and skill-based tasks can provide more accurate insights into a candidate’s true capabilities and fit for the role.
    5. Building AI-Proof Job Descriptions
    Refining job descriptions to be more specific and detailed can help in attracting the right candidates. By clearly outlining the required skills, experiences, and qualifications, employers can reduce the effectiveness of AI in overfitting CVs to job descriptions.
    6. Fostering an Ethical AI Culture
    Companies should advocate for ethical AI use in job applications. This involves setting industry standards and best practices for AI tools in CV preparation, ensuring they enhance rather than fabricate an applicant’s qualifications.
    7. Regularly Updating Recruitment Policies
    As AI technology evolves, so should recruitment policies. Regularly reviewing and updating these policies will help employers stay ahead of the curve in managing AI-assisted applications effectively.
    8. Collaborating with AI Developers
    Engaging in dialogue with AI developers can provide insights into how these tools operate. This collaboration can lead to the development of AI that supports the recruitment process more transparently and ethically.
    9. Promoting a Culture of Authenticity
    Organisations should promote a culture where authenticity and genuine skills are valued over polished, potentially misleading resumes. This cultural shift can discourage candidates from overly relying on AI for CV enhancement.
    10. Legal and Ethical Compliance
    Finally, ensuring compliance with legal and ethical standards is paramount. Organisations should be aware of the legal implications of AI in recruitment, including potential biases and discrimination, and take steps to ensure their recruitment processes are fair and compliant.
    Bottom Line
    In conclusion, integrating AI into the recruitment process, particularly in CV creation, is a trend that cannot be ignored. The challenges it presents, such as potential inaccuracies and fairness issues, require a multifaceted response. Employers need to become more adept at identifying AI-assisted CVs, ensuring their hiring processes remain grounded in authenticity and fairness.
    Simultaneously, job seekers must be aware of the importance of maintaining integrity in their applications. This balanced approach, commitment to ethical practices, and ongoing adaptation to technological advancements are key to successfully navigating this new era of AI-assisted recruitment. By taking these proactive steps, we can harness the benefits of AI while mitigating its risks, ensuring a recruitment landscape that is equitable, efficient, and true to the values of both employers and job seekers.
    By Olivia Coughtrie, Co-Founder, Oriel Partners.
    Share this post: More

  • in

    System Design Interview Survival Guide: Tips to Navigate Interviews

    System Design Interviews are challenging for many developers because they aim to test not just technical knowledge but critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well. The focus is not on your coding proficiency. Rather, your success in a System Design Interview depends on your ability to reason through and defend trade-offs in your design. 

    We asked our partner Educative to give software engineering jobseekers a look into what they should know about getting prepped for their next System Design interview. Here’s what Educative advised.

    Preparing for the System Design interview

    When preparing for a System Design Interview, you should focus on mastering three key areas: 

    Start with the basics of System Design, like data durability, replication, and partitioning. Then, study web architecture topics like N-Tier applications, HTTP, and caching. Finally, apply this knowledge to design real-world systems. 

    Educative offers comprehensive courses to help you build these skills, including our popular Grokking Modern System Design Interviews for Engineers & Managers, which was developed by former systems engineers from Facebook and Microsoft. With focused preparation, you can approach these interviews with confidence.

    Top System Design interview questions

    Here are some tips to help you answer questions during System Design Interviews:

    Start by listing required features, expected problems, and traffic estimates to show your planning skills.

    Discuss trade-offs at each decision point and ask clarifying questions when asked vague questions.

    Highlight your awareness of emerging technologies like machine learning and emphasize your understanding of modern microservice architectures.

    Try answering these top questions:

    Design a chat service

    Design a ride-sharing service

    Design a URL-shortening service

    Design a social media newsfeed

    Design a social message board

    Design Instagram

    Design a file-sharing service

    Design Google Docs

    Design a video streaming service

    Design an API Rate Limiter

    Design a web crawler

    Design a proximity service

    Design typeahead

    Design Google Maps

    Need a handy template to approach System Design problems? Let’s use “Design a ride-sharing service” (i.e. “Design Uber” or “Design Lyft”) as an example.

    An Uber System Design question focuses on creating a ride-sharing service. The system should have a plan for scaling to accommodate growth.

    Key functional requirements include location tracking for drivers and riders, displaying nearby drivers, initiating payments, and providing real-time ETAs and trip updates.

    Non-functional requirements include system availability, reliability, scalability, and consistency.

    Challenges include minimizing latency, efficiently pairing drivers and users, handling lost connections, and storing cached location data.

    Tools like the S2Geometry library can help in location-based calculations, and distributed storage can help you manage user locations.

    Recommended resources

    Worried about your upcoming System Design Interview prep? Or just want to build a working knowledge of foundational System Design concepts? Educative is a great place to get hands-on with System Design fundamentals for interviews and beyond.

    Educative’s interactive courses are designed to show you how to solve real-world System Design problems. Created by industry experts, this course provides detailed walkthroughs of essential System Design concepts and example questions you will likely encounter in interviews.

    If you are ready to invest in System Design prep, here are some helpful resources: More

  • in

    3 Ways to Stay Relevant as an Experienced Software Engineer

    Hint: Learning System Design is key for software engineers

    Software engineers who have been working in the industry for a while can still take steps to staying “fresh,” while leveraging their applied work experience. In this blog, we share three ways an experienced software engineer can stay relevant as a job candidate in a competitive job market. Our partner, Educative, shares the third and crucial key to maintaining that competitive edge.

    1. Highlight the valuable skills you already have

    Most employers would rather hire an expert in the field than spend time and money training someone much less experienced. Companies of all sizes, particularly large corporations like Amazon and Google, are always in need of software engineers who are Java experts. This is actually an area where young college grads are at a disadvantage. Often, these companies would rather hire a candidate with at least 5 years of core Java experience over more junior software engineers who haven’t had exposure to the language in a professional capacity.

    Perhaps you’re positioning yourself as an expert in Java. Make sure you brush up on the basics to show your full breadth of knowledge. Next, make your Java experience stand out on your resume, LinkedIn, or Hired profile in the skills and work experience sections. 

    In the skills sections, list your skills in order of proficiency with Java at the beginning if applicable. List all the languages and tools you’ve used, your workflows, and your achievements in each position in the work experience sections. Companies often use hiring software to detect certain keywords. So, a candidate who mentions the languages they’re looking for more frequently may have better luck advancing to the next stage.

    2. Consider leadership roles

    If you’ve worked as an individual contributor for a while, you may want to consider taking on a leadership role as a team lead or engineering manager. Generally, a team lead reports to an engineering manager and guides the other engineers on the team. An engineering manager has often shown experience leading others, has multiple engineers reporting to them, and can provide technical guidance as needed.

    Related: Engineering Manager or IC? Which Tech Career is Best for Me? (Video) 

    Have an affinity toward leading and managing others? Update your resume and career profiles accordingly and start looking at open roles. If you’ve had several roles at the same company, think about separating and fleshing out each role as a distinct item in your work experience. Hiring managers like to see a candidate’s progression from being a Software Engineer to a Lead Software Engineer or an Engineering Manager, as well as the accompanying responsibilities.

    3. Learn System Design

    Continually learning new languages and skills makes you a more valuable candidate. Experienced software engineers in particular can stay ahead of the curve by developing a working knowledge of System Design. In this section, Educative explains how a solid working knowledge of System Design can help you stand out in interviews and beyond.

    Understanding large-scale system architecture is a necessity. System Design is the discipline underpinning our entire modern software landscape. It’s critical for making any application scalable, fault-tolerant, and more efficient.

    Every app or service we use daily — from YouTube and Instagram to Amazon and Spotify — is a scalable system. These apps must be designed to handle large amounts of traffic and data and to scale with spikes. That’s because the number of people simultaneously accessing these systems is massive.

    What is System Design?

    Coding is about creating individual bricks; System Design is about deciding how those bricks will form a complete structure. It’s the art and science of defining the architecture, components, and data flow for large-scale applications. It sets the groundwork for how a system will operate, ensuring efficiency, scalability, and reliability.

    Essentially, System Design is the blueprint guiding developers in building software that meets specific requirements and constraints.

    Some key considerations in System Design include:

    Architecture: The overall structure of the system and how its components interact with each other

    Components: The individual building blocks of the system. This includes servers, databases, and application servers

    Interfaces: How the system interacts with its users and other systems

    Non-Functional Requirements: This includes things like performance, scalability, reliability, and security

    Role of System Design in modern software

    System Design is indispensable to the modern software landscape — from initial planning to implementation and maintenance. It provides a blueprint that software engineers, TPMs, and engineering and product leaders can refer to throughout a product’s life cycle. Its principles guide decisions about database structure, user interface, networking protocols, and more.

    For experienced software engineers, this offers a leadership opportunity — with an understanding of System Design, you’re not just following instructions, but are instead actively participating in shaping the vision and functionality of a project.

    As software systems become increasingly complex, involving multiple technologies and serving global audiences, the role of System Design has never been more critical. It informs choices that can make or break a software’s performance, user experience, and overall success. For seasoned engineers aiming to stay competitive — it’s a career imperative.Let’s review this summary of System Design fundamentals:

    Horizontal and Vertical Scaling: Horizontal scaling involves adding more machines, while vertical scaling involves adding more RAM, faster processors, or additional storage to a single machine. Both are essential for handling an increased load.

    Microservices: Microservices break down applications into small, independent services that communicate via APIs. This enhances modularity and scalability.

    Proxy Servers: These act as intermediaries, forwarding client requests to servers. They can improve performance and security.

    CAP Theorem: This theorem states that a distributed system can’t simultaneously provide all three of the following: consistency, availability, and partition tolerance. You have to pick two.

    Redundancy and Replication: These ensure that backup resources are available, improving reliability and fault tolerance.

    Storage: It’s crucial to evaluate the data storage methods. Different storage strategies can be employed based on the system’s specific requirements.

    Message Queues: Enable asynchronous communication between different system parts, improving scalability and decoupling components.

    File Systems: File systems oversee data storage and retrieval on disks, handling tasks like file naming, storage allocation, directory structure, and access permissions. With file systems, file identification and access control become easier.

    Why is System Design important to know?

    Due to the growing complexity and scale of web applications, it’s important to know how to handle large-scale challenges. System Design offers both theoretical knowledge and practical skills for real-world applications.

    Investing time in learning System Design can provide both immediate and long-term advantages for your career. It can make you a more versatile and sought-after professional in the tech industry.

    In an interview setting, a strong understanding of System Design can be an important difference-maker. Most developers will be expected to demonstrate at least a working knowledge of System Design in their interviews. Depending on their specialization, software engineers typically receive 1-2 design interview loops as part of the hiring process, of which System Design is the most common focus.

    Ultimately, candidates who perform well in System Design Interviews will boost their chances of being hired, as well as increase their starting level and salary. (At Meta, for example, a strong System Design Interview can mean the difference between starting as an E5 rather than an E4 — an advantage worth tens of thousands of dollars).

    Looking for System Design prep? Here are some helpful resources:

    Stay relevant, stay ahead

    Use these tips to position yourself for better alignment with top job opportunities out there. Showcasing what you already have to offer, advancing to leadership roles, and mastering System Design are some of the best ways to adapt and progress as a software engineer today. 

    Originally published in June 2018 by Brittany Curran. Updated by the Hired Content Team and Educative in December 2023. More

  • in

    6 Things to Avoid in Your Interview Follow-Up Email

    After an interview, it’s generally a good idea to send a short but thoughtful interview follow-up email to your interviewer(s). It’s an opportunity to thank them for their time, reiterate why you’d be a good fit, and remind them about where you shined in the interview. These thank you notes are generally pretty innocuous and considered a formality. However, there are a few ways they can go wrong. Keep reading for five things to avoid in your interview follow-up.

    Keep the focus on expressing gratitude in the interview follow-up

    First things first: The follow-up emails should generally focus on a thank you. Begin your follow-up email by expressing gratitude for the opportunity and the interviewer’s time. Reference a specific moment or discussion from the interview to add a personal touch and make it more memorable. You can also reiterate your interest in the role and the company, plus how your skills and experiences align with the job.

    1. Don’t make spelling or grammar mistakes

    This should go without saying, but just because you had a strong interview doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve gotten the job. An oversight like a spelling error or the wrong company or role (if you’re sending multiple thank you’s) could signal you’re not very detail-oriented. Or perhaps worse: you don’t care much about the outcome of the interview. Before you hit send, triple-check your note for any errors to avoid coming off as careless.

    2. Don’t focus on apologies or excuses

    Thank you notes are not the place to make up for poor interview performance. If it didn’t go well, the reality is either: 

    the team will make the decision not to proceed with your application, or 

    they’ll choose to ignore your mistakes or weaker answers because of your other answers and qualifications for the job. 

    Further, bringing weak points up will just draw attention to them. After all, the team is evaluating the various candidates you’re competing with for the role. Instead, focus your messaging on where your application stands out and any unique qualities you will bring to the company.

    3. Don’t discuss major salary, timeline, and role concerns

    Even if you’re concerned about what the salary offer might be, it’s best to reserve this conversation until after an offer has been made. Bringing it up before then might push the team to extend an offer to a different candidate who might be more accepting of a lower salary.

    The same goes for things:

    start date

    contract length (if it’s not a full-time role)

    any concerns about the suitability of the role (unless they’re significant enough to make you question the role in the first place)

    One exception might be if you receive another job offer with a set decision date. Including this shorter timeline in your thank you note may help to push the decision forward. Companies will generally understand the situation is out of your hands.

    4. Don’t ask questions you could have discussed in the interview

    The exception is if the interviewer encouraged otherwise. You should always come to an interview with a list of questions about the role and company. If you couldn’t think of any or didn’t come prepared with questions, the follow-up email is not an appropriate way to make up for it. Interviewers want your present engagement and curiosity during the call – not in the post-interview email.

    Related: Need Help with Job Interviewing Skills? Watch this Coaching Session (VIDEO)

    5. Don’t send the same note to multiple interviewers

    It can be tempting to copy and paste the same note to all of your interviewers. This is particularly true if you’ve spent a day interviewing and meeting multiple people. But it’s not uncommon for teams to share the follow-ups they receive internally. So, take the time to personalize each message. 

    If you send multiple thank-you’s, not every note has to reiterate why you’d be great for the job. Perhaps you bring up an interesting point one interviewer made. Maybe you remind another of a specific skill set or experience that makes you a strong candidate. 

    That said, don’t use the extra time needed to personalize thank you’s as an excuse not to send them to all of your interviewers. Even if you have one key contact such as the hiring manager or a recruiter, anyone who took the time out of their day to meet with you deserves a short follow-up email. 

    6. Don’t include any other superfluous information

    An interview follow-up should serve as a thanks and a reiteration of your skills and excitement for the job – period. Other information, such as sending over references or asking about reimbursements for interview expenses (if this was agreed upon in advance) distracts from the key points. 

    Additional issues or questions can be addressed in future emails or phone calls. Keep your immediate communications clear and focused on the take-home point: The strength of your application and interview. 

    Originally written in June 2019 by Napala Pratini. Updated by the Hired Content Team in December 2023. More