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    How to Get Approved on Hired

    Hired is a closed, curated marketplace that strives to create the best experience possible for jobseekers and hiring managers alike. In order to achieve this, our machine learning algorithm vets candidates and companies before they receive an invite to go live on Hired. 

    Candidates must have an in-demand skill set (meaning active Hired employers have open roles requiring those skills), ideally 2+ years of relevant experience, and a completed profile with a resume and/or LinkedIn URL included. Candidates must also display an intent to start interviewing right away.

    Companies must have a clear need to hire, and be willing to provide compensation and role details in the offers they make on our platform.

    In which locations can I find a job through Hired?

    Hired works with companies primarily in the US, UK, and Canada. Traditionally, we see our strongest presence both in terms of company and candidate volume in major tech hub cities. However, Hired now offers remote talent around the world. Provided candidates are open to remote work or the possibility of relocation while meeting our other criteria, they can go live to employers whoo source talent from all over the world. 

    What skill sets are companies looking for on Hired?

    Our primary focus is technical roles but we recently added some customer-facing positions, such as account executives and customer experience manager. Currently, open roles favor candidates with 2+ years of full-time experience in software engineering, product management, engineering management, data analytics/science, quality assurance, devops, design, and sales with a wide variety of specialties for each role. That said, we are constantly working with employers to scale their teams, so check this list periodically for additions.

    What type of roles does Hired support?

    Companies on Hired are looking to fill full-time/permanent and contract roles. These roles can be on-site, remote, or hybrid. Currently, we do not support internship, part-time, or C2C roles. 

    I am looking to begin my career in tech or transition into a technical role. Can Hired help me?

    Our companies are typically seeking jobseekers with 2+ years of full-time experience in a relevant role. As a result, Hired isn’t best suited for jobseekers fresh from a career transition or graduation. However, we partner with General Assembly and graduates of their software engineering and data science immersive programs can go live to our companies with less than 2 years of full-time experience. 

    I’m just interested in seeing what I’m worth. Is the Hired platform for me? 

    The Hired platform is meant for candidates who intend to start interviewing right away as the companies we support are looking to hire immediately. If you’re ready to start a new role within 30 days, we encourage you to create and submit your profile (for free!). If not, you are welcome to check out the Hired Salary Calculator to view offer salary data from others with similar skill-sets, specialties, and years of experience.

    Once approved, the platform promotes your profile to employers ‌for at least 2 weeks. When the platform detects a potentially good fit, the employer can request an interview and your job search progresses from there! More

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    Tech Candidate Spotlight – Manuel Cheta, Senior Software Engineer in the UK

    Can you start by sharing a bit bit about your educational background? 

    After finishing Aerospace Engineering university courses I decided to go into the web development world instead. I am a self-taught Front-End Developer. I learned about HTML, CSS, Javascript after opening my first WordPress blog and learning how to modify the website and manage my hosting space as a webmaster. 

    Being self-taught, accessing Youtube videos and development blogs helped enormously. The biggest impact on my career was my decision to press on, inspect the websites, and see how they were built. 

    What would you like to learn more about?

    I recently became interested in psychology and how to help people work together to reach a common goal. In addition, I am interested in deepening my Front-End dev knowledge and connected areas like DevOps, Backend, cloud, and even AI.

    Of course, because I work in fintech, I am also interested in learning as much as I can about personal finance and investing.

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    I always had an interest in computers, ever since playing Prince of Persia on an Intel 286 PC in the 7th grade. Since then, I spent time learning how to install an operating system, how to debug programs, and how to help people set up their own computer or home network. 

    How has your skillset evolved over the course of your career?

    Each year, I start with the hopes of learning a lot. I do learn quite a lot and at the end of the year I feel more stupid than I felt at the start, so the cycle repeats. From learning regular HTML/CSS to working on full-scale single-page apps in various frameworks, I am always on the lookout for a better understanding of the basics and new stuff to learn.

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

    I specialise in Front-End and web accessibility. I love working in Front-End because it gets me as close to the user as possible. My open nature lends itself to creating code, which can be seen, read, and felt by the end user. I am also keenly interested in promoting web accessibility because I firmly believe that when you make your website accessible, you make everyone’s lives way better.

    Is your new role different from previous ones?

    This year, my focus was on fintech and as such, I worked in fintech. I call myself a nano-investor because I am just learning how to better invest my time and money. That was why I moved away from the e-commerce industry to fintech. 

    What are you most excited about in your new role or company?

    We’re starting a new project and I can have the biggest impact right now since my experience as a senior dev can bring in the most value in setting the direction of development. Having worked on many projects I can identify pain points and offer suggestions.

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

    When I was a junior dev, a number of years ago when sites like Hired didn’t exist, I would simply push my CVs to different platforms without any hope of actually getting a response. Now, Hired makes my life way easier because I can tailor my profile to the industry I am interested in and I receive interview requests only from the companies I would be genuinely interested in. 

    What’s your best advice for jobseekers on Hired? 

    Make sure to have a 1-2 page CV that’s not too long. Also, create a specific “keywords” section to help the automated system identify your domain of work. When setting your profile to “open for work,” make sure your short bio concisely explains what your interests are.

    Be sure to use the correct asking price for the role and industry you are in. In terms of the asking price, insert a specific number like 65,789 so you attract more inquisitive recruiter minds. 

    Related: Want More Interviews and Better Matches? 5 Key Tips!

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

    Just sign up! Spend a bit of time writing the best descriptions you can in each section and make sure you indicate the specific industry you want to work in. 

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

    Spend time learning about the companies your are interviewing for and what their interview process is like. Being a good tech professional matters. However, companies are looking for people who are enthusiastic about their company and like to work with others. Therefore, soft skills are more highly rated than tech skills. Tech can be learned, but culture and caring for your colleagues is not an easily teachable and transferrable skill.

    Congrats on the job, Manuel! Interested in landing a great role in the UK like Manuel did? Complete your free profile on Hired today!

    About Compare The Market

    Compare The Market is a price comparison website and provides customers with an easy way to make the right choice on a wide range of products including motor, home, life and energy. Founded in 2005, Compare the Market has between 501-1,000 employees and is headquartered in London. In 2021, it made Hired’s List of Top Employers Winning Tech Talent.

    Tech Stack

    JavaScript, Node.js, MongoDB, AWS, C#, .NET, iOS, Android, Docker, Git, HTML, CSS, Scala, Java, Kafka, Kubernetes, Python, React, Redux, Big Data

    Benefits

    Life/disability insurance, work-from-home flexibility, volunteer time off, flexible working hours, employee discount programs, and more. More

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    Tech Candidate Spotlight – Robert Wells, Security Engineering Technical Leader in the UK

    Please share a little bit about your educational background and which educational opportunities made the biggest impact on your tech career.

    I earned a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering with Computer Science from University of NSW in Sydney. This was one of the first universities to be on the internet, outside of the US! I also did a lot of self study.

    I make use of numerous online courses and certifications as well as *some* great resources on YouTube. Beware of YouTube because the S/N ratio can be quite low so Caveat Emptor! 

    What would you like to learn more about?

    I’d like to learn more about Site Reliability Engineering to become a more well-rounded DevOps Engineer. Additionally, I’m interested in Golang.

    I’d also like to explore ways to improve having difficult conversations, as well as how to lead and inspire others. 

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    I’ve enjoyed programming and tech since I was young. I’ve especially enjoyed teaching and helping others.

    I think I got it from my dad who started programming in the late 1950s. Having to explain binary arithmetic to my 4th class teacher when I was nine was a highlight!

    How has your skillset evolved over the course of your career?

    I started out using various languages at Uni. Then, in my career I saw the common aspects across languages, which made picking up new languages quite easy. 

    Working on a project for Qantas and BA introduced me to Continuous Integration before the term DevOps was coined. It also made me a firm believer in the approach so my skillset has evolved from being Dev focused to being DevOps/ARE focused.

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

    I have chosen to focus on DevOps/SRE to enable solutions providing high-quality feedback to developers in a timely manner. Quick, timely feedback massively improves a developer’s working experience and attitude. I can confirm this through my own personal experience!

    Is your new role different from previous ones?

    I have moved away from consulting (telling and showing companies how to do something) to actually designing and implementing for a company (being hands-on!).

    What are some of the things you’re most excited about in your new role or company?

    I’m looking forward to contributing to a company and product responsible for so much of the internet and its continued smooth operation. I’m excited to actually build and run things as opposed to telling people how to build and run things.

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

    A lot of roles were quite scattergun. They were not really suitable for a DevOps professional. Hired brought a lot more focus so all requests were more tailored to what I was looking for in my next role.

    What’s your best advice for job seekers registered on the Hired platform? 

    Keep your resume up-to-date. Use tools like Calendly to advertise open time slots for your availability to have chats. 

    Accept requests for interviews even though you may initially think the role is not quite what you are looking for. You never know where you may actually end up after your initial chat with HR.

    Hired is a great platform to connect tech talent to high-quality companies. I highly recommend it!

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

    Never stop learning. The day you stop learning is the day you start dying! There are great online courses through Udemy, and other various suppliers such as AWS, Hashicorp, etc. I also recommend *some* tech channels on YouTube. TechWorld with Nana has a very high S/N ratio, and there are many channels from suppliers and conferences.

    Congrats on the job, Robert! Interested in landing a great role in the UK like Robert did? Complete your free profile on Hired today!

    About Cisco

    Cisco hardware, software, and service offerings are used to create the Internet solutions that make networks possible. Founded in 1984, Cisco has 5,001+ employees and is headquartered in San Jose.

    Tech Stack

    Python, Spark, Javascript, React, AWS, Kubernetes, Java, Go, Docker, Microservices, Kafka, iOS, Android, Kotlin, Kibana, Datadog, Terraform

    Benefits

    Health/dental/vision/life/disability insurance, 401k plan/matching, tuition reimbursement, paid time off, stock options, employee discount programs, job training, and more. More

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    Tech Candidate Spotlight – Fred Campbell, Software Engineer in the UK

    Can you share a little bit about your educational background?

    I earned a traditional degree in Experimental Psychology. I later trained in my late twenties as a Software Engineer through Makers Academy bootcamp.

    It was great and I learned a lot from this practical, hands-on experience. Joining a small startup after that provided a lot of educational benefits. I was able to try my hand in lots of different areas.

    What would you like to learn more about?

    Tech related: I’d like to skill up as a front-end developer. I only have back-end experience so far and feel I’m missing out a bit! Non-tech related: Gardening as ours is a mess!

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    I previously coded HTML sites in Notepad in the early 2000s and drifted away from it. I felt dissatisfied with my career in Education many years later. 

    I then decided to take up coding again since I enjoyed it so much. Needless to say, things have changed since the turn of the millennium!

    How has your skillset evolved over the course of your career?

    Developing soft skills has been important alongside technical skills. Good listening and communication skills are so crucial but often overlooked in favour of blunt technical output. Working to become a well-rounded developer rather than just technically proficient is essential.

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

    I ended up moving into back-end through circumstance rather than choice. However, I’ve always had an interest in design and would like to pivot more into front-end if I have the opportunity.

    Is your new role different from previous ones? 

    It’s in a very different industry. I’m moving from fintech into hospitality. Sometimes it can feel daunting dropping all that domain knowledge and ‘starting again’ within a new industry.

    What are some of the things you’re most excited about in your new role or company?

    A highly-skilled and friendly team, a great product with clear direction, and a collaborative working environment. I am also looking forward to learning new technologies I have not worked with previously.

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

    I spoke to a few recruiters but nothing felt particularly targeted and nothing fit my overall experience level. I found the process much more frustrating than it needed to be. There was so much noise and it was hard to find a good match.

    What’s your best advice for job seekers registered on the Hired platform? 

    Be responsive and get back to recruiters regardless of whether the job is one you’re interested in. When you do find something that seems to be a good fit, it’s important to be clear about what you’re looking for and the skill set you can provide.

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

    Go for it! The process was so smooth and straightforward, and the companies on the platform are very high quality.

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

    Take a break from your screen every once in a while. Don’t work into the evening. Focus on developing core tech skills rather than chasing the latest trends.

    Congrats on the job, Fred! Interested in landing a great role in the UK like Fred did? Complete your free profile on Hired today!

    About Triptease

    Triptease is a SaaS startup building software to help the hotel industry increase their direct bookings. Their industry-leading products bring the right guests straight to the right hotel so they can get the best price direct. Founded in 2013, Triptease has 51-200 employees and is headquartered in London.

    Tech Stack

    TypeScript, Node.JS, Python, HTML, CSS, React, Redux, Jest, Google Cloud Platform, Docker, Kubernetes, PostgreSQL, Redis, Airflow, Jupyter, Continuous Deployment, CircleCI, Test Driven Development (TDD), Pair Programming, Looker, BigQuery, Behavior-driven Development (BDD)

    Benefits

    Stock options, paid time off, maternity/paternity benefits, tuition reimbursement, career growth, diversity program, job training, and more. More

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    How Jobseekers Can Combat Pregnancy Discrimination in the Hiring Process

    Moms are a major part of the workforce at about one-third of employed women. It’s reasonable to assume many women will go through the application and hiring process while pregnant. Although family planning can add some complexities, it should not dictate the job search. 

    One concern of expectant mothers is bias against that from hiring managers, even if they’re the most qualified candidate. You may think “Who wants to hire someone that’s going to need 3-4 months off within the first year of their employment?” This is a legitimate concern. It might be difficult to imagine a company willing to do this. But the truth is, there are — and you are capable of approaching this process.

    To hear from women who have dealt with this firsthand, we asked the SheCanCode community about disclosing pregnancy during the job search. SheCanCode is a global community on a mission to close the tech gender gap. Most expressed concern based on personal experiences. One member said, “I would not feel comfortable disclosing a pregnancy to a potential employer. I am currently in the job market and also undergoing IVF. I feel that disclosing this to a potential employer would immediately jeopardize a potential offer. If a job was offered, I would be fearful of being within the probationary period and that I wouldn’t be entitled to full maternity cover, should I lose my role within the probationary period.”

    While this is a common worry, pregnancy discrimination is illegal. If you’re trying to conceive or are pregnant while seeking employment, it’s essential to know your rights and look for the following signs of discrimination. Use this guide to empower you on your career journey.

    Understand the Protections for Pregnant Women

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Over the years, two additional amendments strengthened the legislation.

    First, in 1978, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) amendment required employers to treat pregnancy using the same rules applied to other short-term disability cases. 

    Then, in 1993, with the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), new parents became eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a new child. To qualify, an employee had to work for the employer for 12 months. This rule applies to businesses with 50 employees or more.

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces these laws. Most states have additional rules to combat pregnancy discrimination in hiring and the workplace.

    Recognizing Pregnancy Discrimination

    The PDA not only protects pregnant women, but recent mothers as well. It also covers discrimination based on medical conditions caused by pregnancy or childbirth. 

    It’s important you know what discrimination may look like during the application, hiring, and onboarding stage of a new job. A nerve-wracking aspect of job searching might be telling your new employer that you’re pregnant once hired (another phase when discrimination can occur).

    To further your understanding, here are a few examples of pregnancy discrimination:

    Refusing to hire pregnant applicants 

    If a candidate can perform their job, an employer cannot refuse to hire a woman because of pregnancy. It’s also against the law to ask a candidate about her childbearing plans. So do not feel like you need to answer any questions related to family planning during the recruitment process. However, employers may ask when and how often a candidate is available to work.

    Failing to modify duties

    Pregnancy is not a disability. But according to the law, employers must apply the same rules to pregnant workers as employees who are temporarily disabled. A pregnant employee may need to modify her job, for example, sitting rather than standing. Employers must make the same accommodations they would for any other employee with a short-term disability. So don’t worry if an aspect of the job may become difficult later in your pregnancy. 

    Withholding maternity leave 

    If a company allows an injured employee to take disability leave or unpaid leave, it must do the same for a pregnant employee. After a pregnancy-related absence, employers must hold open a job for the same amount of time they are held open for employees on disability leave. In other words, you can’t be fired after coming back from your maternity leave (without other due cause). 

    Offering inadequate health coverage 

    Making sure you have the right health insurance when starting a new job while pregnant can be stressful. While you don’t want to disclose that you’re pregnant, you also want to ensure you have adequate coverage. 

    Employers must provide health insurance coverage for pregnancy-related conditions in the same manner as other medical expenses. The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, prohibits insurers from declining to cover pregnancy as a pre-existing condition. 

    Regardless of your policy, it’s crucial to do your research. As HealthMarkets explains, “Maternity care is an essential health benefit, and all qualified health plans must cover it, even if you are pregnant before your coverage takes effect.” They recommend checking the Summary of Benefits and Coverage Page which will detail costs of pregnancy both before and after birth. While in the offer phase of a job, ask to view documentation for a company’s health plans and ask if they have any type of waiting period before coverage takes effect. 

    Firing you for being pregnant 

    The PDA prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy for any aspect of employment, including termination. So a company cannot fire you based on the fact you’re pregnant. There must be some other valid reason.

    FAQs About Job Hunting While Pregnant

    Don’t let some of the challenges the job search might pose discourage you. Here are frequently asked questions about launching a successful job hunt while pregnant.

    Do I have to tell potential employers I’m pregnant?

    There is no legal obligation to tell potential employers you’re pregnant. Moreover, candidates in their first trimester generally keep this information to themselves.

    Okay, I know I don’t have to disclose, but should I?

    It depends. If it’s early in the pregnancy and you’re not showing, you could wait until you’re a final candidate or receive an offer. If you’re in your second or third trimester and visibly pregnant, it might be obvious when you come in for an interview. Just remember that you’re under no obligation to discuss this during the interview process. 

    How should I facilitate a conversation with my potential employer, should I choose to disclose? 

    When the time is right, it helps to have a plan to disclose your pregnancy with an employer. If you disclose while interviewing, mention that you’ll manage your projects, so your leave will cause minimal impact. Emphasize your commitment to the job and that you intend to return after the maternity leave.

    To address any concern about work, reassure management you love your job and look forward to picking up right where you left off upon returning.

    Moreover, don’t stress out too much. Remember, companies want to hire you for the long haul, and make an investment in your future with their organization. A supportive employer with the right mindset won’t see a few months leave as an insurmountable issue. If you frame your pregnancy as exciting news (you’re expecting!), a good employer will more than likely be happy to hear about this new chapter in your life.   

    Can I take maternity leave immediately after starting a job?

    This depends on your employment situation. Under the FMLA, you’re not eligible for leave until 12 months of employment. However, many companies have individual maternity policies, so speak to the HR team to understand those. 

    Additionally, employers must treat pregnancy like any other disability. So if other employees are allowed to return after a short-term disability, you would be as well. You’re entitled to the time off your doctor advises for recovery. (Typically 6-8 weeks depending on your birth.) 

    How can I assess how supportive a company is of working parents? 

    For parents, the definition of a good job includes a family-friendly culture. Here are a few clues that indicate a company with a good work-life balance.

    Look for family-friendly words: If the company description or job post mentions words like “family-friendly,” “work-life balance,” or “flexibility,” that’s a good sign.

    Check the benefits: See if the ad mentions childcare, comprehensive insurance coverage, help with adoption, or other family-related benefits.

    Note the responsibilities: Pay attention to the percent of travel required and if long hours or weekend work is mentioned.

    Be observant in interviews: Ask questions about a typical workday. Do they have flexible work schedules that include remote work? You can also ask about the work culture and current employees to get a sense if other parents enjoy working there. 

    Last year, theSkimm’s #ShowUsYourLeave campaign launch sparked a flood of opinions and personal stories around parental leave, garnering 1,000 hashtag followers on LinkedIn. Progressive companies took this opportunity to showcase their generous policies (see Hired’s here). The campaign’s success proved leave as a point of interest, validating it as demand from jobseekers and an opportunity for companies to support employees and attract talent. 

    Related: Check out employers like theSkimm on Hired’s 2022 List of Top Employers Winning Tech Talent 

    Overcoming Pregnancy Discrimination While Job Hunting

    Even though it’s illegal, pregnancy discrimination is, unfortunately, still prevalent. According to survey data, 20% of moms report they have experienced pregnancy discrimination at work.  

    Conducting a job search while pregnant might not be ideal timing, but many women have successfully done so. Try to start early in your pregnancy, when possible. Become informed on your rights so you can confidently navigate the job search. Look for a family-friendly company. Most importantly, don’t worry! Not only is stress bad for an expectant mother, but the law protects you and you should be treated with respect and courtesy throughout this process. 

    Happy job hunting and family planning! 

    Continue reading our Ally Series: More

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    When Asked Salary Expectations, What Should You Say to Recruiters?

    Here’s a common scenario for jobseekers: You’re in an interview and the recruiter asks, “What are your salary expectations for this role?” You might respond, “Well that depends. What’s the range you have for this role?” At this point, it becomes a sort of standoff. 

    So, how do experts recommend you approach this situation?

    These panelists joined the 2022 State of Tech Salaries Webinar, How to Build Leverage in a Volatile Job Market, to share insights into salary trends, salary negotiation, and more:

    Founder & CEO of Ladies Get Paid, Claire WassermanCareer Expert, CPCC, & CPRW at TopResume, Amanda AugustineDirector of Global Talent Acquisition at Glassdoor, Amy Farrar 

    Keep reading for their advice on responding to recruiters about salary expectations and scroll down to access the full webinar. 

    Claire Wasserman

    It depends on where you are in the process. If you have not been given the offer, your goal is to just get to the next interview and then the next and then to get the offer. So you don’t want to do anything that disqualifies you. 

    I would cite the research. You can say, “Listen, this is the range I found. I talked to real people.” If you only say one source, they might say, “Well, that’s not relevant.” Hold them accountable by saying you have discussed this with recruiters. 

    “This is what I’ve seen. I consider myself a top performer. I would love to discuss top dollar but tell me more. Also, I’m open to negotiation. I love saying a high number. I’ll also caveat that this is a discussion and I’m aware of that.”

    Cite the research and don’t hold yourself to one number because it might take you out of the running. That being said, when you get the offer, you are absolutely saying the top dollar again based on research. 

    Amanda Augustine

    I agree that you want to start by saying, “Based on my research and what I know about the role today, here’s the range I’m seeing online based on X, Y, and Z resources. However, I’d love to learn more about the role and how I could provide value before negotiating any specific numbers.” I think it’s opening the door and ensuring that conversation. 

    There’s always the advice to try and push it off too. You can say, “I’ve done some research but I’d love to learn more about the role before we talk numbers and let’s make sure I’m the right fit for this role and this is the right opportunity for me” and you can try and push it off.

    I find that recruiters and employers often say, “No, I need a number now. I don’t want to waste your time or mine. If your number is way out of our range, give us a number.” You’re kind of pushed to give something. It’s always best to have an educated number based on real research. 

    Amy Farrar

    If transparency and compensation are not part of a company’s philosophy, it’s really difficult to get past the initial stage. The recruiter wants to know if you are in the correct range but it’s almost as if they’re not prepared to give you that. Then, it’s on them to make sure you’re the right person to move forward. 

    If they come back to you saying it depends, ask a question: “What’s a comparable, rough idea of what people are currently making in this organization who are doing the same role?”

    You can get an idea of what people are being paid in the organization before you take your precious time going through an interview process. It might result in realizing the compensation was way off. I would not shy away from the conversation early on. 

    We’re seeing transparency become a key part of compensation across other organizations. Certain states are specifying companies advertise compensation in job descriptions, which I think is fantastic. The pressure is on employers to give an answer and to make sure it’s right for you to move forward — not the other way around. 

    Answer with confidence 

    Simply put, do your research and don’t be afraid to present a number first when asked about salary expectations. If you know what you’re worth and that number works for you, you can confidently say it out loud! 

    To see how companies value your tech experience, use Hired’s salary calculator featuring real-time data. 

    Sharing salary preferences puts the power in your hands 

    Jobseekers using the Hired platform have the benefit of seeing the salary offer from companies upfront. In other words, no confusion and no awkward conversations. Companies apply to you, prepared to offer the salary you desire.    More

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    7 Interview Questions You Never Have to Answer (& How You Should Respond)

    When you’re interviewing for a job — and particularly one you really want — it can be tempting to tell your interviewer everything they want to hear. But some seemingly innocent questions can actually be inappropriate (and often illegal). 

    First things first: An interview is about your qualifications for the job

    Understanding whether a candidate fits a certain position and the company culture is a primary task of employers throughout an interview. Along with aptitude assessments, screening, and testing, questions are a key evaluation tool for HR teams and hiring managers. Yet, there are some fine legal lines between what’s acceptable and what’s not when it comes to job interviews. The general rule of thumb is anything you’re asked should relate to your qualifications for the job in question.

    At a high level, regulations around interview questions and employment decisions are designed to protect potential employees from discrimination unrelated to their ability to do the job. Some jobs have mandatory qualifications, referred to as Bona Fide Occupational Qualifications (BFOQs). These may initially seem out of line but are valid in the context of a certain employer or role. 

    Asking someone’s age, for example, is generally off-limits. However, it may be permissible to ask airline pilots as broader safety regulations exist around this. BFOQs are related to hiring based on age, sex, race, national origin, or religion. Most tech roles, however, shouldn’t come with any BFOQs so a feeling of discomfort is more than likely signals an inappropriate ask.

    What’s actually off-limits?

    Companies are not allowed to make hiring decisions based on any of the following (excluding in the case of BFOQs): 

    AgeMarital and family statusDisabilitiesRace or colorGenderReligionBirthplace, nationality, or ancestrySalary history (in some places—check your state and city regulations)

    While many seemingly innocent questions appear to be the interviewer’s attempt to get to know you (and may well be!), answering questions about your family status, religion, etc. may unfairly bias your interviewer and distract them from the real topic at hand: whether you’re the best candidate for this role.

    Be prepared to answer questions related to education, work experience, motivation, personal qualities, and future career plans. Be wary of questions violating personal boundaries. Employers are actually not entitled to ask such questions, and you do not need to answer them. As a jobseeker, this right is protected by the law.

    Whether you’re being asked maliciously or not, here’s your guide to handling inappropriate questions if they come up in an interview.

    1. Are you married?

    It’s unlikely you will come across such a direct question. In fact, all questions related to a candidate’s marital status are technically illegal. However, some employers might overstep boundaries and ask about plans for marriage or work after the birth of children. This could be in an attempt to tease out answers about a candidate’s commitment to the company in the future. 

    According to research, only 12% of respondents said they were asked in an interview about their future plans for marriage. As many as 28% reported the interviewer asked about their marital status. 

    How to respond

    In order to shift the conversation back to a work-related topic, you can respond with:

    “I’m not quite ready yet for this discussion, but I’m very interested in career development in your company. Could you tell me more about this?” 

    This will demonstrate your motivation and commitment to career growth, while simultaneously setting boundaries.

    2. Do you have children? If not, do you plan on it? 

    Often, employers ask probing questions about family in a misled attempt to understand the candidate as a potential employee. Women, for example, receive questions about having children amid a common stereotype about employees with small children taking more time off and sick leave. 

    Studies show 25% of interviewers asked women if they had children. Since, in the modern world, a man can also go on maternity leave, such questions are invalid, inappropriate, and even meaningless. 

    To some candidates, this question is unacceptable and discourages them from working with a team where personal boundaries are violated.

    How to respond

    One of the possible answers:

    “Yes, I do. However, I’d prefer to keep this conversation focused on my professional skills”, or “I know it can be challenging to find the right work-life balance. However, I can assure you I do not allow my personal life to interfere with my professional duties.”

    3. What was your salary in your last job?

    A potential employer can discuss with the candidate financial issues relating exclusively to salary expectations for the position the company is interviewing. 

    The employer does not have the right to share information about wages at the previous place of work. Currently, it’s illegal for some or all employers to ask you about your payment history in several cities and states. It’s called a salary ban.

    What is a salary ban?

    Salary history bans are policies preventing employers from asking about a candidate’s previous salary. The bans aim to reduce pay discrimination in hiring decisions and are a step toward promoting equal pay. 

    Jobseekers may rephrase the question regarding salary expectations into a current salary negotiation. Candidates can also share a figure of their expectations if they think it will work in their favor. 

    How to respond

    For instance: 

    “I’m not comfortable discussing my salary history, but I do know my target salary for this position is X amount” or “My previous employer was very strict about privacy and security. Thus, I’m not entitled to disclose information about the salaries they offer.”

    4. How would you handle managing a team of all men/women?

    Unfortunately, gender discrimination is still far too common in the labor market. It’s especially visible through wage inequality. While there are myths and stereotypes related to “male” and “female” professions, and the ability to perform certain jobs, interview questions related to these matters remain taboo. 

    During interviews, employers may ask candidates to prove their ability to perform tasks they believe are appropriate for members of the opposite sex. In this case, candidates should focus all attention on their achievements and results.

    How to respond

    In this case, we advise dropping the gender aspect and focusing on your managerial skills in an answer. For example: 

    “I’m very comfortable in a management role. In fact, in my last position, I managed these responsibilities well for over a year.”

    5. What country are you originally from?

    Many employers may have trouble hiring employees who are legally prohibited from working in the country. This has led companies to take tougher measures in finding out more about the origin of future employees. 

    But the only legal way to find out is to ask directly: “Are you legally allowed to work in this country?” Phrasing the question as “Where were you born?” or “Where are you from?” and making citizenship inquiries are illegal. 

    According to a CareerBuilder and Harris Poll survey of more than 2,100 hiring and Human Resources managers, about 20% unwittingly asked candidates illegal questions in an interview. 

    How to respond

    Candidates can gracefully evade this by saying: “I have lived in different places, but by law, I have the right to work in this country.”

    6. What religion do you practice?

    The employer does not have the right to demand an answer about which church you go to or whether you go at all. 

    If you do decide to answer this question, pay attention to how important it is to the interviewer. Ardent adherence to a certain idea may indicate an unhealthy atmosphere in the company.

    How to respond

    You can note you have your religion, but also respect that of others. To eliminate the abusive effect of this question, you can say: “I’m certain I’ll be able to work the schedule you need for this position, so no worries.”

    7. Do you have any physical impairments or disabilities?

    Some companies require future employees to submit medical certificates about their health status. It can be a measure of concern for potential employees. 

    But employers cannot be interested in your well-being and chronic health problems in the interview out of idle interest — to estimate how often you will take sick leave, for example. This information is confidential and only applies to you and your doctor.

    Candidates can disclose their disabilities in advance if they feel comfortable doing so. If you are curious about disclosing a disability in the job search, read this guide. 

    How to respond

    For instance: 

    “I believe I have all the necessary skills and abilities to fulfill the responsibilities related to the role.”

    Moving Forward

    At the end of the day, innocent-enough intentions are behind most interview questions. However, illegal or inappropriate questions may be a red flag in regard to the company’s HR professionalism and culture as a whole. Directly answering them can violate your personal boundaries and/or lead to discrimination. Don’t feel obligated to answer questions that detract from what matters: your qualifications, interest in, and ability to do the job.  More

  • in

    Meet Hired’s Candidate Experience Team: Supporting Jobseekers Every Step of the Way

    A top resource for jobseekers looking for Tech & Sales roles  

    A positive candidate experience is an essential part of a successful hiring process, so we have a team dedicated to supporting jobseekers on the Hired platform. 

    Get to know the Candidate Experience Team

    The Candidate Experience (CX) Team currently consists of six members whose responsibilities include: 

    Profile polishing at the onboarding stageCareer coaching and providing resources for navigating the job searchInterview check-ins and interview requests (IVRs) helpGeneral support using the Hired platform

    While the CX team is available to Hired jobseekers at any stage, we typically assign a dedicated CX team member after a jobseeker accepts their first IVR to ensure smooth sailing during the interview process. 

    CX helps bridge the gap between candidates and employers to create a streamlined process. For instance, if a candidate has not heard back from a company, CX can work with the organization’s account manager to get them back in touch with the candidate. The team advocates for transparency on both ends and encourages jobseekers to maintain clear communication with potential employers too.

    If candidates receive an offer, CX checks in again to congratulate them of course, and see if they can provide further support. This could be advice for an offer negotiation or to act as a sounding board to weigh opportunities. From coaching to even some much-needed encouragement (the job search is tough!), CX is here for candidates. 

    Here to help every candidate have a great experience

    First, the Candidate Experience Team is a resource for you. They’re here to help and they work hard behind the scenes too, constantly collaborating with every team across Hired to find ways to improve the candidate experience and help you land your dream job. 

    Second, are you subscribed to The Hired Download email newsletter? They’re the folks sending it! Third, have you attended a How Hired Helps: Ask Me Anything Webinar to get your job search questions answered? They help make those events happen too! 

    Speaking of Hired resources for candidates, we asked team members to share their favorite items to support jobseekers. Here’s what they recommend: 

    “My experience with Hired was great! I landed a job interview offer almost immediately and at the end of the day managed to land a new job via Hired! I also had some great assistance in both the form of website popups as well as regular emails from the team. I would be happy to use Hired again if I need to change my job.”

    Mykola Y., Hired User

    5 of the CX Team’s top tips to find new tech & sales roles on Hired

    Respond to interview requests quickly! Even if you aren’t available to interview for several weeks, you can always accept the interview request and schedule the interview in advance. Being responsive shows you’re interested and proactive. Employers respond well to quick communication.Be courteous when interviewing. Likewise, send thank you notes after interviews and follow up if you haven’t heard back from a company. Displaying a genuine interest in the opportunity and putting your best foot forward in the interview process is as important as any other skill you bring to the table!Be transparent and keep your profile and resume up-to-date. Include all relevant experience and make sure the information on your resume aligns with your profile and LinkedIn – employers check for consistency.Make sure to polish your profile so employers have all the information they need – any extra information is always a bonus! Use the “Must-Have,” “Nice To Have,” & “Do not Want” sections of your profile. Employers also love it when they’re able to get a glimpse of your personality through your profile. It helps them understand if you like working in specific environments, like pair programming. It also helps them personalize their IVRs to you if something in your profile (even interests and hobbies!) aligns with their team. Another reason is if they feel certain benefits or projects would resonate with you.Focus on hard skills when completing the “Primary Area of Expertise” section. Using skills as keywords helps us match you for available roles. Plus, most recruiters search this way using keywords as filters.

    Related: Get more guidance in this blog featuring a video presentation: Want More Interviews and Better Matches? 5 Key Tips! 

    Why the Candidate Experience Team loves what they do

    We’ve shared lots of reasons for you to love the CX Team so let’s wrap up with what the team loves about working with jobseekers: 

    “The CX role is a rewarding one. Navigating a candidate to a destination ‘dream job’ is what we do best!”“It’s an extremely rewarding experience helping people get jobs they’re excited about! A lot goes into the interview process and it can be tiring, so seeing candidates overcome that tall task to get a role they love makes it all worth it!”“It’s brilliant speaking to candidates daily to ensure they’re doing well on the platform and helping them where they need it. I think it really helps to have someone on the platform solely to support them and to assist where needed! It’s a great moment (and truly rewarding) when they secure a role and are thrilled about their new venture. That’s what Hired is all about: connecting great candidates to great employers!”

    A note from the team: We welcome feedback about our candidates’ experiences using Hired. That includes what works and what doesn’t. We encourage you to share your experience with us! We appreciate it and use it to continuously improve the platform.

    Get personalized job search support

    To conclude, the CX Team is ready to partner with you, so use them to navigate the job search process. In addition, Hired partners with organizations to support jobseekers with resume enhancement, technical interview prep, upskilling, and more. Discover organizations to fit your career advancement needs. Plus, many offer discounts on their services to Hired platform candidates!

    The Hired Summit

    Lastly, mark your calendar for April 26th, 2023, for Hired’s Summit. It’s a free one-day virtual event to share job search tips and tricks and connect top talent to companies. The Summit offers tech and sales talent a variety of workshops, panel discussions, networking rooms, and so much more. 

    Discover upcoming events to get job search guidance and connect with top employers. More