Hello again everyone!
When you’re on the hunt for your next job or career, there really isn’t a sweeter e-mail headline than "You’ve been selected for an interview", is there? I am Zak Etem, Support Analyst at Esri, and author of "I Applied to Esri 64 Times Before Getting Hired and Here’s What I Learned". This blog post is a continuation of my experience through the interview process at Esri and my advice to you.
It's truly a remarkable and exciting experience! You've dedicated yourself to this path, following all the necessary steps to get to this point, but now you're in the spotlight, ready to showcase your true potential. This is your golden opportunity to demonstrate your authentic self, your unwavering passion, and convince everyone why you're the perfect match for the position.
In this blog, I will outline some hurdles you may face during an interview process so you can make the most of the interviews. I’ll clue you in on what interview skills/traits companies are looking for and tactics on how to prepare for a smooth interview to lead you to sail right into your dream job.
Yes, and I do mean interviews because for most companies, GIS focused or not, you’ll go through a journey of them such as a phone call, virtual, and in person interviews at the least!
Don’t let this worry or overwhelm you. Remember, a job interview process is a marathon, not a sprint. It's important to pace yourself and stay focused on each step along the way. Climbing the largest mountains is accomplished one small step at a time, one foot after another and a job interview process is no different.
When you’ve been notified that you’re going to interview, it’s important to note that your initial interview will be with a member of Talent Acquisition/Human Resources/Recruitment team (different departments/companies label this role differently, so be aware). As part of the hiring team, a recruiter’s individual responsibility is to recommend the right applicants to move forward in the interview process. They have carefully reviewed your resume, cover letter, and any other supporting documents submitted. Since they’ve scheduled an interview with you, they’ve identified you as a good match!
Let’s first talk about preparation and you. You’ll need to be in the right mental state. If you are like me, I often discredit myself and overthink situations. As the interview date approached, I severely began to feel “imposter syndrome”. My first piece of advice is to not be your worst enemy and overthink it. When I interviewed, I feared that I wouldn’t be nearly qualified enough and that I didn’t have enough certifications, job experience, or skills. While all of those things are important they aren’t the full recipe for success.
Soft skills are a big part of the selection process. While hard skills are acquired through training and learning, soft skills are inherent aspects of one's personality. Soft skills are what Esri and many other organizations are looking for, defined with one simple word, passion. You can’t teach passion, you can’t learn it. From my conversations with Ronda, I think she states it best:
“Soft skills are essential for success in the workplace as they enable individuals to effectively communicate, collaborate and problem-solve with others. These skills are important for building positive relationships with colleagues, managing projects effectively, and achieving organizational goals. Demonstrating these skills during an interview process can also set candidates apart and make them more attractive to potential employers.”
- Ronda Schrenk,
Chief Executive Officer, USGIF | United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation
Some examples of soft skills companies look for are:
What soft skill scores the highest? My personal vote is having a growth mindset. Someone with a growth mindset is a lifelong learner, self-motivated, and continuously strives to improve. This mindset is big in the tech industry because technology is constantly evolving which requires you to adapt, pivot and grow to the needs of our consumers.
My second piece of advice is to let your passion shine through your interview like a light. Embrace your passions and share it in every interview. When it comes to letting your passion shine through during an interview, it's about expressing genuine enthusiasm and excitement for the role you are applying for. Here are some ways to embrace your passions and effectively convey them in any interview:
Sharing your passion isn't about forcing enthusiasm but rather genuinely conveying what excites you. By doing so, you demonstrate to the interviewer that you're not just a candidate with the necessary skills, but someone who will bring genuine enthusiasm and dedication to the role.
I'm so happy to share my experience and hopefully provide you with some valuable insights and guidance for your upcoming interviews. Stay on the lookout for my upcoming blog about the technical interview process. Technical interviews can often be challenging. I'll cover important topics, strategies, and how best to prepare to help you navigate technical interviews with confidence.
Best of luck with your interviews and stay tuned for my upcoming blog. Feel free to reach out on LinkedIn if you have any questions!
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