How to Get Hired by a Leading Regional Company

by Mais Gousous, February 27, 2013

There's a lot of hype in the tech world about the best places to work. Thousands of people just like you dream of working at one of the world’s top companies such as Google, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Yet there's far more to landing such jobs than luck; you should be prepared to jump through peculiar hoops to set yourself apart from the crowd. It’s not only that; you should also take into consideration that the majority of top companies prefer internal promotions as opposed to hiring someone from the outside.

So do you have what it takes to get hired by a top company? Here are 6 things to consider that can actually help you get your foot in the door.

1. Chances of Success without Education are Very Small

Top companies are looking for the best people to fill their vacancies, regardless of the source of their education. While having a degree from an Ivy League university will definitely give you an advantage in the marketplace, many top companies argue against this notion.

If you are smart and self-driven, it doesn’t matter which university you went to. What really matters is that you have a degree that is either regionally or nationally recognized. The real edge lies in having a good balance of good grades and involvement in various clubs and extra-curricular activities. This will provide employers with a good insight into your ability to take responsibility and communicate effectively.  

2. Knowing Someone Helps

The remarkable growth of social networks makes it even easier for you to stay in touch and connect with your network of professionals. Many top companies depend on internal referrals to find potential candidates from their existing employees' social networks.  If you happen to know someone who works at a top company, make sure that you build on your relationship wisely so that when a vacancy in the company of your interest occurs, you’ll be the first candidate that comes to mind.

3. Prefer to Work Solo? Don’t Apply!

Almost all top companies look for team players as they were built on a collaboration environment. If you work best alone and hate human interactions, you are probably not a good fit. When asked “Are you a team player?”, you should be able to answer with a resounding “Yes” and provide detailed evidence of your ability to work with your coworkers. If you really are a team player, you'll know exactly what to say!

4. Do Creative Research

A proven way to stand out from the thousands of other applicants is to show the company that you know more about the company and the industry in general. A simple Google search is never enough.  Conducting a detailed research on the company, including reading their blog, press releases, statements and other information that other candidates might not come across is key to landing such jobs. Since it’s rare to find candidates who take the extra step when it comes to research, it might actually be your competitive edge. Make sure you also do some research on the odd questions you might be faced with, so you can reveal that you perform well under pressure.

5. Get Ready for Multiple Interview Rounds

The Interview process varies wildly from one company to another, but you could be facing a series of 5 to 10 one-on-one chats or one long interview with a panel of current employees. If you’ve been called in by employers to interview several times, then you must be doing something right. Most first interview rounds are conducted on the phone, so pick a quiet spot for the call, have any information documents you might need already by the phone prior to the interview. You don’t want background noise as you fumble around looking for things. The following interviews are usually designed to cover what the first interview does not. You’ll need more depth to your answers and additional intelligent questions about the company and the position.

6. Be Prepared for A 'Culture Fit' Interview

There are thousands of people around the world with education, skill-sets and qualifications similar to your own, which means that hiring managers have to like you for who you are. While top tech companies are known for recognizing and celebrating each person's individual character, having the right mix of people who are nice, interesting and funny is essential to creating and maintaining that harmonious working environment everyone is talking about. Since personal characteristics are usually not part of the job description, when it comes down to finding the right candidates, the deciding factor may actually be “cultural fit.” Expect to face a number of interview questions that are designed specifically to examine your cultural fit.

 
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