Hello all current and future applicants, I am going to make this really easy. Here is how to get a job at Astrohaus:
Find this post
If you find this post, that means that you have at least Googled me and clicked around my website. It astounds me how little googling people do before coming to the interview.
Write an intro
A generic intro is better than no intro. A specific intro is, of course, the best. I know a lot of job seekers are following the spray and pray method but the best people know what they want and then pursue the best opportunities for them aggressively. There is no question that writing a quick note to give me an idea of ‘why you are interested in this role’ shows that you are more interested in it than most people. Interest tells me a lot about a person. If you don’t have highly relevant experience, tell me exactly why you think you could still be a good fit. Even if you do have relevant experience, tell me how your successes would translate to even bigger successes working with Astrohaus.
Have a great resume and portfolio
Thankfully, candidates in NYC that I have seen rarely have terrible resumes or portfolios. However, there are some things that I frequently see that are not doing candidates any favors. If you are any kind of designer, you should have a visually pleasing resume. I would vote against over designing the resume to the point it looks like a cartoon or movie poster or something crazy (this would be fine if that is the job you are applying for but not for us). Just make a normal resume but put extra care into typography and a simple color palette. If I am hiring a designer and their resume is bland or has terrible style, that’s no bueno. All designers should have a portfolio online and it should be listed as prominently as possible on a resume and everywhere else you are marketing yourself. Don’t make me work to find it. Most importantly, only put the projects that you are very proud of in your portfolio. Sure, I will mentally note if something was a school project or whatever but why make me do that? Just put your best stuff online. I would hire a designer with one incredible masterpiece (note relevance of etymology) over another that had a big portfolio of mixed quality.
All non-designers should have a nicely formatted resume but nothing more than that. Just stick to something traditional. Most importantly, do not include any jobs/roles that you are not proud of. I would have thought this was obvious but I think some other resume coaches make it seem that it is worse to have a gap in your resume. This is terrible advice. A gap wont come up until an interview (if ever) and at that point you can at least explain it. If you put some lame job on your resume, I will probably question your judgement and never even give the interview.
The more research you do, the more valuable our conversation can be. If I have to explain the product to you during an interview, that’s not a good sign. If you don’t find our Kickstarter (even though it was under a different name) you are not going to mesh well with our organization. The more you know about the product and can accurately deduce from the diverse information and misinformation on the web, the more impressed I will be. Sometimes I think candidates are slightly bashful about revealing how much they ‘stalked’ the product or me. Don’t be bashful about showing how much prep you put into the interview!
Always. This includes questions that you may not think are important or you may not feel 100% comfortable answering. For example, if I ask you if you are a dog person or a cat person, don’t be afraid to say which. If you don’t know the answer to a question, think about it, then say that you don’t know. The way someone tells me that they don’t know something says a lot about their character.
Use jargon in the interview
I want to hire the smartest people I can find. The smartest people can’t help themselves from using jargon because they are experts in their field and no other words are suitable other than the actual words that people use within that field. If you don’t use jargon in the interview, I will assume you are not sufficiently technical or embedded. I don’t mean you should use a lot of buzzwords. There is a difference! Using buzzwords will likely have the opposite effect.
Write stuff down
You don’t have to take notes on everything but if I bring something up in the interview which is related to your role or area of expertise, write it down. Show me that you are interested in the subject matter and you are curious enough to check it out later.
Email me after the interview
Thank you notes are fine but what I am really looking for is a follow-up to something that we discussed in the interview. Something in our conversation should have got your wheels turning and inspired more thought.
Do not harass me or the other employees. Do follow up multiple times if you haven’t heard anything. Persistence is a rare quality that I value. If you really want the job (or anything) persistence always pays off.
Knowing more than your role
It’s great when candidates are knowledgeable about the full machine they work within, not just their part. It doesn’t matter if you are a marketer or a designer, you should know the some high level stuff about your current company like number of employees, revenue, users, etc.
Having clear stories
Having a clear story about how you made an impact at your current role or in a previous role is very helpful. Numbers are good too. Know a few!
I want to hire the smartest, most passionate, curious people that I can find. Everything you do and say should be aimed at encouraging me to think that you are one of these people.