Any interview can be intimidating. Don’t you wish you had the chance to peek into the mind of your interviewer?

Well, today, you can.

We wanted to interview a recruiter for one of the top tech companies in the world. In our interview, we asked questions that we thought would be helpful for candidates, especially those seeking roles in the tech industry.

Karesa helps us look into what hiring managers are looking for and even thinking during your interview. She gives tips on how to impress your interviewer and go the extra mile in order to make a great first impression.

Check out our talk with Karesa below and learn more about how you can ace your interview and land the job of your dreams!

If you were to give a candidate the shortest pep-talk ever, what would you say?

Any interview is a learning opportunity and a chance to showcase your strengths. It is normal to interview for multiple jobs before receiving an offer so don’t be discouraged when you’re starting your job search. With that in mind, control what you can control- PREPARE for any interview, be positive, and express interest/passion for the job

Is there anything you love to see on a candidate’s resume?

First of all, I love when resumes are organized and easy to read. Besides that, I really love to see special awards/honors- this shows me you are a top performer. It’s also fun to see interests/hobbies at the bottom of a resume too.

Do you have a pet peeve when it comes to interviews?

Do I have to choose just one?? Just kidding! 🙂 My number one pet peeve is when candidates treat the interview/ phone screen with a recruiter as a formality. A recruiter can end up being your champion to hiring managers. If a hiring manager is on the fence about whether to hire you or not but you treated the recruiter really well, the recruiter is way more likely to go above and beyond to ensure that you are selected for the job. Another pet peeve: when a candidate is negative in an interview. Do not talk negatively about a previous employer under any circumstance.  

Another pet peeve is irrelevant messages on LinkedIn- see the last section.

What questions do you wish candidates would ask you during an interview?

Questions on things actually curious about! Get curious about the job! Some people pick the first question they see when they Google “questions to ask interviewer” but make sure the questions you ask are relevant to the job/company. The questions you ask reveal more about yourself and where your interests lie than you might realize.

Does a candidate typically come off as more desirable if they are currently employed?

Yes! With the unemployment rate where it is, I am usually skeptical about candidates that are not currently working. I definitely recommend interviewing while you are employed if possible.

What could a successful candidate do to “go the extra mile” during their interview process without overdoing it?

Send thank you notes!

Do your research on the company: anything happening in the news? Any blog posts you can mention?

Give honest feedback after your interviews- follow up with the hiring manager or recruiter with feedback on your experience interviewing. What did you enjoy, what confused you, what surprised you, etc. This will show your thoughtfulness and is really helpful

Be responsive and available- Respond quickly to emails and set aside time during business hours for interviews/phone calls. I love it when a candidate proactively sends me times they are available to talk without having to ask them.

What research do you do about a candidate before they come in for an interview?

It depends. At the very minimum, I will have read through the resume and LinkedIn profile. When possible, I’ll review references (Has anyone I know worked with the candidate previously? Can they speak to the candidate’s skills? Where did they go to school?) I also might simply Google a person’s name to see if they have any relevant publications, awards, blog posts, websites, or presenting at an upcoming event.

What technical skills do you ask a candidate to demonstrate during their interview?

I personally don’t conduct any technical interviews but any engineering candidates should spend plenty of time preparing and be ready to code from scratch. Here are a few resources I recommend for practice coding problems:

We loved hearing Karesa’s side of the story when it comes to hiring candidates! Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments below and let us know what follow up questions you would have for an interview at a major tech company!


Karesa is a Sofware Engineer Recruiter at one of the largest tech companies in the world. She has several years experience in the recruiting sphere and loves connecting with engineers who have a passion for solving complex problems at scale.