My first month at the young web development team flew quickly and fruitful. But, frankly speaking, at the very beginning, I had no idea how to get in such an awesome and professional crew and to pass probation period, as my personal experience was based on the freelance work only. Two powers were fighting in me - the need for team unity & live communication vs. the will for superior loneliness & total independence.
The willingness for communication and stability won and I’ve made a step into the unknown world of a corporate culture. Now, I would like to share my new knowledge and truly hope it would be helpful for those who decide to follow my way.
1. First interview and how to deal with it
First of all, it should be noted that I’ve made certain preparations before the upcoming appointment. And I think this small “to do” list could be quite useful for you too.
Look through the official website - it’s the first and the most obvious thing I’ve made. Every single page and line are highly important in this brief web-description, they could help you to find a right niche in company’s body and build a strong offer for the first meeting.
Run “Alexa”, “Similarweb” & “Website Grader” reports - as a newcomer and marketer I had to figure out the common position of the chosen company on markets. Suppose it would be useful for everyone. The main indicators to monitor - site ratings, layout, and competitors.
Check out feedbacks about the company - this item is extremely important; mostly you’ll find a lot of positive information, but sometimes there could be negative messages - be attentive and sensible.
Find and explore social media accounts - it’s a great opportunity to get acquainted with the team & CEO, their latest news, projects, interests and major partners.
View all the main references Google suggests - like this you can find some useful data about the company, that was not enlightened at official pages.
Study top interview questions and make your own - I applied for the position of social media specialist, and had my own professional tasks to discuss, but at the same time there is always a bunch of common important things to agree.
So, it was my little investigation that gave some kind of confidence before the interview. And on the basis of this vague knowledge I’ve prepared the common questions you can find below in a separate paragraph.
2. Questions that I have primarily considered
In my talk with company leaders, I’ve tried to describe myself from the very best point of view and, at the same time, I had these small questions in my pocket to get the conversation flowing in the right direction. Here are some of them:
1) How does my work contribute to common company plans? - It helped to reveal the estimated list of tasks I was going to face.
2) What do the most successful employees do in their first month? - The answer showed how to cope with the applied requests.
3) Guys, how would you measure the success of my work? - It helped to set straight priorities.
4) What is the hardest challenge the company deals this year? - it showed how the team handles with difficulties and the nature of this difficulties.
5) What behaviors do you like in your employees and what you don’t? - This question helped to find out what “bad” and “good” performances look like.
6) Why should I work in this team and what keeps your staff motivated? - It’s a nice opportunity for employers to show what they can suggest.
Be aware that professional managers know how to interview well, so they can easily throw a tough question between the bunch of easy. Take a time, clear out in what direction the talk is moving and prepare better-grounded answers.
In my case, the conversation was just excellent because I clearly knew what my employers needed and what to speak about, so we easily found the common ground.
3. Good self-introduce is a key to understanding
I’ve made a quick introduction with the kindful help of my chief. The day was in its hottest phase, the whole team was extremely busy, so I said few words about myself and my future role and dive into my working place to realize my “brilliant” ideas.
The next step was a full introduction at the time break. I’ve tried to be friendly, talkative and open to conversation - this is the key to understanding. I’ve described my previous experience, and my new colleagues shared their recent tasks and roadblocks.
Decision making is absolutely crucial because your true nature will be revealed at extremely hard situations, so it’s necessary to make a right prioritization and focus on small victories. Primarily, I’ve made a little mistake by taking too many tasks at the same time but eventually resolved them all.
It is important to clarify all the requirements from the very beginning. With company managers we discussed the immediate priorities that require my attention, and how they'll evaluate my performance. Besides, curiosity is an awesome feature - it’ll help to avoid a lot of mistakes and to generate new ideas.
And few more advice, if you don’t mind. Appreciate any feedback because it’s a direct road-sign for you, but never take it too much personal. Don’t forget about kind words and compliments that nicely smooth any roughness, plus - a right joke in a right moment could save your face.
The Light side of the Force, or how it goes now
After a brief acquaintance with colleagues, I quickly felt myself the part of the team. Though it’s rather not due to some of my super qualities but the merit of surrounding me creative and result-oriented people.
Roobykon Software team - it's not just people gathering together at certain hours, but knit club of like-minded Jedi who help each other to find the Strength, and to overcome any difficulties. And yes, of course, transparent company management that supports this casual and constructive atmosphere.
As a result, I can say with certainty that a change of scenery made me feel better. I have found awesome friends, stunning workspace overlooking the historic part of the city, everyday walks in the nearby park, a lot of communication, meetings, new challenges, and interesting tasks.
If you are searching for a new team, like I was - carefully prepare, do not make stupid mistakes, be patient, and I’m sure you will achieve success.