DYOR (Do Your Own Research)

“Do Your Own Research”, a popular phrase from the world of Digital Assets (aimed at reducing the amount of uniformed investors in the space) that I’ve lovingly pilfered for this article, yet one that I believe best describes how people should approach every stage of an interview process.

For the purpose of this article, I’ll use our experience interviewing prospective recruiters for Durlston Partners as the primary point of reference, however it may also be useful for those of you that have decided to take the time out of your day to gain a brief insight into some of the do’s and don’ts when answering this question. I’ll do my best to draw a quick parallel between what we look for when hiring recruiters and what our clients look for when interviewing technologists for example.

I feel grateful to have spent almost 4 years maintaining an interesting vantage point from a recruitment standpoint, both for clients trading Digital Assets and internally here at Durlston Partners. The one powerful question (to rule them all) that can make or break an interview process in its cunning simplicity? – “What do you know about us?”

Naturally in our positions as recruiters, it’s our job to prepare candidates as best as possible to ensure that they have every chance possible in making it to the next round and reaching offer stage. For in-depth preparation (and access to the Colonel’s receipe), I’m afraid you’ll just have to work with us, but the basic principal may well be more obvious than you think.

  1. Who?
  2. What?
  3. When?
  4. Where?
  5. Why?
  6. How?

Seems simple, right? Well that’s largely because it is. Us recruiters love to see ourselves as sorcerers of sourcing, however if you cover these questions above, you’re guaranteed to come away from an interview process feeling like you have all the information necessary to make that “Yes / No” call. After all, what’s better than having the recruiter ask questions for you? Asking them yourself.

We look for inquisitive, kind and honest people that are serious about a career in recruitment. The clients we are privileged enough to work with also value those personal attributes, particularly inquistiveness, normally assessed by probing a candidate’s understanding of what their code does under the hood. As a general rule of thumb, hiring managers will tend to progress candidates that ask specific, tailored questions and we’ve never received feedback along the lines of – “Pass. Candidate asked too many great questions.”

Clients love candidates who have investigated a niche technology that they use for example, but they especially love to hear that an engineer has researched the team and formulated their own hypothesis about what the team does. We love candidates that know the roles we all play at a micro level to ensure macro level success! This demonstrates an alluring level of inquisitiveness that will always come across well, no matter whether the information was gathered online by themselves or offered by a recruiter to give a vivid insight behind the curtain.

Why is this relevant? Well, one of the primary reasons for candidates to hesitate in making a move or withdrawing from an interview process is often because of a lack of information. If you’ve spent 6-10 hours interviewing with a company for a role which on the surface, seems perfect, you owe it to yourself to finish that process with as much information at hand as possible. Putting pen to paper and accepting an offer is one of the top five most stressful things adults can do. So what’s the sedative in this situation? Information.

So, our advice to candidates interviewing with our clients and to candidates interviewing with us? Do Your Own Research.

Written by Warwick Poelman – warwick@durlstonpartners.com