As a talent acquisition professional in the tech space, I have had the advantage of conducting initial interviews with a mix of candidates with different specialisms and experience; from engineers to programme leads. I’ve also assessed a significant amount of candidate feedback from some of the most influential tech firms for senior level hires. I therefore thought it would be helpful to summarise a few key things that I believe will help you to stand out at interviews and make a great impression to your prospective employer.

  • Do your research – it is always important to do your homework about the company that you want to work for. And there is no excuse to not do some digging as everything is out there on the www. You can look on the company website, click the ‘news’ tab on Google and find out the most up to date company news and insights. You can also search LinkedIn to look at other people (potential colleagues) that work for the business and how your role fits in with what they do. Doing prior research would be glaringly obvious and attractive to a hiring manager and its never time wasted as you’ll normally learn something interesting about a company that you respect.
  • Be on time and punctual. It goes without saying but it’s important and this leaves a good impression and shows that you respect other people’s time.
  • Up your communication skills. Never underestimate the power of soft skills such as communication. Although communication can sometimes be underestimated in the world of tech, its vital as you must be able to articulate your thinking clearly and concisely and also listen to and discuss matters with your team.
  • Don’t hide your personality. Many companies now conduct cultural chats to see if there is good rapport and value alignment between the candidate and team members.
  • Ask good questions. Most candidates ask the same, conventional questions that hiring managers have heard over and over again. Pull a few other questions out the bag that make companies stop and think. You can even get more personal and ask questions such as what attracted them to the company, what are their key milestones and how do they see you fitting in to the team structure.
  • First impressions count, so make a good one. Did you know that it only takes 7 seconds to make a first impression? Research suggests a tenth of a second is all it takes to start determining traits like trustworthiness. On that note, despite the fact that many tech companies having relaxed, casual dress policies (which I am all for), I believe it’s still important to make a ‘tidy’ appearance. I.e., ideally you haven’t just rolled out of bed on to a Zoom interview but instead, you’ve taken a bit more care and consideration in your appearance.

Words by Maleek Montgomery, Specialist Consultant in Data and Engineering

Successfully building an inclusive workplace goes beyond setting DEI goals and making public diversity statements. In order to truly implement inclusion and ensure that its effective, leaders need to incorporate actionable methods that encourage inclusion at every stage of the employee experience; from interviewing to day-to-day working culture, right through to offboarding. 

In the spirit of Pride Month, we challenge ourselves by raising the question, what does inclusion look like in practice and how do we ensure that colleagues – regardless of their backgrounds, sexual orientation, gender etc. – are made to feel understood and valued? 

Below are just a few tips that may be helpful to consider in the workplace to make progress towards inclusivity. 

  1. Update policies  

Employers should make it a priority to revisit and update their policies to be more inclusive to their LGBTQ+ employees. In addition to their policies, they should consider implementing diversity or Pride days dedicated to celebrating employee differences.  

2. Communicate updated policies 

Communicating updated policies, expectations and consequences often and through appropriate channels is beneficial. Its vital employees understand that harassment, discrimination, bullying, intimidation, etc… will not be tolerated.  

3. Adapt current recruiting strategies  

 Current hiring strategies could be revisited to ensure that LGBTQ applicants aren’t excluded. Companies can evaluate the current language used in job descriptions and replace any gender coded terms with neutral language.   

4. Hire an inclusivity specialist 

It is not the job of the employee to educate their co-workers. Companies can hire consultants that identify as gay or trans to review training materials and make sure that the company is promoting the right messages in the right way.  

5. Be an ally  

Allyship is an unconditional willingness to act with and for others, especially for marginalised groups of people.  It is important to educate yourself about various identities and experiences of marginalised groups and be aware of some of the biases that you may have. Another important aspect to remember is that allyship is about providing genuine, active and continuous support for groups that suffer from discrimination; it’s not enough to just talk about injustices without addressing them head on if they happen. 

Words by Tracy Iqbal Director of People Operations

Being a working parent is a delicate balancing act which challenges even the most organised.

In the last 10+ years a lot has changed with men striving as much at home as they do work. Gone are the days where a 9-to-5 was followed by coming home to dinner and playing ball before bedtime with the little one – men are more actively involved at home than ever before, cooking meals, doing laundry and generally having more quality family time.

Research from Open Mind Strategy about health and wellness goals for men and women at different life stages found that younger men (Gen Zers and Xers and millennials) considered “work-life balance” as their top priority. Between their demanding careers and busy home life’s, researchers explain, guys are feeling crunched.

In the run up to Father’s Day, we caught up with our Group Managing Director, Charlie Sell , on how he manages to thrive in the best of both worlds – as a father in a leadership position in his career.

AG: What does fatherhood mean to you?

CS: Values, Love and warmth. I was told by a great family friend once; this is all we can offer our children and then we need to let them find their way.

AG: What 3 key habits/behaviours do you adopt to help you to stay on top of things at work and home?

CS:

  1. Be engaged – No emails / calls when with the kids and no kids when reading emails / taking calls
  2. Prioritise jobs at home and in work. Tick off the must-do jobs first
  3. Regular breaks – focus on one thing for 2 hours max and then reset the mind / energy

AG: What is the best thing about fatherhood?

CS: Witnessing and helping to shape the personality and values of the most important people in my world

AG: Do you get anything other than pens, socks and coffee mugs for Father’s Day?

CS: Homemade cards, trying to cook breakfast, doing a day trip of my choice – going to a rugby match.

AG: Since becoming a father, did your professional life change? If so, how?

CS: Life changed from work life balance to work life blend. i.e., before kids I would work in fixed blocks throughout the day and evening. Post kids, work blends in with my life so I can be much more flexible.

AG: A lot changed since the pandemic, for instance, hybrid working/flexible working. Has this helped you manage work life and home life? How so?

CS: Yes – the days I work from home I can work around helping take kids to school / dinner etc.… However, also love and appreciate going into the office 2 or 3 days a week to build relationships, enjoy our culture and learn from others.

AG: What were your post-pandemic learnings RE home and work life?

CS: It is possible to be a good parent and advance your career. Its ok to blend the two and not live in guilt. Trust should be given not earnt.

AG: What will a typical work from home day look like for you?

  • 5:00am –  I naturally wake up and spend an hour ticking off key emails / work
  • 6:30am – 7:30am – I do some HIIT training with Orange Theory Fitness
  • 8:30am – I take my kids to school
  • 9:00am – 12:30am – I work
  • 12:30om – 1:30pm – I have lunch with my wife, take the dog for a walk
  • 1:30pm – 3:30pm – work
  • 3:30pm – 4:00pm – pick up my kids from school
  • 4:00pm – 6:30pm – work
  • 6:30pm – 8:00pm – with the family
  • 8pm onwards – time with the wife, see friends, do life admin

AG: What advice would you give to a new Dad who is concerned about how to balance work and home life and still perform highly?

CS: Be kind to yourself and don’t feel guilty about spending time with you wife and children. Look at life as a work life blend and therefore no problem going to a health visitor meeting in the morning or working later another day. Early risers can tick off work before kids wake up, late night people can do work once they are asleep.

AG: How does your company support parents to strike healthy balances with work and home demands?

CS: Here at Arrows, hybrid working is now the norm which allows parents to have flexibility around family life. We have no internal meetings on Fridays so people can finish early if they have achieved their weeks goals. Parents can also take advantage of childcare vouchers that we issue to them. We also have family days – inviting the family to our offices at Christmas and during summer. There is no judgement on booking slots for child activities. Lastly, there are flexible benefits to cover healthcare and laptops as well as support for children.