Interviews can vary significantly with no company being the same and everyone has their own approach, their own questions, their own style, their own structure.
However, if there is one point that’s almost guaranteed to come up it’s the invitation to ‘tell me about yourself’. The interviewer generally has a very short period of time to get an impression of a candidate. You want to make sure you put your best foot forward, and that you do not get tripped up at the first hurdle.
You have some candidates barely answer the question and likewise, other candidates go on an almost 20-minute monologue without stopping for air. Both scenarios can be unpleasant for the interviewer and can risk not leaving the best first impression. Here are some tips to set you up for success for your PropTech interview.
Keep it sweet and to the point. You want to offer up just enough information for people to get an overview of you and your experience, but without going too much into detail and offering the interviewer the opportunity to ask more questions on points that are of interest to them. Make sure you have done your research on the company, and additionally on the role you are applying for. Look into the team structure, the people that work there, any mutual connections and maybe reach out to gain more insight during your preparation.
Then briefly explain what your current situation or most recent position is and briefly summarise your previous work history and the key highlights of your previous work experience. Focus on answers that relate to work experience, try not to deviate into personal details. Anyone, that isn’t a graduate can skip their education unless you’ve been to a top University*.
If you have seen a job spec prior to the interview (which ideally, you always should), look at the ‘requirements’ list and without sounding scripted, briefly and concisely cover off in your intro how you meet those requirements. I.e. if the job specs says the client is looking for a candidate with B2B SAAS experience and a hunter profile, highlight that you’ve worked the past 2 years in a B2B SAAS company where you did client/ new logo acquisitions. You’ll immediately have the client’s attention.
To give the interview context, explain what your situation is currently, why you are open to a job change and why this job and this company in particular is of interest to you. Aim to give a positive answer about the future of your career, not to talk badly about a previous employer.
Finish off by inviting the interviewer to ask you for any more details on the points you have covered, your CV in general or anything else they’d like to know about you. The way you present yourself during the first few minutes of an interview are crucial and naturally you want the first impression to be a positive one.
As the saying goes ‘practice makes perfect’ and it’s most certainly true for interviews. There’s no shame in practicing this with someone else prior to an interview, film yourself and look back over the recording, or lean on your recruiter to seek advice. The pitch should be well practiced so you can present yourself confidently, yet not scripted. It should highlight your main attributes and experience and how these match the position on offer and also very importantly it should bring across your enthusiasm for the position, company and PropTech.
I hope this overview was helpful and I wish you good luck for your next PropTech interview!
*Side note: there are slight nuances depending on the country the PropTech is located in. Our French PropTech clients definitely put a higher focus on education and ‘top’ Universities whereas none of our German PropTech clients put too much focus on this point.