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Jenn Junod
Jenn Junod

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PARdon me for my awkward interview

Too many of us are in the situation of interviewing for tech roles. Be it, the C-Suite, a developer, a product manager, customer experience, marketing, or sales, we’re in this together. In the last year, I have applied to 300-something jobs, interviewed with maybe 40, and fortunately found a few contract gigs to keep me afloat while I continue to look. All that to say to the company I interviewed with this week, PARdon me for my awkward interview.

Yes, you are not misreading, nor mistaken on my grammar fopaux. PARdon. The interview was with an engineer with a blockchain company and all I could think was, remember PAR. Jenn, you must remember PAR. JENNNNNN REMEMBER PAR, you gotta get a job! All of that turned into:

Problem: I can’t remember my job history.

Action: I will flounder around a project that my mentor helped me create to understand what this company does.

Result: forgetting words, confusing myself and the interviewer, and deep frustration with why can I understand something when it's explained to me but the minute I have to explain it, words don't work.

You see, PAR was some of the feedback I received before the holiday season when I had an opportunity to meet with a group of CTOs and ask them for feedback on how I show the how I did things not just what I did. Splendid feedback that I’ve been noodling on how to share with you. Yet with all of the advice I was given, I forgot how to be myself while working on remembering it all. 🤦🏻‍♀️ If I could go back in time, these are the parts of the feedback I wish I remembered and practiced to prepare for interviews.

  1. While looking for work, create a Target market list:
    • Roles
    • Companies
    • Technology
  2. Don’t be scared to ask a company/person what are their current pain points and the problems they’re trying to solve.
    • Technology?
    • Features?
    • Awareness?
  3. Understand the 3 Levels of Networking
    • What job title seems relevant?
    • What company do you envision?
    • Who do you know?
  4. 90 Second Networking Summary (Elevator pitch)
    • PAR + Example + Ask
  5. PAR- Problem Action Result
    • Problem:
      • Career Objective- create content and establish technical skills to transition into a Developer Relations role
    • Action:
      • Creatively took risk of starting something new publicly to make tech more accessible for others by starting the live stream Teach Jenn Tech.
    • Result:
      • The ability to share access to thought leaders in the industry created a space for others to ask questions and learn with the show and personally gain more technical knowledge.
  6. Keep learning, Reading Suggestions:
  7. Remember:
    • Never leave the jury wondering
    • Breathe
    • Comment and interact with companies on social to showcase how I can contribute
    • Stay present, use social, your network, and if there’s a hiring thread, post on it once a month.
    • What is the problem statement and/or what does it solve for the customer
    • Business outcome vs Experience outcome
    • To frame what you want to do, showcase things you like to do and how will that impact the world.
    • Bring Humanity back into business

If you walk away with anything from this, remember you’re not alone in this mess of a job search. You are worthy the way you are. By practicing the tips outlined in this article, such as creating a target market list, understanding the pain points of a company, and effectively communicating your skills and experience, you can increase your chances of success. Stay present, stay connected with your network, and always strive to learn and grow as a professional. You got this, you beautiful human you.

Thank you to Rick Manelius, Ed Frank, Dayal Gaitonde, Dawa Sherpa, and Randall Noval for the conversations and advice!

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