8 Qualities You Need for a Successful Tech Career — And Key Interview Tips to Get the Job

Sponsored by Ansys

Rachel Frazer, Samir Hammami, and Mendy Zhu. Photos courtesy of Ansys.

Rachel Frazer, Samir Hammami, and Mendy Zhu. Photos courtesy of Ansys.

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Fairygodboss
April 17, 2024 at 9:28AM UTC

If you’re interested in growing your career — especially within the tech field — then these three talent acquisition specialists from Ansys, the world’s leading engineering simulation company, have you covered! Every day, Rachel Frazer (a Lead Talent Acquisition Specialist), Samir Hammami, (a Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist), and Mendy Zhu (a Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist) work to bring great talent from around the world into their organization.

And what have they learned from this experience? Well, to start, after holding countless interviews, Frazer emphasizes the importance of being honest and being yourself. “You want to work with a team who you connect with and they want the same,” she explains. Further, she shares how interviewers like herself respect honesty and when a candidate has clearly researched and prepared.

Hammami reiterates the importance of preparation and coming to an interview well-prepared and knowledgeable about the company, position and potential questions you could be asked. “Interviews can be an exercise in style,” he notes. “Practice your communication and content. Writing down your information and repeating it out loud can help you sound more fluid and make you more at ease when the time comes.”

And, when preparing, knowing what not to do during an interview is just as important as knowing what to do. For instance, Zhu tells us two interview don'ts for all interviewees to avoid:  first, mischaracterizing or exaggerating your qualifications or experience and second, being overly boastful rather than confident in your capabilities. Instead, she shares the importance of expressing “your desire to learn new things and commitment to improving your work performance on the job” as well as discussing “your skills and accomplishments in connection with how they can help the company in a straightforward, not boastful, manner.”

This is just the beginning of the great advice these talent acquisition specialists have for you! Read on for more career and interview advice that’ll help you get the job of your dreams!

Let’s start at the beginning — the application process. How do you suggest women get through automated application systems? What about making that personal connection — do you recommend candidates do outreach to current recruiters or employees for informational interviews before applying? 

Frazer: Always refresh your resume to include relevant experience, especially that which pertains to the specifics of the job description. Recruiters review many, sometimes hundreds, of resumes daily, you want your profile to stand out. Personally, I love to see when candidates emphasize their achievements and quantify their accomplishments with relevant data or KPIs (key performance indicators).

I tend to recommend that interested candidates apply to the desired position before doing any type of outreach. You want the recruiter and hiring manager to be able to reference your application when you reach out, as well as view your interest as specific and sincere. Additionally, if you are to advance to the phone screening or interview process, spending time gleaning insights about the role, the team and the company will help to make a positive impression on everyone you meet through the interview process.

Hammami: Resumes have to reflect your competencies in a nutshell. Using keywords is a must, and you should use the job description to index your relevant skills, ensuring to include specific job titles for each position. 

As Rachel said, reaching out to the recruiter will show your interest level is high. Often, on LinkedIn, you can see the name and profile of the recruiter who posted the job, sending them a message after you have formally applied may help to ensure you stand out.. 

Finally, use your network, research if any of your connections have affiliations with the company and ask them to help you gather information or make introductions to current employees. 

Zhu: In addition to what my colleagues shared, I would recommend being very specific in your outreach. Rather than simply stating the title of the role, include that but also how you are both specifically qualified and interested. That personalization will help the hiring team to get more context. 

Next, let’s move from the application to the interview stage. What are your go-to interview questions for all candidates? 

Frazer

  • Tell me about why you are looking for a new opportunity right now?

  • What are the most important factors as you look for a new position?

  • What is important for you to learn from me at this stage in the process?

  • Describe the culture where you are most productive, happy and motivated to do your best work. 

During the interview, what are three things about Ansys that you always make sure to highlight when talking to a candidate? 

Frazer

  1. Ansys is committed to your professional and personal development, which is why we offer several ways for you to continue learning, including training and mentor programs, learning platforms, and our new digital skills academy.

  2. We have a highly collaborative and fast-paced culture, where all our employees have a voice.

  3. Being part of the Ansys team means that you work side-by-side with some of the most respected and innovative companies in the world. 

Hammami:

  1. Ansys is an innovative company that combines the advantages of large companies’ market structuration and established processes with the excitement that can be found in startups. 

  2. We are a leader in our domain. There are plenty of brilliant and inspiring people working at Ansys, and the solutions that we provide to our customers are revolutionizing products and helping to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges: electrification, environmental sustainability, autonomous driving.

  3. We have a great company culture with a small turnover rate — people that join Ansys stay. That is due to, amongst other things, our work-life balance, valuing people and what they bring to the table and a sense of empowerment where everyone feels that they play an important role and can propose new ideas, take initiatives, and take ownership of projects. 

Zhu

  1. Ansys is a results- and accountability-oriented company. We don’t micromanage and teams have the space and freedom to work in a way that suits them best. 

  2. Ansys provides diverse opportunities for career advancement and special projects. There are many successful cases around me: people in sales transferring to technical roles, people in marketing moving to sales, and much more. 

  3. Excellent work-life balance. Ansys provides flexibility on our work arrangements to ensure that our employees can be productive and fulfilled.

Next, what advice do you have for women who are looking to elevate their career in your industry or job type?

Frazer: Prioritize developing your skills and managing your career through goal-setting and growing through on-the-job experiences, exposure, and education. This could mean stretching yourself out of your comfort zone and taking on a highly visible project. It could also be engaging with mentors and colleagues who can help you procure your short and long-term goals. Additionally, I recommend connecting with others beyond your organization by attending networking events or industry conferences, joining relevant professional groups, collaborating via social media platforms, etc. This is a great way to build relationships and exchange ideas along with career advice.

Hammami: The tech industry has been male-dominated for years. I am glad to see that this is shifting with more and more women interested in computer science and engineering fields. Access to school and training is essential for more women to know that they have their place in this realm. Women should be encouraged to be confident that they have a place in this field… and can develop their careers in the tech industry. 

What are the top qualities you look for when you’re interviewing a candidate for a role in the tech industry? 

  1. An eagerness to learn (Frazer and Hammami)

  2. Collaborative with great teamwork skills (Frazer and Zhu)

  3. Strong communication skills (Hammami and Zhu)

  4. Aptitude for problem-solving (Frazer)

  5. Integrity and accountability (Zhu)

  6. Passion , drive and connection with the job and the company mission (Hammami)

  7. Technical competencies, knowledge, and experience in engineering, computer science, or a relevant field (Hammami and Zhu)

  1. Self-motivated (Zhu)

Finally, what’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?

Frazer: A previous manager of mine once encouraged me to continually build upon my professional network. When done effectively, it can open doors throughout your career that you never thought were possible

Hammami: Do not be afraid to make mistakes. This can sound cliché; however, I do believe that it is by doing and practicing that one truly learns. Also, recovering from mistakes can help develop critical thinking, resilience, and ultimately allow you to make progress. 

Zhu: Work to understand the perspective of different parts of the business and stretch yourself to try new challenges.



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