Getting Ready for Your Next Interview? These 2 Talent Acquisition Professionals Share Their Top Tips

Sponsored by Siemens Digital Industries Software

Claudia Delgadillo Hedy Meliado. and Photos courtesy of Siemens Digital Industries Software.

Claudia Delgadillo Hedy Meliado. and Photos courtesy of Siemens Digital Industries Software.

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April 22, 2024 at 8:55AM UTC

There’s a long list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to Interviewing for a new job — and that’s why we’ve connected with two talent acquisition professionals to get their top advice on how to ace the modern job interview.

To start, “don’t sell yourself short; you have many accomplishments,” says Claudia Delgadillo, the Talent Acquisition Manager at Siemens Digital Industries Software. “You know it’s hard for women to talk about all the wonderful things we do. And we usually say ‘we, we, we.’ No — if it’s you, and you did it, say, ‘I did this.’”

Hedy Meliado, a Talent Acquisition Partner at Siemens, who does full-cycle recruitment, adds that there’s a way to talk about yourself and your accomplishments without being “cocky.” That’s why, when she’s conducting interviews with potential job candidates, she always leaves room for questions and discussion. She feels that, if a candidate is truly listening, they will eventually have questions — and should, indeed, ask away.

Both women help Siemens attract and retain top talent to help foster a culture of creativity and innovation. Here, they share their top tips, qualities of interest, and more.

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

Delgadillo: Whatever is happening right now is momentary. Meaning that whatever challenges, opportunities, or problems that you are dealing with at this present time do not define you — they are momentary. We must take a deep breath and look at the entire picture — what’s happening right now is important, but it’s not the end of the world

Meliado: I don’t fully agree with mine, but I always have it in the back of my mind. Someone once told me that in recruiting, you don’t always have to work hard, you just have to work smart. And I agree and disagree. I believe in working hard to achieve goals and what you want to achieve in life. But it is also very true in recruiting that you have to work smart, especially to find the right candidates in today’s market. You have to find different ways to work. 

What tips do you have for women who are considering a career change and want to break into a totally new role or industry? How can they best make their application and skills standout? 

Delgadillo: For career changers, the fact that you didn’t stay still is what attracted me to your background — you kept going. Get a mentor in the new role or industry. You will learn what it took for them to get there. Also, show you’re truly invested in that field by spending time getting a certification or continuing education in that field

Meliado: Try to inform yourself; take online courses. There are so many online courses and websites where you can follow free or paid courses — very cheap courses, too. On LinkedIn, for example, there are so many free trainings that you can do. There are so many network pages on LinkedIn and on Facebook. Udemy is a website where you can buy good online courses. In fact, that’s what I did when I moved here from another country and couldn’t work for a year — I just followed online courses on that website.

Let’s talk about the interview. What’s your go-to interview questions for all candidates?

Delgadillo: I confirm the basic requirements of the position and the required skills of the position: confirm education, years of experience, skills required, knowledge, why they’re interested in Siemens, review salary expectations, visa sponsorship, travel availability, and relocation or location needed.

Meliado: I also ask what their strategy is to approach customers because a lot of our positions are customer-centric, and you have to have a certain way with customers. This is especially true with customers who have no idea what you’re doing — but you’re still able to explain the technical part to them.

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

Delgadillo: Number one is a passion for technology — how they express themselves and how they talk about what they do. I want to hear that. Other things I like to look for are flexibility and adaptability. We’re such a matrixed organization; we report to one person, but we are also a dotted line to other people. We have to be flexible.

Other things I look for are the reasons why they are looking to make a career move. Why are they leaving their current employer? This provides a small window to see if they’re a good fit for the company. An example would be if someone is leaving because of too much travel but our position requires 50% to 75% travel. That would be a red flag.

Meliado: I agree with Claudia; I ask those, too. I can also add that I personally always like to see if they have some international experience. We are a global company. Personally, I’m from another country, and my manager is from another country, too. So, I like to ask if they have studied abroad or have the ambition to go abroad one day. That’s really important if you want to work for Siemens.

We hear from so many women that it’s hard to get past automated application systems if they don’t have a personal connection at a company. How do you suggest women get through automated systems? What about making that personal connection—do you recommend candidates do outreach to current recruiters or employees for informational interviews before applying? 

Delgadillo: There are fewer women in STEM careers. Making a personal connection is ideal, yes, but keep in mind that recruiters get so many requests to connect. So, be respectful of their time — it’s hard to respond to every single person as a recruiter. Another idea is to connect with current Siemens employees. Do your homework. Connect with people, and send them the note. Don’t send something generic; make it personal.

Meliado: That’s a good one. I do respond to people on LinkedIn. I check in the system to see if there is anything I can do for them because I understand that it’s tough to look for a job or want to work for a specific company but not get through the automated system. 

How do you suggest candidates prepare for an interview at your company? What’s the information they must know when interviewing at Siemens? 

Delgadillo: We’re so big, people should really do their homework. They come thinking we’re the Healthcare division; we’re not. Also, if I’m scheduling the interview, I expect the candidate to take a look at the interviewers and to do a little bit of background checking. There may be a way they can connect with the manager — where they went to school, where they’ve lived. Do your homework and come prepared with one to two questions — not something that is online, but something like the career growth of the position

Meliado: The most important thing is that Siemens is really big, and we do a lot of different things. I always ask them what they know about Siemens. I think it’s important that you do just a little bit of research, just see something on our website that you think is interesting and mention it in the interview. Sometimes I have people who have no idea what Siemens does and didn’t even do their research — it’s not good to have that in an interview. 

As a recruiter, what are a few key things about Siemens DISW that you always make sure to highlight when talking to a candidate? 

Delgadillo: I’ve worked for other Siemens groups and other companies, and even though they may have offices across the world, DISW is truly global. We talk to other recruiters and HR managers in other countries, so it feels like a global family. We get to own our own careers; we are empowered to grow through coaching, training, and shadowing; and we have fantastic benefits — a 401k match, a stock purchase and match, wellness programs, and unlimited PTO.

Meliado: There are so many opportunities within Siemens. Every time I have an intake call with a manager, I always ask them, “what’s the growth opportunity for this position?” The thing is, you have to take it into your own hands. If you are a person who wants to grow and to take on new challenges, Siemens is absolutely the right place to do that. I also like to highlight that you have to be flexible, but everyone around you is flexible. Everyone is super friendly and helpful.

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