Today, I had the honor to represent Looker Data Science to attend UC Santa Cruz' engineering career fair to talk about our Summer 2017 engineering internships (which you can apply here). I wanted to write a short main takeaway about my experience as a representative here. This is quite a big departure for me, since I am usually on the other side as a student. I found speaking to students a really interesting experience, and perhaps what I learned may be of interest to you.
These are my opinions only and does not reflect what Looker looks for in a candidate.
This candidate is well-groomed. Smart casual dress code and above. Confident posture. Strong handshake. Eye contact. Smile. Not fidgeting.
Getting to Know You
Expresses genuine interest at the company - doing research about the company prior is crucial. Curious. Strong communication skills. Maybe even sugarcoat a bit - candidates that "stood out" said how they knew about the company, said they really want to work there, or had soft + hard skills that we directly look for. Out of the 50+ students I talked to, only one candidate requested a demo of the product, which really made him stand out. Diverse side projects. Hackathon experiences. Prepared good targeted questions.
As an aside
I seem to have a bias for those with strong communication skills and can articulate their thoughts and ideas. But this may not be a factor everyone looks for, and that's fine.
After awhile, every student I talked to started to blur and become similar. This made me conclude that standing out is even more important.
What are your thoughts on this? What do you look for when talking to a possible candidate?