Life @ ADP

Episode 3: All About the Candidate: Tips for Interviewing, How to Make Lasting Impressions, and Helpful Hints

Episode Summary

In episode 3, we chat with Senior Talent Acquisition Business Partner for Tech, Dave Demchik, who shares with us insights about what makes a top candidate, tips for interviewing, and what is the top question that candidates always ask.

Episode Transcription

Episode 3: All About the Candidate: Tips for Interviewing, How to Make Lasting Impressions, and Helpful Hints

Narrator: [00:00:06] At ADP, we're always designing for people. Starting with our own. Life at ADP podcast will give you a look into our associates' stories, our culture, and our company.

Ingrid: [00:00:22] Hello, hello, hello. We've made it to episode three.

Kate: [00:00:26] Yes, we have Ingrid, and this episode is going to be all about the candidate, which will be exciting for most of our listeners because we have so many people trying to get a job with ADP, which is really a great problem to have.

Ingrid: [00:00:41] That's right, Kate. And before we meet our guest today, I want to remind our listeners to make sure they subscribe to our podcast. So every time we go live with a new episode, they could get that notification. So take a moment and go hit that subscribe button.

Kate: [00:00:58] Yes. Great call to action, Ingrid. Thank you so much for the reminder, everyone go subscribe to our podcast, please. So we have a lot of ground to cover today, so let's jump right in and meet our special guest. Joining us from New Jersey, like myself, is our senior talent acquisition business partner for tech, Dave Damchik, welcome Dave.

Dave: [00:01:22] Thank you, Ingrid and Kate for having me. It's a pleasure to be here.

Kate: [00:01:25] And it's such a pleasure to have you here. So, Dave, we have worked together since I support tech recruitment marketing and you are a business partner for the tech side, but why don't you introduce yourself to our audience, when you joined ADP? What brought you here? All of those sorts of things.

Dave: [00:01:43] Yeah, absolutely. So my history is I've been recruiting for about five and a half years, and I primarily recruit on the technical side of things. I heard great things about ADP and their technical team from a few folks that I've worked with in the past, and I know they're one of the leaders in their industry, one of the top tech companies in the world. And I looked at it as an opportunity to not only prove myself another challenge, but also to grow and learn from those that are veterans here and, you know, explore new opportunities with a great company like ADP.

Ingrid: [00:02:22] Dave, it's great to have you here at ADP, and I'm super happy you decided to join this big ADP family. But I would love to know what makes a top candidate. Can you share what are those things that you're looking for?

Dave: [00:02:36] Ingrid, that's a great question, and I'll start off by just saying real quick, definitely lean on the recruiters that you're working with for the positions that you're interested in to better understand what that organization, what that company is looking, for from a technical ability, as well as some of the intangibles that they look for within their culture there. So I'll start off by saying there's a lot of different intangibles, a lot of personality traits that make up different cultures and organizations. Now, statistically based on Forbes, some of the key traits that they look for in their candidates are passion, making sure that they're a fit, preparation, resourcefulness, and a willingness to learn, and I think that's a great list to start off with. But in my experience when recruiting there's I would tailor a little bit to be five traits, and here they are, starting with preparation. Now, one of the big pieces when it comes to understanding an organization is doing your research on the company, on the team, on the project in advance. Maybe speak to someone in the organization, a referral or just someone that you've met off of LinkedIn to get a better understanding of the technical environment and the culture of the organization. Research emergent technologies, new ideas, anything that can help with the business talent challenges that you hear from the recruiter, from the team, whoever you might have spoke with and bring those ideas to the table come interview day. Next, I would definitely say, is an important factor is attention to detail. So this starts from the very beginning with the creation of the resume. Make sure to have relevant points and information listed. Keep the formatting tight and have everything well positioned. This oftentimes is your first impression with a recruiter or an employer or a hiring manager, and on average, according to, a recruiter will only spend about seven seconds looking at a resume, while hiring manager will spend no more than 15 seconds looking at the same resume. So that's not a lot of time to make an impression. Make sure they're spending that time looking at information that will make them go based off what I see, they might be a fit, let's bring them in. Oftentimes, you will have the opportunity to tailor your resume right after a conversation with a recruiter. Make sure to bring that up with them after you learn more about the position and the team, saying hey, If you don't mind, let me go back tonight, let me add some material that I've worked on that's more in direct line with what your business challenges are. So that way, the hiring manager can see that right from the beginning in terms of what it worked on.

Kate: [00:05:17] You know, Dave, that's a really great reminder that you just brought up is tweaking your resume and tailoring it to the job at hand. I think sometimes people feel like my resume, my resume, my resume. This is who I am and kind of fitting it all in a box, right? But you could be talking to a recruiter and have kind of a light bulb moment of, oh yeah, in my past life, I actually was doing x y z, and that pertains to this role. So let me add that on into this version of my resume, and it might even be relevant to title your resume, you know, first name, last name, company you're applying for. You know, I've heard of some candidates even getting that granular with almost their filing, right, so they can have all of their resumes organized. So great reminder, and you know, previous previously, I was in recruiting as well and a question that I was always being asked by friends and family and the network is how long should my resume be? So what would be your answer to that?

Dave: [00:06:24] Yeah, that's a great question. It's definitely a topic that comes up a lot. I've definitely seen resumes of varying sizes, and the typical rule of thumb here is it's one resume page for every 10 years of experience. But it can vary, for example, in IT typically I see on average one page for every three to four years of experience. But make sure to keep in mind you want to keep your resume factual to your actual experience. Most first-round interviews will be an exploratory conversation-based of what the hiring manager sees on your resume, and you should be able to speak on everything that is written. A well-polished resume can give a great first impression that if hired, you would be effective at providing project updates and or reports if needed. So well, tailored resume and well-formatted resume can really go the distance.

Kate: [00:07:18] So, Dave, that's interesting that you mention well-polished and well-formatted because I've heard of a lot of rumblings about how sometimes people make their resume too fancy. Maybe it's in a PDF format. Maybe they created it in InDesign, and when it comes to uploading their resume into the applicant tracking system, which we call an ATS, all of their data and information gets kind of jumbled, for lack of a better word. How do you recommend people format their resume? Do you do you recommend just a really neat and tidy word document? What do you look for?

Dave: [00:07:57] Hey, Kate, that's a great question. And what I would say first is definitely lean on what you're able to find online. There are some great templates out there that can help you design the perfect résumé for you and what you're looking to accomplish in terms of material that you want to add to your resume. But just make sure it's something that at the end of the day, you're proud of, and it reads exactly to what your experience is, and it has all the key points that you want to relay within that short period of time that somebody would be taking a look at your resume.

Kate: [00:08:29] That's great, Dave, and that makes total sense. Thank you so much, and I have no doubt that our listeners right now are probably like, OK, good to know. So I apologize I kind of took you off of a little bit of a tangent there, and I believe that you were still continuing on with your your list of things that candidates should keep in mind.

Dave: [00:08:48] Yeah, so the third trace that I would definitely say people keep in mind is one thing that a lot of employers, recruiters look for is someone that is knowledgeable in the field that they would be hired. So make sure that you have the right tools in your toolkit. So oftentimes in IT we're looking for someone that has a background and a proven history of utilizing X, Y and Z technology. So be prepared for any technical questions and assessments that might be presented either at the time when discussing with a recruiter or with a hiring manager. So another key trait to have that a lot of hiring managers, a lot of employers are looking for are problem-solving skills. This can be the most commonly challenged trait by hiring managers. They want to better understand how a candidate thinks and their method to overcoming a challenge. So being honest in your response goes a long way. Oftentimes, the challenges presented are actual challenges the team faces, and they can tell if you've dealt with it before based off your response. So if you have not dealt with the challenge before, admit to not having come across that issue. But if you would have, here is the method that you would take. Many managers admit this is a core question to their decision-making process. Often times it's recommended that you use what is known as the STAR method, which is real quick breaking it down, discussing the situation at hand, covering what the task is, what the goal you were working towards is, discussing the action that you and or your team took and then ultimately the result of the actions that you took and don't be shy from taking credit for the work that you've put in. They want to hear how you manage to overcome something and the results that you provided. Next, one of the most key traits that a lot of managers look for is someone that's willing to take responsibility to go beyond what is minimally required of them. So balancing multiple projects, balancing a book of diverse clientele, picking up and recommending new technologies that the team can utilize to be more effective are all great examples of ways to go above and beyond and showing a personal interest in their job and team. This is more important after being hired, first during the interview phase, but you can still express this trade during an interview by talking about your ability to balance a full-time job with any extracurriculars that you might have that would be relevant to the career, so volunteering at boot camps, volunteering at meetups, those such things opportunities to show that you go beyond just the regular nine to five, highlights some of the other essential traits that the manager might be looking for. Now, most important of all, of course, is be you. So hiring managers want to hire you. Employers want to hire you and value you as an individual and what you can bring to their culture.

Ingrid: [00:11:51] And again, the common thread here it's being your authentic self, which is something that we talked about in our previous episodes. And for us, it's super important on what we do, with what we do every day at employer brand. So super, super important. Thank you for that Dave.

Kate: [00:12:10] And bringing your whole self to work is one of our EVP pillars for ADP. So for those of you who don't know, EVP stands for employer value proposition, which is what we as an employer promise you as an associate that you will receive when you are here at ADP. So really great stuff.

Ingrid: [00:12:32] And Dave, if you don't mind, would you like to share some tips for remote and in-person interviewing?

Dave: [00:12:38] Absolutely. I would definitely say both in today's day and age are very important, and people do need to be prepared for both the remote option of an interview as well as the in-person, so when it comes to remote, there's typically two types of phone and video and video has become wildly more popular compared to phone. It's almost at the point where it's replacing in-person interviews. So when it comes to the video interviews, make sure to have some of these on your checklist. Test the video format before you use it. Make sure whichever format that you're using has successfully downloaded to your desktop, volume on, camera looks good, and make sure there's nothing distracting in the backdrop and you're in a quiet place. Treat it like it is an in-person interview. Make sure to dress appropriately. Make you know what would be considered eye contact, smile, show confidence within your presence. These are oftentimes, you know, simple things that can often be overlooked, but still, make sure you have all your ducks in a row and you have all these checked off and you're ready to conduct that video interview. When it comes to phone interviews, lot of similar pieces when it comes to video, right, making sure that you're in a quiet place and volume is on, but of course, make sure your phone is charged. You know, oftentimes you would be surprised how many interviews I've heard of where it's cut short because of a phone losing battery in the middle of the interview. And when it comes to in-person interviews, it's not much different from a video interview, right? You want to dress appropriately. You want to smile, show excitement. You know, that you're happy to be there to be meeting with them, given that opportunity, and show confidence through the facial expressions, your tone, and your body language. And then for all interviews, make sure that you're ready with the prepared material you show up on time and log in to the video interview or the phone call, typically, it's recommended to be 10 to 15 minutes early at the minimum. Plan for distractions if you're traveling, plan for traffic by allocating additional time in your route. And if you keep all that in mind, that's a great start to the to the interview.

Kate: [00:15:03] Really great points, Dave. Kind of eye-opening for myself when you compared logging into a call, virtual interview early, the same as allotting for travel time to get to a physical interview because I think often, especially in the world that we are in today, we are just so used to signing on to a meeting right when it starts. If a meeting starts at 1, I sign on at 12:58 or 12:59 more realistically 1:01. But for an interview, it's Ok to sign on to that call 10 minutes early. And you know, you'd much rather be early than actually right on time when it comes to that. So really great reminder for everyone out there.

Ingrid: [00:15:48] And Dave, for you, how does a candidate make a good first impression during and after the interview? Any feedback, any advice that you would like to share with the audience?

Kate: [00:15:58] Sure, so like I mentioned, show up early. Be prepared, show confidence in your body language and tone and during the interview. Definitely make sure to ask questions and show interest in the position. And at the end of the interview, I highly recommend asking for the job. So, for example, you can say I've really enjoyed learning about X, Y, and Z. Be enthusiastic if given the opportunity to solve those challenges with you and your team. But for now, I just want to say thanks again for your time and consideration today as a great way to end an interview and also show that you understood the materials that you guys discussed and expressing an interest in helping solve those challenges. So after the interview, follow up with the recruiter. Let them know how you felt it went. Follow up of any questions you may still have. Ask about next steps and check back in for feedback, I would typically recommend every other day, and one old-school recommendation I still give to candidates is writing a thank you letter to the hiring manager, reiterating what you learned from the discussion and what you're excited for if selected for the position. For some managers, it means little, but to others, going the extra mile and getting your name out there will keep you in mind for further consideration. It goes back to the intangibles, right? The willingness to go beyond what is minimally required of you.

Ingrid: [00:17:24] I love that advice. It's a really, really good one. And it reminds me when I interviewed for my my current role. Even though I was an intern here, I remember sending thank you notes to everyone who I met with. And sometimes, you know, candidates tend to forget that these are people who are actually super busy and they take time out of their busy schedule to, you know, meet with you and get to know you a little bit better. So it's a super nice detail sending those thank you notes. So here's my last question, and this is just because I'm curious ok, so what is the number one question that candidates always ask you?

Dave: [00:18:05] Ingrid, that's a great question, and I'll start off by saying that every candidate that I've spoke to always has important pieces to them that they want to discuss. But I would definitely say one of the most common questions that I get is what the culture is like within the company and the team. Now I know for some folks and may matter little, but to a lot of people, you know, it's it can be a make or break decision in terms of do they feel like they will be able to fit in? Do they feel like they'll have the opportunity to grow? And it's actually funny that and a lot of incredibly technical positions, you would typically think that you know, the technical side, what they're using and what they're what they're designing and developing, maybe, you know, one of the most important focuses of, you know, their interest in the position, but oftentimes more than not, they they're more interested in understanding what they need to be a team player or heads down contributor. Well, they have the opportunity to invest into what they're doing, to research new ideas to bring that to the table, and really show their passion for what they're doing. So oftentimes a company and a team that have a great culture can help reduce turnover, as well as just help people to feel that they fit in and have the opportunity to invest in what they're doing. So I would definitely say questions surrounding culture within a company team are probably the most common questions that I get from from people that I speak with.

Kate: [00:19:40] And that's funny that you mentioned culture only because I would also think that specifically for the technical roles you would be hearing, like what tech stack am I working on? And I have no doubt that's probably question number two, right? Or then, you know, if it were sales, you know, what is my territory like? So, you know, culture culture is huge, right? Because that's the that's kind of the intangibles. That's the stuff that says, is this the right place for me? Do I belong here? You know, are there like-minded people here that I will be able to become friends with and work with and grow and evolve with? So really great stuff to Dave, you know, thank you, thank you so much for joining us. I know specifically within your role, taking time away from active recruitment and sourcing and working with our internal partners, really to find us the best talent. You know, time is of the essence. So you taking time out to be with Ingrid and I truly means the world, you know, Thank you so much for joining us and you know, I appreciate you and I know that I'll be seeing you on the flip side as we continue to work more together.

Dave: [00:20:54] Yeah, Kate. Ingrid, I really appreciate your time today and bringing me in and helping to hopefully help some folks that are looking to enhance their ability to perform interviews and bring ideas to the table, and you know, if anybody ever has any additional questions, they can always look to reach out to me. Right now, I support heavily the cybersecurity team that we have here, a global security organization. And also on that note, Happy Cyber Security Awareness Month. It's it's a great time to be a part of ADP and their cybersecurity team. And you know, I'd love to, you know, talk more about that to anyone that's interested.

Kate: [00:21:36] And so to that point, Dave, do you mind sharing your LinkedIn handle? So if anyone here is interested in connecting, they know where to find you?

Dave: [00:21:43] Yeah, Kate, if you're looking to connect with me on LinkedIn, you can find me at 

Kate: [00:21:53] Awesome. That is great, and just to confirm DD as in Dave Dave, not Barbara Barbara, for anyone who's listening. Well, Dave, thank you so much for joining us, can't wait to to work with you more and we really appreciate you.

Ingrid: [00:22:10] Thank you, Dave.

Dave: [00:22:11] Yeah. Thank you both for your time and it's been fun. It's been great to be here.

Ingrid: [00:22:15] Totally. I'm excited for all the future candidates who get to work with Dave. I mean, he is such a nice guy and you could tell he's super passionate about what he does, you know, finding the right people for the right role. It it's super amazing.

Kate: [00:22:31] You're absolutely right, Ingrid. We are so lucky that he chose ADP for sure, and we are at the part of the program where we typically share what we're proud of. But before we do that, do you want to give a little teaser into our next episode?

Ingrid: [00:22:48] Sure thing. So next month, we are going to be sitting down with one of our veterans and talk about their life, transitioning from the military to civilian life, and I'm super excited because I personally know this veteran and this person is super amazing, and I know this episode is definitely going to be touching the heartstrings of many.

Kate: [00:23:12] Ohh, Ingrid, I can't wait and one of the best parts of this podcast, even for myself, is meeting new associates. And I feel like we've had a really nice volley of folks of people that I've introduced you and vice versa. So I'm really excited to meet our new guest and learn more about her experience. So proud moments, Ingrid. I have a feeling ours is probably the same because this week you and I were awarded a rather large award internally for our podcast, which is really cool. And one of the highlights for that was not only winning that with you because we're such good friends at work and outside of work, but was also hearing all the feedback from the talent acquisition team. You know, Max had mentioned that when he was at Grace Hopper, people were buzzing about our podcast, and people were literally pinging him and saying, like, Hey, I heard about this podcast, want to learn more about ADP. And that was just so fulfilling for me, and I'm just happy to be here doing this with you because I know we have such a passion for ADP and why we're here so that, I think is our joint proud moment. Can can we agree on that?

Ingrid: [00:24:35] Absolutely. Yeah, you read my mind. I mean, it's it's great to do something that you know we're doing together, we're having fun, but also tell the stories of the amazing associates at ADP, right? Because again, it what makes our culture so amazing and so getting this feedback, it's it's something to definitely be proud.

Kate: [00:24:57] I totally agree. Well, thank you for listening, we hope that you enjoyed this episode of Life at ADP the podcast and learning more about candidate life. And we look forward to you listening to us next month and make sure that you hit the subscribe button so you get notified when our next episode drops.

Ingrid: [00:25:16] Stay tuned.

Kate: [00:25:17] This is Kate. 

Ingrid: [00:25:18] And this is Ingrid,

Kate and Ingrid: [00:25:19] And we are part of life at ADP. The podcast.