7 Interview tips to get you an opportunity, even in a turbulent market.

  • By Fanbase User
  • April 24 2023 · 5 min read


Penned by: Fanbase CTO, Ramiro Canovas

As we go through some tough times in the Tech industry with massive layoffs, turbulent financial times, and a shrinking investment pool, I was lucky enough to be on the other side of the game, interviewing more than 40 applicants (from a pool of hundreds) in the past 2 weeks. Never showing up, taking interviews in different languages, getting introduced to moms, kids, and dogs, or even having somebody rap to share her skill sets, I’ve truly seen it all. Here are my 2 cents on how you can increase your chance of success in an interview:

  • Be human first! At the end of the day, we are all humans and the deepest connection is not done through what we know but through what we love. Whether you are going for a C-Level or an internship, the deepest and most honest impression you will make is through who you are and what you are passionate about. Those that know me and have interviewed with me, I’m full of “getting to know you as a person”. What are your hobbies, what are your passions, and where do you want to go in your life?
  • Come prepared. Basic right? 80% of applicants don’t get the basics. Learn the company inside out. A company is a reflection of its leadership, so why not also understand more about its leadership? Applying for a product-centered company? Learn the product! Download the app, use it, and write down the good and bad. Do you know what the role’s responsibilities are? Read them thoroughly and write down questions/notes. There is NOTHING (unfortunately) you can’t find online on the company, product, role, or even person these days. Come truly prepared.
  • Soft vs. Hard skills. Which one wins? Depends. How come? Most of the chosen candidates are not always those that “check” every box on both soft and hard skills, BUT, in most cases, a hard skill can be taught, shaped, and adjusted easier than a soft skill. Even in technical roles such as development, believe it or not, a great soft skill might outweigh a not-so-strong hard skill. Are you a person that grasps being punctual, following up on agreed actions, and communicating properly? You have the right soft skills, which make up the hardest part of a professional, believe it or not. Hard skills are super valuable, don’t get me wrong, but they can be taught and shaped even when they don’t have the level of expertise you are looking for. I call this a “Talent Investment”, so don’t get discouraged if you are not as mature hard skill-wise; lean heavily on soft ones.
  • First impressions DO matter. First impressions go beyond how you look on camera (or in person) but also your surroundings—taking the call from a car? In your bedroom? Preparation goes beyond knowing the company, and taking the time to be in a good, presentable environment with a good connection is already a win. If you can’t make it happen for any reason, blur your background! Technology gives us no excuses to make good first impressions. You can even get creative and put a good/funny background, I’d love that over a bathroom or even a coffee shop.
  • Ask questions [and the right ones] I can’t emphasize enough how many times an interview that was average turned into a great one when the applicant started asking really great questions. Not only do you show interest in the position, company, and even the leader behind it, but you also show curiosity and initiative. I LOVE when somebody challenges me with a question. I take no offense, and I value people pushing on the company and even myself. My perception of interviews where no questions are asked is that there are not enough interest or differentiator traits.
  • Be connected and tactful: Understanding how and where the conversation is going is key to adapting and saving everyone time. Knowing when to ask these right questions is as important as making sure they are right. I usually don’t mind compensation and benefit questions, but I like them at the end of the interview, so even though it’s important, it’s not the reason why you are here trying to prove to me you are the one for the role. Don’t give up on the interview until the very end because starting on the wrong foot can still turn into a great conversation.
  • Be yourself; no holdbacks. This is tied to being human, but just like any relationship, the true YOU will always come out sooner or later, so why not show it from day one so the relationship is as honest as it can get? I’m a big believer in separating workspace from home space, but inevitably, the same human is behind both, and what drives (or blocks) are the same traits in either environment. This is not a job for you, it is a great opportunity to be the person you aim to be in it.

There’s no perfect guide that will assure you of winning that ideal job, but I hope these basic considerations will definitely get you closer to getting that perfect opportunity. Never give up; you define your value. Always keep evolving. You got this!