The following recommendations are not something you must stick to, however they represent the best advice YouTeam can give you regarding the lead calls organisation.
1. Introduction of participants
Names, titles, companies, suggestion of the call structure (described below),
2. Project intro
Ask the lead to introduce his company, describe the development plans.
3. Partner company intro
Introduce your company in a few sentences. Please mind that the lead is looking to hire a specific specialist if you are on an interview call, so you don't need to sell the company as much as the candidate needs to sell his/her skills:
- key technologies,
- number of employees,
- years on the market,
- well-known companies among your customers etc.
4. Candidate intro:
- years of experience in commercial software development in general and in the technologies that are relevant to the lead's project,
- info on similar projects (to that of the lead's) a candidate might have worked on / or the most complex / or favourite projects of a candidate.
Invite the lead to ask questions to the candidate, invite the candidate to ask questions about the lead's project.
6. Defining the next steps
At the end of the interview call offer your lead:
- code samples if it was a developer interview / more relevant works from the portfolio if you had a designer interview,
- a test task for a developer: 1-1.5 hours long, can be more on a strategic side for the senior specialists, for example, to think out an architecture of an app.
- discussion of additional questions in writing to get to project estimates if required.
TIPS FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT REPRESENTATIVES
1. Preparation. Be sure to prepare to the calls and prepare the candidates to interviews:
- review the info provided by a lead or YouTeam about the project,
- learn about the lead's product from the website,
- google additional info on the lead, his company, use LinkedIn, Crunchbase.com and Angel.co to research the lead, his team etc.
2. Participants. Keep the number of people present on a call minimal: 1 candidate & 1 management/sales representative of your company. In case of an interview, ideally company representatives should introduce the company and listen in for the rest of the call. If the lead is planning to hire a team, multiple candidates can be present of course, if that's what you've agreed on with the lead.
3. Development company intro. When introducing your company, focus on the things that are relevant to the lead's current project: technologies, expertise and projects.
4. Main speaker. Please keep in mind that the customer is interested in learning more about the candidate to see if they're a good fit for him, so the candidate should be the main speaker on the interview call. Do not interrupt the candidate or add information that you think was missed - it's really important as the lead's focus on the call is the candidate.
TIPS FOR THE INTERVIEWED CANDIDATES
1. Greetings. Say hi at the beginning of the conversation - politeness is never excessive. Hello, it's nice to meet you / nice talking to you today will do.
2. List with key points. It would be good to have a brief list with the main things you'd like to tell about yourself at hand (please mind that you shouldn't be reading this list as it would sound unnatural; the list should just be a helpful reminder with the key things not to miss).
When introducing yourself, the most useful info to share with the lead would be:
- core tech stack,
- years of experience in technologies relevant for the leads project,
- projects from the portfolio that are similar to the lead's project and/or projects with partially similar functionality. Other interesting complex projects based on relevant technologies would do as well.
3. Keep calm and speak confidently. The person interviewing you has already seen your CV, has experience working with remote engineers and is already interested in you as a potential teammate. The first call's purpose is mainly to simply get acquainted (personally and less so - professionally).
4. Stay attentive. The person interviewing you might have an accent. If you don't understand some questions - feel free to say so, for example: Excuse me, could you repeat that please? / Sorry, I didn't get the last question, could you rephrase it please?
Don't try to guess the question - chances are your answer will be way off.
5. Try to elaborate on your answers to yes/no questions. A few details / opinions / conclusions would be enough, no need to go too deep.
6. Your approach to problem-solving. When answering questions, keep in mind the customers are interested in your way of thinking and problem-solving abilities, not plain facts. Adding to that, the ability to focus on and solve business/user problems is the most rare and valuable one for any tech company you'll ever talk to.
7. Not knowing. If you don't know something or haven't worked with some technology, be honest to admit it, but try to add s positive twist: perhaps you've worked with something similar / read about it / are interested in learning about the topic / give an example of you learning a new technology or approach when you needed to.
8. Keep it positive. No need to complain about the previous projects / managers / teammates. Try to focus on what you did to keep the work on track.
9. No cheating. Googling the answers / talking to teammates behind the screen is easily noticeable and ruins any chances of making a good impression about yourself and your team as a whole.
10. First-person replies. As you are the potential teammate the customer is looking to hire, you should be speaking more than your agency's representatives present on the call. Please try speaking for yourself, your own experience rather than the team's experience. I.e.: "I worked on... When I had an issue on that project I solved it by..." and not: "We worked on... We had a project..."
11. Demos. Prepare demos of projects you'd like to describe to the lead if you've got relevant ones in the portfolio.
12. Questions. It's always great when candidates ask questions about the leads' projects, especially business/user related, not only tech. Prepare 1-2 questions you're interested in about the interviewing person's company, team or processes.