One of the fastest-growing industry sectors today is mobile products and services. If you’ve been considering a career in this fast-growing industry, there’s no better time than the present. So, how can you best prepare for an interview when one comes your way?
The key to preparing for an interview in the mobile products and services industry is company research. This means more than surfing to the company website and browsing through its pages (although that’s a good starting point). You need to understand what the company type is relative to its growth. For example, is it a venture-backed start-up? Sometimes companies at this stage don’t even have customers yet. Early-stage firms, in contrast, are a bit more mature than a start-up, so they will have some evidence of real business growth. They will have a product and some customers in mind. Then there are the more typical public/private small-cap, mid-cap or large-cap companies that are traded on the NYSE or NASDAQ. These more seasoned companies may expect you to have more experience and knowledge. Rather than growing with them, they will expect you to catch up to where they are very quickly. In light of these distinctions, knowing about the company’s developmental stage is essential for your interview preparation.
It is also important to know what to expect in the interview process itself. After you apply, if they are interested, you will receive an e-mail and get a call from the HR manager, who will ask a series of basic phone interview screening questions. If you pass through that, you may get a phone and/or Skype interview with the hiring manager, who is likely to ask you some technical questions.
An in-person interview is next. You will interview with a variety of people who will ask more technical questions. Some start-ups will give you detailed, timed qualification tests. Typical questions will be on the topics of C, C++, Java Concepts and database concepts, among others. At this point, you can expect to be in competition with three to seven other job candidates. So, if you have weaknesses in any of these areas, it behooves you to brush up so you won’t be caught off guard.
While some aspects of a mobile products and services industry job interview might be predictable, you should always be prepared for curveballs. Some interviewers will ask off-the-wall questions such as: How would you sell your services to the chairman of the board? You might also get the more standard behavioral questions: How do you manage risk in a project? What do you know about our company’s internal processes and sales cycle? What are your strengths and weaknesses? You will need to be prepared for these and similar questions, in addition to the aforementioned technical questions, which can also be classified as behavioral questions because they are generally problem-solving questions.
Getting in on the ground floor of a burgeoning industry is always exciting, and can be quite lucrative. The mobile products and services industry appears to be on an upward trajectory. Knowing what to expect in the job interview—and thoroughly preparing for it—can be your entrée into this industry and the next phase of your career.