Guide to Interview Mindsets-Think Like a Recruiter and Hiring Manager

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Think Like a Recruiter and Hiring Manager

Why is it important?

Does the hiring process feel like a mystery to you? Do you find yourself wondering what interviewers look for in the ideal candidate? If these are questions you’ve pondered, get an edge with your own job hunt by learning key insights from professional recruiters and hiring managers. Below, you’ll find an overview of the interview basics and tips on how to navigate the hiring process.

Interviewing Basics

What does the typical interview look like? Here we’ll outline the factors impacting the interview: roles, components, and variable components you can expect to find.


  1. Recruiter - Can be either internal to the company, or working externally. Recruiters are often the first people to review your application or profile.
  2. Hiring Manager - Generally writes the job description and the person who make the final hiring decision. This is usually your future boss.
  3. Interviewers - Team members who influence the hiring decision.


  1. Application or Referral - Either of these can be the first step in starting the hiring flow.
  2. Resume/LinkedIn Review - Hiring manager will review your materials.  This is the first gate!
  3. Recruiter Screen - Often involves reviewing your work/education history and gauging your awareness of the company product. This is often a phone or skype call. This is the second gate!
  4. Hiring Manager Interview - Focuses on your team culture fit and basic tech skills (no live coding).
  5. Technical Interview - Involves live coding or talking through technical problems. This is at times used as a filter to get to onsite interviews or might be a part of the onsite interview.
  6. Onsite Interviews - This typically involves multiple interviewers, one-on-one, with a mix of tech, culture, general problem solving and specific product questions.

Variable components:

  1. In conjunction with or instead of a coding interview, you may see one of the following: Tech Exam, Coding  Problems, and Coding Challenges.

Timeline: Application to Job Offer

The process of applying to a job and receiving an offer can be as short as a week, or as long as a couple of months. During this time, make use of your relationships with the company recruiter to get an idea of the timeline. Asking questions is often a simple and easy way to show interest and build rapport.

For specific tips on how to ace each level of your interview, check out the Acing Your Interview page. Throughout this process, come prepared, practice potential interview questions, and work on conveying a positive, confident and hardworking tone during interviews.

Nanodegree Student Common Concerns

Questions about the hiring processes ranges, but common Nanodegree student questions revolve around perceived lack of experience, how to market your Nanodegree education, and navigating a career change. Below are a few quick tips to address these questions:

  • Entering a new field? Find connections between your existing skills and your new path. Place a greater emphasis on your new skill set and desire to learn.
  • Making a later in life career change? Use your wisdom and intellectual curiosity. Career change isn’t uncommon; just be sure to frame it in a positive and proactive light.
  • How to market your Nanodegree? Focus on projects, classes, and teamwork as concrete examples of your skills during your interviews. You’ve got this!
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Hiring Q&A

Hosted by Raffi Krikorian, former VP Platform Engineering @Twitter, and Oliver Cameron, VP Product & Engineering @Udacity, this workshop will include hiring manager insights and a Q&A with Udacity students.