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Six insider tips to nail your Zühlke interview

Milica Vujcic & Clare Goh &

Your first week as a software engineer at Zühlke is exciting. You’re assigned a Buddy and welcomed by the whole team – with many coffees and catch-ups with everyone in your personal support network.

The reason you’re here is because you aced the recruitment process - you came prepared, energized and ready to present your best self. Or because you read this post - six top considerations from three of our recruitment experts from Singapore, Belgrade and Switzerland, on what’s important when going for a Zühlke interview.

Insight in brief

  • Hear from our recruitment frontline about what they consider the X factor.
  • Discover why curiosity and passion beat skills on paper.
  • Learn about honest feedback – knowing how you’ve performed then and there.

Meet Clare in Singapore, Milica in Belgrade and Piotr in Switzerland – aka Zühlke’s Talent Relation & Recruiting Specialists. When it comes to seeking out the best minds to join our global hubs, these three know their stuff. So, if you’ve got your eye on a job at Zühlke, listen up – this could stand you in good stead.

1. First impressions

Milica: We look beyond first impressions. We scratch below the surface and keep an open mind about what each candidate has to offer. Gut feelings and instinct are powerful - and we know how unreliable they can be and that they tend to lead to biases, which is something we want to avoid as much as possible in our hiring practices. So, we always take care to dig deeper and evaluate candidates as objectively as possible and to put aside any personal preferences. 

Clare: It’s also important to come prepared and make your time count. That’s especially true in a remote and virtual context. We give everyone a chance to shine, but you need to arrive with an understanding of (or at least curiosity about) our company. We don’t expect walking, talking Zühlke dictionaries, but some reading up does help with confidence - and the conversation.

2. The adrenaline advantage

Piotr: I know interviews can seem daunting, but we’ve tried to make ours as relaxed and valuable for both sides as possible. It’s a unique opportunity to get to know Zühlke and the people you might be working with in the future. So, take it easy and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s not just about seeing whether you fit our criteria. It’s the other way round too. You need to have the courage to ask questions and see if we are also the right fit for you.

Clare: Stressing out over an interview isn’t beneficial—but a little nervous energy can be a good thing! Our interviews are very interactive, and adrenalin can bring out the best in you. We don’t just set a code test; it's not just about sitting you down to program. It’s about wanting to get to know the candidate better and share knowledge. Full marks are not what we’re looking for. When we chat with potential candidates, we thrive on interaction, ideas and inspirational conversation. And the impression that you can understand and adapt to unfamiliar contexts.

3. Coders – and strong communicators

Milica: Communication skills are really important and this means being open minded. You’ll work with colleagues and clients from all over the world on a daily basis. That means we need well-rounded individuals that combine  sound technical capabilities with great communication skills, a generous team spirit and a readiness to collaborate - on ideas and expertise.  Above all, we want to develop together.

Piotr: That doesn’t mean you have to be an extrovert or a big personality.  We just want to gauge your aptitude to learn and grow with us. Honesty, ambition and passion could trump  a long list of credentials and aptitudes. You may want to be a Java guru. Or perhaps you have your sights set on a different path? Tell us about it. Restless curiosity and the ability to be brave and jump into deep waters would definitely give you an edge. Zühlke as a brand represents innovation - and innovation is only created with questioning minds. If you can walk in the shoes of our customers, and understand their pain points, even better.

4. Quick, honest feedback

Milica: Something we do differently from other organizations is immediate and honest feedback. During the interview itself, you’ll find out how you’ve performed. That’s quite unique. If you’re through to the next round, you’ll know what to work on. If you’re not yet right for the job, this advice will help you brush up ahead of your next job interview.

Clare: Our interviews are a two-way street. And there’s no one correct answer. Zühlke embraces different perspectives, experiences and opinions. Many previous candidates have told me that our direct feedback is hugely beneficial. I’ve had people return one or two years later and say: “I’ve worked on what you recommended - can you interview me again? I’m ready now.” This is really rewarding.

Piotr: Of course, we’ve all been through the recruitment process ourselves. I was very polite – and very careful about what I said. Zühlke’s feedback to me was: ‘Be more yourself! We felt you were holding back.’ During my second interview, I embraced that advice and it led to an extremely valuable and memorable conversation. The right skillset is important, but you can learn what you don’t know – and we will teach you.

5. Don’t give up!

Clare: Our recruitment process is thorough - and some people drop out halfway through. But I think potential employees who have the right mindset will get so much out of it – even if they don’t get the job in the end. It’s about gaining experience, learning a little more about yourself, different jobs and organizations - and because of this, I urge candidates to stick with it.

Milica: The time invested in the recruitment process is well-spent: it could pay you back for years to come. The more honest and authentic you are, the more we can find the right role for you - it’s as much about what you don’t want to do in terms of a career path, so we can shape it together. We’re focused on building culture and community at Zühlke where people feel good at work. Honesty is a big part of that.

6. And finally: eyes on the prize

Clare: Once you walk through Zühlke’s doors, all our employees embody the same kind of culture, and everyone goes through what we call ‘kickass onboarding’. A ‘Buddy’ is assigned, a one-to-one supervisor meeting arranged – as well as many coffees and chat with everyone in a new starter’s support network.

Piotr: You’ll start to learn the ropes during your first week at Zühlke, but the focus is on making you feel welcome. It’s about understanding the who, what, when –  and excitingly, where your career with us might take you.

Here’s a reminder of six things worth considering when applying for a Zühlke job:

  1. There’s plenty of time to prove your passion - but try and start strong
  2. Channel your nerves into an energetic performance
  3. We are not just looking for coders; communication matters
  4. We will give you honest, prompt feedback - to help you improve
  5. Try not to give up. It’s not about getting everything right.
  6. And remember the end goal: an exciting job awaits
We hope this has given you a good insight into our process. Now it's your turn: find your job and get to know us at your next interview. We look forward to hearing from you! 

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