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How to stand out as a ThoughtWorks candidate

We’re intentional about hiring at ThoughtWorks. We’re so intentional, in fact, that we made an entire program dedicated to it—Joy of Interviewing, or JOI for short—and everyone involved with interviewing goes through it. We strongly believe that interviewing can be equal parts challenging and enjoyable. Instead of selecting talent solely based on where they went to school or the type of degree they have, we instead hire for aptitude and willingness to learn and grow. 

This approach reflects our values of cultivation and inclusivity, as not restricting our recruiting to ivy league schools and specific companies broadens our talent pool (and the opportunity to hire more diverse talent) while hiring for aptitude provides ThoughtWorkers with the opportunity to carve their own career path. 

So how can a candidate stand out to ThoughtWorks’ recruiters? What sort of actions can a candidate take or what should a candidate consider to set themselves apart from the crowd? We asked some of our recruiters from around the globe and here’s what they have to say.
 

  1. Be sure to completely fill out your LinkedIn profile. Use as many of the features and sections that are relevant for you. Also, engagement: do you really seem interested in our opportunity? Have you done at least minimal research on ThoughtWorks? We have a fairly unique culture and way of working, so it’s helpful to see that a candidate has done their homework prior to applying. – Isabel Casey, US
     
  2. Be sure to include relevant keywords in your LinkedIn profile and resume/CV: agile, clean code, pair programming, TDD, CD/CI, devops, open source, evangelist, teamwork. They can make a difference. Of course, being referred by a ThoughtWorker is always a big plus as recruiters understand that a referral probably already has some understanding about ThoughtWorks and how we work. – Maria Caparros, Spain
     
  3. For our entry-level applications, we ask a couple of questions that require well-thought out answers. We love reading creative responses that indicate the applicant’s knowledge of ThoughtWorks and interest in the position. – Chelsey Opare-Addo, US
     
  4. Instead of focusing 100% on all of your wins—which are of course worth celebrating—we also want to hear about times you’ve been self reflective. What difficult situations have you endured that ultimately made you a better technologist or teammate? Do you proactively work to teach (and learn from) others? We’re big believers in cultivation here at ThoughtWorks, which to us means we all do better when we help each other grow.

     
  5. For ThoughtWorks, individuals who show a real passion for software excellence is a common factor amongst all candidates who stand out. Throughout their profile, conversation and ‘technical community’ involvement, they will reference and highlight clean code, test driven approaches, agile mindsets and have a delivery compass pointing at value and quality. – Neil Casey, UK
     
  6. Have an opinion and use it. We encourage ThoughtWorkers to share their opinions (respectfully, of course) and we’ve seen that when folks feel comfortable expressing their ideas, feedback and concerns, that we build better products, relationships and better versions of ourselves. We want to see this during your interview as well. If you have a stance on a technology or method, let’s talk about it. 

     
  7. We believe technologists play a unique role in society, especially when it comes to building a more equitable world. Part of our interview involves discussing social change. We’ll talk about things like the latest tech trends and how they might affect marginalized groups. Or how technology could be used to empower those who are disproportionately affected by discrimination, economic challenges or the like. We’re really passionate about equitable tech and we look forward to having engaging conversations about it with candidates.
     
  8. Be ready to talk about how you work with others! Our teams are unique in that they’re fairly autonomous: they are free to discuss and debate what they think is best for the client. What does this entail? Compromise. Co-creation. It means one moment you will challenge a teammate’s opinion and the next they will be challenging yours. But this is all part of collaboration; respectfully and effectively sharing ideas and opinions is how we work. We’ll be eager to hear about how you’ve collaborated with your colleagues, how you’ve worked through disagreements, and how you’ve navigated compromise.

     

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