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Community Voice: DevRel Interview & recruitment tips

The DevRelX Community Voice column is one of a few ways we invite our community members to share ideas and solve challenges around various topics like DevRel strategy, metrics, career growth, and just DevRel’s day-to-day.

Want to add your voice to this and more key DevRel topics? Join our community and take part in the next Community Voice prompts where you can ask your questions! You can also review past issues in our newsletter archive.

Interview & recruitment tips

Many of our community members have extensive professional experience and a lot of background in hiring. Here are some interview tips they shared, including desired skills and traits they are looking for when hiring DevRel talent.

Sean Falconer

Head of Developer Relations, Skyflow

I pay a lot of attention to someone's communication skills. Can they explain their work and technical concepts in a clear and succinct way.

Can they tell a story, going from the problem, to existing approaches, to solution and why someone should care. As a candidate, you can practice a lot of this by figuring out how to tell stories about your own work. Try it on your friends and family or in front of the mirror. If someone asks you about a challenging problem you worked through, have that story ready to go.

I also think it's important to think about your work and understand why you did something, what was the impact, what would you change if you did it again, and how did you measure success.

And the last thing that I think sometimes people don't put enough prep into is what questions you ask the employer. Spend some time digging into the product, website, founder story, social media, and podcasts with the staff and try to come up with some deeper questions that other people aren't asking. Ask about their developer relations strategy, what's the profile of their users, what KPIs are they tracking, and what are they focused on for the next 6 months. You can also gently insert your research nuggets into the conversation, giving a strong signal that you care and have done your homework.

Tessa Kriesel

Head of Developer Relations, Snap

Tessa Kriesel

Empathy. Sure, there are many other things to consider, but the

#1 thing I look for is someone who has empathy for their peers and developer audience.

Cat McGee

Web3 DevRel Lead, Hype Partners

I think it's very easy to be good in a devrel interview without necessarily being good at devrel.

Being a good communicator is #1 for me, but unfortunately, good communicators are also pretty good at spoofing skills in interviews.

So for me - I look for concrete examples. Everything they say I ask them to back up.

You're data-driven? Tell me about a time you found it difficult to collect data. You're good at community engagement?

Tell me the specific issues you found in a low-engagement community, and the steps you took to resolve them.

Bring examples to interviews with numbers to back them up and you're golden!

Finding the right opportunity

How to define and find the right match when looking for your next opportunity? What are the characteristics to look for, and what are the green or red flags to keep in mind?

Scott Hurrey

Head of DevRel at Box

When I was looking earlier this year, there was a few factors I evaluated each opportunity with. The biggest for me was what was their idea of success. If it was the number of signups, I passed. If it was based only on engagement, I passed. This was most important to me. To believe in the same definition of success. Another consideration for me was the importance Developers play in the overall company strategy. Are developers an afterthought? Are APIs a necessary evil? I'll pass. In the end,

I chose a role with a company that valued the developer platform and allowed me the opportunity to define what success looked like within the framework of the overall company goals.

Harpreet Sahota

The DevRel Dude | Podcast Host

The biggest threat to the success of your DevRel program is your own organisation.

How do you prevent that from happening? Alignment. To create alignment, begin with an assessment. It’s your job—especially during the interview process—to figure out what exactly DevRel means to the company. Figure out what the CEO and board expect as well. Then check that definition against what it means to you. If you’ve got an alignment, great! If not, move on.

Most startups expect DevRel teams to:

  • Build awareness and adoption of their developer tool

  • Cultivate relationships with existing developer communities

  • Create content that educates, inspires, and shows the art of the possible.

Some startups expect you to:

  • Take part in the sales process as a technical pre-sales resource.

  • Jump into external communities and pitch your product

  • Take part in demand gen activities

Not saying one way is right, and the other is wrong.

Just saying to make sure that you and the company are aligned. If you don’t, then it doesn’t matter how hard you work.

Cuz you’ll be working on things the company doesn’t find important!

Preparing for an interview or want to make your recruitment process stellar and attractive for the right candidate? Read this article from our recent community session with Wesley Faulkner, Sr. Community Manager at AWS.

Hiring? Share your job opening and we’ll help you get it in front of the wider community.


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