8 Bits with Kim Minnick!

8 Bits with Kim Minnick!
This week we are joined by VP of People, Kim Minnick! Join us as we discuss Kim's recommendations to find jobs and get hired in Tech!

Follow PJ on Twitter: @MetzinAround
Follow Chloe on Twitter: @ChloeCondon
Follow Kim on LinkedIn: @Kim-Minnick

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8 Bits with Kim Minnick! - 8 Bits
This week we are joined by Kim Minnick! Join us as we learn about Kim’s journey from restaurants to recruiting and HR leadership in tech.Follow PJ on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetzinAround​Follow Chloe on Twitter: https://twitter.com/chloecondo...

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Chloe Condon  0:25
Welcome to the show eight bits

Pj Metz  0:30

Chloe Condon  0:34
Hi everyone.

We are back for another weekly episode of eight bits, the show where we talk to really the really interesting people behind the tech. And you may notice if this is your first time, welcome. But if you're ever a repeat guest or returning viewer, you may notice that Brandon's looking my usual co host, Brandon Minnick is looking a little different today.

Pj Metz  0:57
A little more Puerto Rican today. Hi, I'm here instead of Brandon. Because I've taken over and I'm trying to live his life now. And to that effect, I'm very sorry for all the bad Xamarin code. I'm gonna

Chloe Condon  1:13
brush up your Xamarin a little bit. But little Wayne before Peter, you've co hosted the show, gosh, three or four times you've stepped in for me. I've been out you're kind of our understudy at this time.

Pj Metz  1:24
I'm the something's happened. And we need someone to fill in one of three spots. And yeah, y'all call me because this is just about when school gets out for me because I'm a teacher. And so I'm like, yeah, Hop on. But I'm not technically in tech yet. But I am working to get into tech. And so I am. I'm just like a little like a little newborn baby, just looking around at all this great stuff. People like Kubernetes and containers. And this is a whale. And it's a logo for like three different companies. But it's exciting stuff all around me. So I'm happy to be a part of this show anytime I can any way I can.

Chloe Condon  2:01
Yes. And particularly excited for this episode. And what a great episode for you to be coasting on because we're going to be talking a bunch about the job search. We're going to be talking about HR, we're going to be talking about restaurants tune in. That's that's what we call a little like, exclusive. We're gonna get to that. But before we bring our wonderful guest on today, and let's talk a little bit about what's been going on this week. We got some people in the chat. What's a bits? Great question. you're just joining us. eight bits is a show where we talk to really interesting people behind the tech. If you joined us last week, we had Taylor, who is a Broadway actor, who was on Broadway for seven years, who now works over at twitch in their different various capacities as sports community or eSports. Community I should say. We have a bunch of people on the show like Microsoft employees, people who are just doing really interesting stuff in tech and learning about their path here. We've had, gosh, we had on the show, PJ, let's break it down. Yes.

Pj Metz  3:09
I've been a guest we had Taylor. Last week. We have had you have had Oh, who did you have? It was a he also writes in Xamarin. He was from the Dominican Republic. Oh,

Chloe Condon  3:21
Louis. Yes, Louis. And

we've had Cameron who started out no previous tech experience has been at Microsoft 20, gosh, 20 plus 22 years, and has worked his way into tech. So we like to interview a lot of people who have found really interesting paths into this industry. So everyone who all different shapes, sizes, walks of life, and yet today is no exception. I'm really excited.

Pj Metz  3:51
I'm very excited. This is. This is very weird for me though, too. Because normally when I see you on my screen, and I see me on the screen next to you, I'm getting ready to talk about something we created together. Should I have bought the Twitter bot that loves should I explain

Chloe Condon  4:08
what an amazing segue what I wanted to go to next tell them

Pj Metz  4:15
clearly I just read what you wrote for me in the notes. You said read this sentence Exactly. So I don't know. shanaya bot is a collaboration between Chloe and myself. Like I said, I'm right now I'm a high school teacher. I'm learning to code in a couple different languages trying to find what works best for me. And Chloe met me through Brandon, the normal host of this show. And Chloe suggested, listen, you got to start making projects. You can't just do Code Academy and all this other stuff. So you got to pick a project. And I saw on the internet, someone who said hey, if if Irish and I train every day at in the morning, I would tweet let's go girls. And I said Chloe, is this something that like we can make? And she was like, Oh my God. And see she like, cancelled all her plans. But Saturday told me to get on a call. I was like, we're making a Twitter bot. And I had no idea what was going on. But I was along for the ride. And we've gotten this Twitter bot every day. She says, Let's go girls, later on, she says, okay, so you're Brad Pitt. That's a new feature,

Chloe Condon  5:19
brand new feature as of last Friday. But yeah, this started as a really basic basic Azure Logic App bot, which if you are interested in learning how to build something really simple like this, we have a link at the bottom aka.ms slash shanaya rules with a Z. But essentially, what this is, is a bot that is on a timer. We basically used a really simple UI, in the logic app, UI Builder that we said, okay, we logged into the shanaya Twitter account, and we said every morning at 9am, PST, noon, PST, tweet, let's go girls, that's all we want. From there, we've been adding all these really fun features like we Gosh, what did we do last week?

Pj Metz  6:13
We use Oh, man last week was a big one for sure about Actually, yes, we've slowly been adding that she'll reply to you if you ask if she's impressed or use the word impressed, impressive and pressing. If you use that with her and tagged her in it, when she's running, when the codes running, she'll reply back that don't impress me much. And we've added some emojis to that. Now, it's a random selection from an array we created that imitates one of the lines in the song that precedes that don't impress me much from the great hit song. That don't impress me much.

Chloe Condon  6:48
Yeah, and we also have played around a little bit with adding different delays and features to so this all started as an Azure Logic App, which the link below will tell you how to do an Azure Logic App. But now in VS code, we're just building on top of that functionality. So it's been super fun to just learn. Okay, so maybe what happens if we want to randomize an emoji? Like how do we trigger that off an Azure Function? So if you're interested in learning about that, definitely follow shanaya bot coming soon. I'm thinking because to give people an idea of what Azure Logic Apps are aka.ms slash and I rules with a z.

Chloe Condon  7:36
I did a comma y'all. AKA, Ms slash shanaya. Rules. I Oh, my God, I did it again. Um, but it's a really, really simple.

Pj Metz  7:49
What's happening,

Chloe Condon  7:50
I'm on a new keyboard, I'm sorry, I have a broken. That's an all caps.

Pj Metz  7:57
There we go introduction as your logic apps. So

Chloe Condon  8:00
Logic Apps are really a really, really simple way to just automate and build things in a very, very easy, concise way. So other things that you can do with this, for example, would be monitoring a hashtag and then having a slack bot, you know, tell you, hey, someone's used this hashtag. So I think PJ will see. But I'm thinking a new feature that we've discussed doing this week, if y'all tune in on Thursday, is going to be us using Azure Logic Apps to track when you and I using the Twitter API, tweet a specific hashtag. So like, hashtag, let's go girls, let's say, and then our shanaya, Twitter bot, and we can build this all on Azure Logic Apps. Yes. And I will say, hey, PG. Hello, we are live. That's what I'm doing.

Pj Metz  8:47
So I think that's a that's a great idea. And Logic Apps is really cool. Because it's it's no code, you don't have to know how to write a single line of code to use larger axes. It's an easy user interface. And hey, Microsoft pay me some money because I'm trying to get a job in tech.

Chloe Condon  9:03
Yeah, and we'll share some links in the show notes and the recording of this, where you can check out the recording of that, but we're just having a lot of fun playing with logic apps.

Pj Metz  9:12
Honestly, that's really that's really all it is right now, learning is best when you're enjoying it. So it's very nice of Chloe to like, hang out with me on Thursdays on our twitch channels, and watch me learn to code and come up with solutions for our code. And it's just, it's awesome. And it's fun. So I'm retaining knowledge, which is good for my future employer,

Chloe Condon  9:34
the love of shanaya. It's for the love of learning. It's also I just feel like we're educating people on the shanaya Twain song catalog, but that's a whole that's a whole other thing.

Pj Metz  9:44
We celebrate that whole catalog, especially the two singles that we referenced in all of our tweets.

Chloe Condon  9:50
We have a comment here that says, interesting. I built a very simple Twitter bot using Python A while back, but I think the Twitter API change Yes. So They recently updated the Twitter API, which has been super fun, fun for PJ iodide to learn about live on stream. But it's a really the really nice thing about logic apps, though, is we actually, I don't even think we needed to make it. Did we make a developer

Pj Metz  10:15
we had to make a developer account for the Twitter account?

With the API, right?

We didn't have to use the API all we just had to log in with Twitter to logic app. So it was pretty, it actually surprised me because I thought we were gonna be hacking on code all day long. And in half an hour, it was done and working. You were like, Alright, let's meet up next time. And I was like, Oh, okay. That's it.

Chloe Condon  10:37
And that's like, the beauty of it right? is, if you're an engineer, let's say, working at a small company, or a startup, and someone from marketing comes to you and says, Hey, we want to be able to track this hashtag, you can build that from scratch easily, that's going to take time. So Logic Apps are a really simple way to quickly automate those pretty basic services that you can just like do very, very quickly. But also, it empowers people on your team who maybe don't have the coding knowledge or have kind of a low code understanding of technology to be able to build it themselves. So we're all about everybody being able to code empower. Yeah.

Pj Metz  11:11
And what I what I like about this show, especially and like you said earlier, it's about people coming from all different areas into tech. And you know, a tech company is not just the people hacking code. There's other roles in the tech company. What are some of those roles? Can we learn about that today, somehow?

Chloe Condon  11:29
Is that great question PJ.

Pj Metz  11:32
Oh, God, I read it just as you wrote it out, Chloe, you're really good at planning. Oh, thank

Chloe Condon  11:37
you. Thank you for making it sound like I made notes for this. Yeah, so we have an amazing guest today. But before I even introduce this guest, this, this is an exciting episode, because I think PJ, we finally have someone other than Brandon on the show who has the same if you've never tuned into the show before, this is the show where we talk to interesting people and technology. Behind the tech in front of the tech, all of that. Tech, not Tic Tac

Pj Metz  12:08
is a different show on a different channel where they talk about you know, blood sucking insects is different.

Chloe Condon  12:14
And we talk about all kinds of things on this show people's backgrounds, how they got into this industry, but we always end up on the topic of theme parks. Now, I know that our guests are passionate about being parks as we are so I am

Pj Metz  12:28
gonna end up talking about theme parks. Oh, it

Chloe Condon  12:30
always. Yeah, and every show with it. So that being said, Today, we have a very special guest, you may recognize the last name of this person, this person, our guest, because today we have a very special guest. Welcome to the show, Kim.

Oh, excited to be here. Tell the lovely folks at home who you are what you do. And we're just so excited to talk to you today. We have so many we have a whole list of topics to go into. But Introduce yourself. Yeah,

Kim Minnick  13:10
I'm Kim, Kim Minnick, like Chloe said, you may recognize my last name, near and dear to me as the other host of this show, Brandon Minnick. We have different offices if you can't tell them.

Watch this show before

I begin, I am a VP of people, I have HR and recruiting under my umbrella at work. And currently working at a company called Nava. We're a public benefit corporation, trying to make government services more accessible to the people who need them. So non traditional background in a non traditional tech company and so excited to talk to you both and just chat more about what it's like getting into tech coming from those non traditional backgrounds, and hopefully giving some tips and tricks to help folks looking to make that transition.

Chloe Condon  14:03

Pj Metz  14:05
This is why I'm here for the tips and tricks. I'll be taking notes over here.

Chloe Condon  14:11
So when we tease this episode on Twitter, we put we're going to be talking about HR, we're going to be talking about recruiting, we're going to be talking about restaurants. I think we need to start at the restaurants because people are probably going restaurants what's going on. But tell us a little bit about your non traditional background history of getting into tech. What was your path here? Yeah, so

Kim Minnick  14:34
my path started out going to school for Hospitality Management with a focus in restaurants. So my course load was not at all HR. It was a lot of learn how this wine tastes and I got to tell it yet not too shabby for undergraduate degree. Turns out when you graduate with that, not a lot of options to look at. So we started working in restaurants I don't know if it's too soon to bring up theme parks but I did work in some theme parks along the way.

Chloe Condon  15:09
list them out list out their resume. We got out

Kim Minnick  15:11
this morning only circling back I think I heard PJ mentioned something about whales. I did work at SeaWorld for a while I was at some of you may remember, SeaWorld used to give away free beer and do beer classes.

Pj Metz  15:26
That's right.

Kim Minnick  15:27
That was me. I

was your friendly neighborhood brand ambassador for Budweiser. And then you know, kind of hopped around restaurants I think a lot of people do eventually started working at Panera Bread, and moved into recruiting for Panera Bread, which was really interesting. So it was like, that was my bridge to get to where I am now and then really fell in love with HR recruiting. I think I'm one of the few people in the world who really loves HR.

You know, and and here

I am today I went back to school to to get a degree in human resources was really fortunate when I moved out to San Francisco to fall into the tech startup scene and just to be introduced to a totally different world. And thrilled I did it.

Chloe Condon  16:19
I feel like there must be I'm seeing a connection here because a lot of people who come from non traditional backgrounds, I've heard the term I think my friend Meg uses the wiggle noodle path into a career like some people know what they want to do and some interesting path.

Pj Metz  16:35
So thinking of that little like the little like worm that you can pull on a string around your head. All right, I feel like it's me no job.

Kim Minnick  16:44
Not to ruin the magic for everyone. But I always really want it

Chloe Condon  16:49
sounds like H or HR that industry is a lot of people operations. Right? And Was that your intention with a hospitality degree? Like Where? What were you setting your sights on originally when you decided to get that degree?

Kim Minnick  17:04
That is such a good question. I went to college because people told me I had to go to college. Surely I didn't know what I wanted to be. I have some imposter syndrome going on in the show. I didn't know math, I wasn't a great student. I was working in restaurants at 15 and found a school that I knew I wanted to go to UCF go nights. And they had a hospitality management degree. And I was like, Okay, well, I, I originally went to college for theater, and I audition to be in the Master of Fine Arts programs and got a real swift rejection. To take a different path and stuck with something that I knew I just didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I knew that I had to go to college. So I don't know what I was looking for when I went to college.

Chloe Condon  17:56
This is actually a really interesting topic that came up on our last stream with Taylor, who also had a wiggle noodle path. I guess we'll just coin that now as a

Pj Metz  18:09
trademark now for

Chloe Condon  18:10
sure. And, you know, when I think it's a really interesting thing that we expect, children, I mean, I was under 18, when I was making decisions about what to do in college to decide what to do for the rest of their lives. So I think that's a really interesting comment to make him because often, you know, I work on the Academic Team here at Microsoft with a lot of students who are in university for computer science, and they know what they want. But a lot of folks, PJ and I are good examples and sounds like him, you as well find tack a lot later in their career. So I love how you've used that part of what you enjoy and what you loved and moved it into this new industry. That's so cool. And I think anyone has the opportunity to do that,

Kim Minnick  18:56
I think that I learned is the average person does about eight major career changes in their life. And so if you went to college for something different than tech, or you want to get into software engineering, there are so many paths to get here. Also, I've just really loved this show, because talking about that more, I think opened up the doorway for more folks, and even in my role now. Will we have these conversations that our executive team about how do we attract people from non traditional backgrounds and

Chloe Condon  19:25
there's so many people out there. I love this comment. Yep, same go to college. Okay. Yeah, yeah, I mean,

Pj Metz  19:34
I was 17 they were like, you're gonna have to take out a lot of loans. I was like, and you're okay with giving me $50,000 as a loan, they're like, yeah, let's just go and I was like, Alright, and then I almost failed out and then I switched my major three times, and then I finally picked teaching and like, it fit me then but I didn't know is gonna fit me then. And now I'm looking at Tech and I'm like, that's gonna fit me too. It's like You said a career changes like that's, it's normal now to move from one place to another.

Kim Minnick  20:05
Yeah. And I think the perspective and a value that, you know, it's good to have different perspectives in the room. Always. And I think having that different backgrounds.

Chloe Condon  20:13
Yeah. So, you deal I imagine that a lot of folks who are interviewing, probably reaching out to you, Kim, wanting to know, you know, how can I get a job at your company? or How can I get a job in tech in general, I definitely want to touch on both ends of the spectrum on this on this particular episode. So if you're tuning in, and you're interviewing people, or if you're interviewing now, this is going to be pretty rough. So stay tuned. They can tell us Let's start with folks who are maybe interviewing because I imagine you get you deal with a lot of inbound as far as recruiting is concerned. Tell us a little bit, maybe some tips and tricks for folks like PJ folks who are even more experienced, and we're senior interviewing, what are some good ways to get getting out the notes? How can you as an interviewee,


what should you be thinking about when you are interviewing?

Kim Minnick  21:09
Oh, my gosh, that's such a good question. I

think there's so much to do. And a lot of people have probably heard this advice before, maybe I can put a new spin on it. But do your research, learn about the company and don't just learn about the company. So you can go and impress them with your knowledge. Look at it from a viewpoint of is this a place that I want to work? Is this a place where what they're doing the way they work, how they align their business, a place where I want to spend 40 hours a week where, you know, I'm looking out a window right now it's a beautiful day like is that you know, is my time worth this place, I think it's really important to think about interviewing as a two way street. So you know, learn about the job, read the job description, see how your background relates to that job description, prototype, it doesn't have to be perfect, right? Like it's a job description. And they're different. But learn that and reach out to people in the company, reach out to recruiters with a really thoughtful LinkedIn message that'll help get your foot in the door. And then when you're in that interview, and you're on that on site, show the knowledge that you know about the company talk about maybe an article or a social media post that they did talk about an initiative that they were getting some press or some attention for talk about something on their website that resonated with you, it starts to show that you're already invested in this company, and people like to talk about themselves, Representative company like to talk about the company. Yeah,

Chloe Condon  22:43
absolutely. What is your advice for folks who, especially during these pandemic times where we're kind of restricted, it's a little bit harder, right? To ask someone out to coffee to, to maybe grab some time with them? What's a good thing to send someone I know, personally, I get a lot of inbound that just says, Hey, I know that's,

Pj Metz  23:05
that's what you're supposed to do. You just say, hey, and you let them make the first move.

Chloe Condon  23:09
But how's our play? How should folks be you know, I get a lot of messages that say, Can I pick your brain? And that can be very vague? How specific should people be when they're reaching out to folks about getting their foot in the door? Yeah, I

Kim Minnick  23:24
mean, personalize the message. First off, so if you pop over to my LinkedIn, I've got myself in my picture. And I've got my sidekick, otherwise known as my dog, Kirby. And a lot of times when people just send me a reach out and mentioned my dog, I'm like, cool, you took an extra three seconds to look at my profile, you actually care about speaking with me, and making it a conversation versus getting something that you want. As a, my role doesn't leave a lot of time for leisure throughout the workday, I just have a really busy schedule. So I want to make sure that when I'm investing time into, into responding, somebody that they've invested time reaching out to me, so instead of saying the, hey, I'm interested in what novice doing, can you tell me more is very different than, hey, I saw novice speak about healthcare.gov. And I saw Nava talk about how they're trying to make government programs more accessible to the people who need them. Here's why that's interesting to me. I looked at your careers page, I applied for this job. Would you be willing to talk more about it like, okay, so I already know you're in my application system. Amazing. So I can go look at your resume. And I know that you've spent a moment looking at my company and learning about what we do, and it resonated with you. And you gave my dog a shout out like what a way to get to my heart is talk about my dog.

Chloe Condon  25:01
compliment recruiters dogs that

Pj Metz  25:03
is, even if there's not a dog in the picture, just be like, I think you have a gorgeous dog there. What do you I have a turtle? That's what it is, hey, do you have a dog? Yeah, I want to apply to your company.

Chloe Condon  25:20
I feel like there's a lot to be said for having been in the recruiter shoes before I was a recruiter in a previous life, getting the experience on the other side of the table, so to speak, it's almost like an American Idol, where you've got Simon, you know, everyone's on the other side of the table, they want you to be good, like these people want you to succeed, they want the most talented person to come into the door and just sing the song for them and be the next American Idol. So I think it's important to not only keep that in mind when you're interviewing, but also hype yourself up in the same way you are your best marketer, so to speak. If

Kim Minnick  25:58
you are not in the number one fan, why should I be like be your number one fan?

The Edge,

Pj Metz  26:06
that's a really good way to put it. I like that. It sounds like a lot of Go ahead.

Kim Minnick  26:11
I wasn't saying this is where we're at just temporarily, and maybe long term as more companies are moving remotely and dispersed across the globe. This is where networking is kind of iterating to you have your social media, whether it be you know, Twitter, or these podcasts and streams. But also, you know, LinkedIn is still a professional platform. And it's a good place to connect with recruiters who are on LinkedIn all day.

Chloe Condon  26:37
Yeah. And as far as so we talked a little bit about how to get your foot in the door and recognized and just really keep the door open to get a wave and say hello, as a candidate. You mentioned

Pj Metz  26:54
just like, please let me ask like someone's like, like Java, or like opening the window like, Oh, I wanted a job. Please,

Chloe Condon  27:02
please, sir, could I have a job? But how about the other side of the table? You mentioned that you have a lot of folks talking to Kim who are saying, Where do I find these non traditional background unicorn candidates? How can people help make sure that they're bringing that diverse talent into their doors?

Kim Minnick  27:22
Yeah, you know, this is something that we take a lot of pride in at Nava, and it's something that you know, I would be nothing without my recruiting team. So shout out to my recruiters look them up on LinkedIn komar and learn Bermudez they're great. But really, like I distracted myself.

Chloe Condon  27:43
Tonight, we're talking about the the other side of the table as far as how can you make sure you're attracting the right talent? Actually, a tweet that I saw the other day, I think recently there was an all male panel at a telco. Yeah. And there was a really astute comment from I believe it was in cold water that said, if you are seeing an all male panel, do something about it, you know, you don't just give up and throw up your hands and say, you really have to reflect I'm totally butchering this tweet. But definitely, he puts it much more succinctly than 140 characters. But essentially, it was educating folks and saying, hey, you have to it's not if you build it, they will come situation, you know, you need to reflect on Okay, why aren't we getting these kind of candidates through the door? Where do we what communities do we need to be engaging with? So what's your advice for people who are hiring to make sure that they are getting a good, you know, not just one cookie cutter set of people in their pipeline?

Kim Minnick  28:41
Why it's, there's so much amazing talent out there. And there's so many things to do. So, first off, I think there's some good hygiene that you can always do with your recruiting team at your company. For those in the know if you know, you know, check out your funnel metrics, see if you can look at where perhaps different representations fall out of your pipeline is your mission and values interview not resonating with people of different backgrounds, whether that be VIP OC candidates, whether that be people from different socioeconomic backgrounds. So first, do your due diligence in your home, make sure that your recruiting process is inclusive, that you're investing and belonging throughout the funnel. And that you were you're really giving equal opportunities to candidates throughout the pipeline, and that any of your interviews aren't skewing one way or the other and then connect with groups. There are so many phenomenal organizations out there. And just off the top of my head, some really well known ones. Black Girls Who Code lesbians who tech, these are, there's so so many I have like, data sheets and Excel spreadsheets that we reach out to. And we work with a company formerly known as local job network to help connect with those, those communities. And don't just do it for recruiting like it's so self

Chloe Condon  30:26
perspective in the room is so so important. It's not just about hitting a metric. It's not just about you know, PJ and I have folks from non traditional backgrounds and being women in tech and a Puerto Rican attack, we can say, you know, it is important to have these voices in the room, I think, especially, you know, we see this in everyday situations, naming of things. I love to give the fleet's example, an LGBTQ person had been in their room, we could have avoided this, everything from thinking about if we only have one type of person in the room, building technology, solving those problems, how do we solve problems for people in the arts, people in low income demographics. So I'm, I'm all about opening that door, and PJ, I, you, of course, are beginning your journey of applying for jobs. But something really resonated for me Can when you mentioned making sure that your inbound hiring practices aren't filtering out these candidates, the example that I love to give. I've told this many times on this show and other shows, I tried to refer a candidate to a previous company I worked at, and they couldn't apply for a role at my company with a theater degree, which I have. So I discovered I couldn't apply for a job at my own company, because the drop down menu for what is your degree, for for roles on the website was all technical degrees. So there's all these different things as a non traditional background candidate, I've noticed as they're gatekeeping, but I don't think they're intentional gatekeeping we as people who are technical think of things in a very technical sense, but I wasn't able to apply to certain internships, because you know, I obviously didn't have a GPA coming out of college, but accounting for boot camp and self taught people, I love to see a lot of apprenticeships popping up just for this reason, but even things down to think about who's able to apply for my job. And if there are barriers to entry, if you notice, and people are giving you feedback of, Hey, I tried to apply for this and recruiting software filtered me out, listen to that feedback.

Kim Minnick  32:32
100%, listen to that feedback. And that application stage, that's the biggest part of your funnel, right, everyone applies and they move through, and then you make a hire. So make this part as easy as possible. And I know I worked for a small company, I'm sure Microsoft gets a couple more applications than we do. But it truly that should be one of the easiest parts of the interview process is just finding and applying to the role. And then, you know, look at things from there, we found, you know, at a couple of companies now, I found that often we have a themed interview of mission and values. And it's really important that we're not expecting answers that maybe aren't accessible to everyone. So that's always a really good reach to talk a lot about fit. And then we realized that was not really what we were looking for. It wasn't giving us different perspectives. It wasn't giving us people from different backgrounds. So yeah, do your due diligence in house, invest in communities, make your application process easy and learn, listen to your candidates

Pj Metz  33:43
sat listening is super, super, super important. Um, a lot of what you just said makes me think about the way I write tests for my students. And one thing I always value is I use a tool called zip grade that the kids can take the whole test online. And at the end, it gives me data how many kids answered this, how many percentage got it wrong? And the first thing I do after everyone's done is I look at the lowest percentage correct question. And I immediately go and check it and think about how did I teach the process to get to this answer for them? And was it a fair process? And did I do some like trickery? Like what what am i expecting them to show that they learned by answering this question correctly? Did I give them the tools necessary to get to that? And if I didn't, I set them up for failure, and I have to reconsider that whole question. That's super important,

Chloe Condon  34:33
which is how we should think about documentation, which is how we should think about user experience. I mean, it's all it's all the same stuff, you know, hire PJ

Kim Minnick  34:45

Chloe Condon  34:48
Well, PJ, I have a question for you, which I think is a really good question. segue to Kim as well is, you're new to this industry. I'm sure there's a lot of terminology, different things. Completely vocabulary words acronyms that are very new to you. Have you found entering this space that that's kind of inaccessible? And then Kim, follow up question for you would be, how could we stop that? Because I'm going to assume the answer is yes.

Pj Metz  35:15
I'm always lost. I'm always I'm always lost, because it seems to be that when you're on tech, Twitter, there's an expectation that you know, at all, and that you if you can do Vue, JS for building your website, and if you can do this particular framework, which even here I'm using jargon, if you can use this particular version of JavaScript in your coding, then you got to know everything else. And I thought, once I was learning to code, I thought, well, I've got this language. I'm reading a bunch of tweets I'm learning. And I thought I knew what was going on. And then I tuned into a twitch channel where it was a I think it was a bunch of developers playing like a quiz game together. It's one that you were on Chloe, oh, yeah,

Chloe Condon  35:57
DevOps party games,

Pj Metz  35:59
DevOps party games, and I was like, Oh, this will be funny, because it's like a mix of like, programmer humor on Reddit with like, actual development was like, Alright, let's watch this. And I didn't understand any of the jokes enough to like vote. And I was just lost. They're like, what's the, what's the best thing about Kubernetes? And I was like, is that like, a like a soda that I don't know yet? And that's, that's me just looking and going, Oh, well, I have to learn that. Okay, I have to figure out what that means. Yep, I gotta learn what that means. And it just becomes a running list of things that like, I have to pretend like I know what I'm doing with. And just like Dreamcast lovers, so yeah, fake it till you become it, fake it till you make it. Act confident. If you live, you're wearing a suit and carry and clipboard you can get in pretty much anywhere.

Chloe Condon  36:44
But also, I will say, a positive mindset switch that I made in my life, especially at Microsoft, y'all, we have so many acronyms, it's kind of a joke here. Like everything is an acronym. And some acronyms are the same. So I've been inspired by some co workers, like APR and some other folks that I work with, to ask what these things mean. Sometimes, you know, I think we can be kind of afraid of, you know, especially when we're first starting out to be like, yo, what's a Kubernetes? I've never had a net, like, I don't like candy. what's the what's the net carbs on that? But I think as soon as I became confident enough to be like, even as a worker at Microsoft to be okay, MSA Do you mean this kind of MSA, or this MSA? There's so many even as someone who's senior at experience, I still find myself even in interviews and podcasts, things and everything that I do going. So I can't we have someone here that says, where do I get some Kubernetes? soda? Great question.

Pj Metz  37:46
It's in the Docker machine. I don't know. Does that work? Is that funny? I'm sure the cloud native kitchen.

Chloe Condon  37:52
So Kim, how can we make sure as people not only interviewing people, but just as an industry making sure this is a friendly, accessible, please, for everyone?

Kim Minnick  38:03
Why, you know, we have work to do. And I think it just becomes once you become ingrained in a company, you've been there for a year, you're on an interview panel, you forget that people don't know the acronyms that you use internally. So unfortunately, this is a time where I might actually you know, tell candidate like put it back on the candidate Speak up, be honest, say,

Hey, I'm

not familiar with that acronym. Do you mind just taking a moment back to make sure that I understand fully what you're asking. There? I would so much rather somebody say I don't understand this question. Or, hey, I'm applying for an apprenticeship program or I'm moved I'm making a career change. This is what I think you're asking but can I clarify these points first, interviewing is a two way street. It is a conversation. Don't I mean? Yes, fake it till you make it. A lot of that fake it till you make it is just being confident in what you already know. And clarifying where you still have areas to learn. You'll learn it might need a little extra time.

Pj Metz  39:16
Yeah, we're the people I love you Taylor,

Chloe Condon  39:18
previous guest Taylor, Broadway actor faking it till you make it. I agree. I feel like it's to be successful in tech. You really need an equal amount of confidence, willingness to fall on your face and want to throw your computer across the room a whole bunch and also just a curiosity and inquisitiveness to ask these questions because it can be scary, especially as a junior PJ and

Kim Minnick  39:46
it will get you so far. Yeah, just be kind about it. Recognize that someone's spending some extra time to teach you but like, you both do this for your own like just for your own fulfillment. People want to teach, they want to tell you what they know. Just ask. Yeah,

Pj Metz  40:04
this is something that Brandon told me to I was getting ready. I was interviewing for a position at Florida Institute of Technology at the end of the summer. And he was like, so this sounds like there might be some like it work. He was like, do you know what this is? And I was like, uh, not really. He's like, if they ask that, that needs to be your answer, and you need to say something about how you don't know what that is. But you are ready to learn what that is. If it's what the job involves.

Chloe Condon  40:31
Because he is key for sure.

Pj Metz  40:34
Don't lie about something and say, I mean, I DNS the HTTP like, twice a day on course. Yeah. Like, I'm all over that. Because if you pretend like you know something, and you're accidentally, right, they're gonna hand you something and be like, yeah, you're good at this, you know, what's going on in your head? Oh, no. But if you're honest, it allows for honesty allows you to grow. And that's what's most important in any job, they want to see you get better. They don't want to see you stay the exact same level for the whole time you're with the company. They want to see you improve. And so admitting where you're starting is the best way to start improving.

Chloe Condon  41:09
Yeah, yeah, mindset, all the time. Growth Mindset forever. mindset forever and ever.

Pj Metz  41:19
Growth Mindset, I just want to say growth mindset.

Chloe Condon  41:25
So we've talked a lot about we've talked, we've talked a lot about getting your foot in the door, interviewing what to ask the interviewees and interviewers? What about when you get the offer? Kim?

Pj Metz  41:35
Whoa, I'm very interested in this answer to because like,

Chloe Condon  41:40
because I know, PJ is definitely interested in this. And we had someone in the chat here say that they're a bootcamp grad. We have some self taught people in the in the chat as well, who are looking to get into this industry. A really big thing that was was that is still so uncomfortable for me as an artist who's where I made very little salary if I wouldn't call salary into technology, how do you think about things like, offers salary negotiations? I know personally, I was very uncomfortable with negotiating. What is your advice for folks who are either new to this industry or maybe just not had the confidence to negotiate before?

Kim Minnick  42:22
How much time do we have?

First off, you do not have to take the first offer that comes your way. I think that's a trap that I've fallen into. It's a trap that other people fall into when you're so excited to start a new journey. Whether it's a new career or a new company, sometimes you run towards that first, yes. Go back to the beginning of your job search, think about what was important to you and your next role. Think about what this company that offer you provided, before you even look at that dollar amount. Think about is this a place where I can be my authentic self? Is this a place where I will be valued where I can grow my skills? Or is this a place that gives me the opportunities I'm looking for maybe you just want to do your job really well and go home and call it like, consider that. So you've gotten the offer? First off, celebrate recruiting and an interview process is hard, like do not rob yourself of the moment of excitement. I think someone in this chat said party it up but yeah, like but then start thinking about you know, first off, does this salary match my current needs like that needs to base salary is the largest component of what an HR we call total rewards. Some other components that are good to think about and total rewards. Is there a retirement plan? Do they offer a 401k? Do they offer a match? What does that look like? Another one of those things is equity. Do they offer equity or stock options? I am not an equity attorney, I would recommend you you reach out to people more professional but equity does have $1 value, you should understand how that impacts your total compensation. And then think about things like work life balance. Some companies are very driven for professional development, and they will constantly push you to grow sometimes that's going to be more than 40 hours a week. Some companies will offer you more of a lifestyle where you can take a lower workload but still find that professional growth and development that you're looking for. Consider that I know a lot of us are working from home right now but if and when we do go back to offices consider is their food drinks coffee, my first job I put $2 a week in the honesty coffee jar so I could have coffee at the office like those are things Even the little things are things to consider. And

Chloe Condon  45:04
oh, I was just gonna say I love the point about thinking of benefits and an offer beyond just the things that are on paper work life balance is kind of this thing that I think we're just so excited about the interviewing the job process and the prospect that sometimes we don't think like, Hey, is this is a startup environment? Is it going to be hustle culture? And am I going to be exhausted all the time? versus will this give me? What? Like, what your What is it? Hierarchy of Needs kind of thing? Like does this satisfy

Pj Metz  45:35
hierarchy of needs? Yeah, thank you, I need to know that phrase you

Kim Minnick  45:39
acknowledge his hierarchy of needs.

Chloe Condon  45:41
And I love the idea of, and this is so hard to explain to newer people in this industry that the interview is two ways. And I love this comment here from someone that says What about these questions from the interviewer? Like, where do you see yourself in five years? What's the best answer? But I think, also, what are good questions for an interviewee to be asking him?

Kim Minnick  46:03
Why I think if you there's a lot to unpack here, and I want to actually circle back to the salary negotiation part. And it's very important, as someone in the chat said, what those needs are, I need more money. I hear you that is a valid answer. Maybe don't say that in your interview, but it is a valid answer. Yeah. You know, professional growth, professional expansion, job expansion often comes with salary, and I think it's really important. Understand how they got that number. What are you doing in your salary practices to get that cash compensation number? Are you benchmarking against roles in the market? are you engaging in internal parity and making sure people in the same role are paid equally, understand where they got that number from? And if their reasoning and logic and the number is right for you? Then think about all those other questions? Good. What questions like really see yourself in five years? That's truly If anyone asks you that question. I would say, well, five years ago, I didn't see myself living through a pandemics. So

Pj Metz  47:16
that's such a good answer. Holy moly,

Kim Minnick  47:19
talk about more obtainable growth, I always say like five years is a really long time, particularly in tech, we just move so fast. Five years ago, my iPhone wasn't near what I thought it was gonna be. And I didn't invest in a product roadmap with the skills and expertise that Apple has for my personal career. So just be really honest about where you want to grow and your foreseeable future. What is your timeline? And and how do you want to grow? What's important to you? If it's a new skill, if it's an accomplishment, maybe you want to go speak at a conference, talk about that, talk about what your growth path is on your timeline? And throw away the five year mark? That's,

Pj Metz  48:00
I really think a lot of people think that with the five year question, the best answer is always well, I'll be at this company, and I'll be working really hard to you. And people think that that's what they're supposed to say that a lot of these questions always feel like there's a full one answer, what answer are they looking for? And yeah, as an English teacher, I know what it's like to look at a sea of faces, who are struggling to find the right answer when I asked, What do you think is happening here? So I can understand that. When someone asks that question, we need to understand as someone who's interviewing there, they're not waiting for you to say the magic word and they go check, you set it and like confetti shoots out, they just throw bags of money at you. That's not how it happens. They're looking to get to know you, and they're looking to understand you. And it's become a cliche. But like Kim said, you can take that question and you can work it into something where really you just talk about your personal growth and what you want to accomplish,

Kim Minnick  48:58
sometimes answer the question you want to answer. Yes. And that was more

Chloe Condon  49:06
than you think.

Kim Minnick  49:08
Yeah. Pay pay homage to the question that was asked me. Yeah, I hear you about five years. Actually, I've been on a more, you know, attainable growth timeline, and I'd love to talk to you about what I've been working on and where I think that'll lead me. And that shows a little bit about more about who you are as a human being. And it helps connect the interviewer to you as a colleague.

Pj Metz  49:34
I'd like to talk about where I'll be in 30 years. It's an apocalyptic wasteland the hunt for waters on

Chloe Condon  49:41
Waterworld. I love this comment that says it's interesting to think of interviewers as people who are just as nervous about finding the right candidate as you are to be the right candidate. You know, I love this comment because that fundamentally changed how I thought about auditions as an actress once I was on the other side on the recruiting side even as a recruiter going, Oh, I want these people to, I don't want them to fall on their face. I want you to be good. Otherwise, this is a waste of my time. So remember that, like you have a lot more power than you think you do in the room.

Kim Minnick  50:15
We want you to be successful. We want you to have a great interview process, we want you to be well prepared. Ask your recruiter how to prepare for your on site, they will give you tips and tricks.

Chloe Condon  50:26
Yes, yes.

Kim Minnick  50:28
And interviewers are nervous, I do interview training at my company. And that's one of that's like a five minute talk where we say like, hey, you're nervous, the candidates nervous, it's okay, like we're just trying to find, we're never going to find that perfect bull's eye. It's not going to happen. But we want to get close. So we just want to get to know people.

Pj Metz  50:47
I like to point out that's a lie, I am a perfect bull's eye. Hire me, it'll be the best thing you've ever done.

Chloe Condon  50:53
So, TJ, do you know what questions you're gonna ask your interviewer?

Pj Metz  50:58
Oh, my well, so when I get an interview, the most important thing for me is going to be having a path towards growth. Right now I'm applying towards junior developers, Junior dev rel, which is a developer relations, essentially someone who helps developers use a product for a company. And also, I found out recently that technical writing can be something that I might do, being someone who likes to write and likes to know a lot about language and how it affects people, technical writer could be very, very useful. But I don't want to be in a position where the only place I can go is within that position, I want my growth to be very, very exponential, I want to be able to go in a lot of different places. So I don't want to end up in a technical writer role where there's no chance for me to ever move out of that. And I'm just stuck writing. So for me, I would ask questions about the role. If I was interviewing for a technical writer role, I would be asking questions like, how closely do I get to work with the engineering team? How closely do I work with? Is this something I report to marketing? Or is this something where I report to the developer advocate lead at this company? And what's important to me is knowing that I'm not going to be in this desk forever. And I know I'm gonna grow. I'm gonna have better.

Kim Minnick  52:18
Yeah. And I say like, okay, so companies are going to ask you these questions like, Where do you want to be in five years? We know that. Awesome. Turn it back on them. What are you going to do to invest in my growth, understand what their internal mobility

Chloe Condon  52:38
come in here that says asking about internal mobility department or something like that might be a good idea? Yeah.

Kim Minnick  52:44
I asked about their internal mobility philosophies asked about their professional development and mentorship programs, ask how you can bring your whole authentic self to work and use that not just to better your skills, but become more impactful at the company.

Chloe Condon  53:01

because you'd rather find the perfect role that you can stay in for the next year to have career growth and have to search for another job and three months and do the same thing over again. So it's important to to pick up on you know, is this a good fit for me? I'm

Pj Metz  53:19
just gonna walk in and go What have you done for me lately, and I'm gonna play some Janet Jackson, and it's gonna be great.

Chloe Condon  53:24
I think that's a perfect plan. I love it.

Pj Metz  53:28
Janet Jackson bot

Chloe Condon  53:31
is coming soon to ask her. What have you done for me lately? We have a couple extra minutes. I want to make sure we have ample time to adjust theme parks can Yes, this is very important. We never could have joined us on the show before y'all we always end up talking about theme parks in some capacity. Kim, you mentioned that you would worship the theme park. I think an important question we got to ask is favorite theme park favorite ride first of all?

Kim Minnick  53:59
That's a tough one there. So okay, so I was really spoiled going to college for Hospitality Management. My campus was directly between SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Studios. Orlando is like a mile each way. And I was super, super fortunate to do a lot of roller coaster testing.

Pj Metz  54:21
Oh, that's when crackin was opening at SeaWorld.

Kim Minnick  54:24
That's when Manta was opening at sea. So I really love Manta, and I really love the Hulk I like those like they each offer something different in a roller coaster. You know, the Hulk kind of like shoots you which is awesome. And mantras like Superman you're on your

Pj Metz  54:42
Oh, you're like you're like laying like this

Kim Minnick  54:44
but I also really love to chase at Busch Gardens it's next to part of a question there is no right answer.

Chloe Condon  54:51
I didn't take you for a roller coaster clean Kim but I love knowing this about you anytime.

Kim Minnick  54:57
I'm gonna Yeah, I'm gonna throw my hands up. Yeah, we're gonna get the picture you know, that's silly, but we're gonna get it

Chloe Condon  55:05
going again. Yeah,

Kim Minnick  55:06
I love roller coasters are so fun. I love theme parks in general. I'm

a sucker.

Pj Metz  55:10

Chloe Condon  55:12
I need roller coaster tycoon. You play any of that going up

on a computer growing up.

Now I'm so excited that we can introduce you to RollerCoaster Tycoon.

Kim Minnick  55:28
Get your capitalism out of my roller coaster.

Chloe Condon  55:32
Which we teach him how to play roller coaster tycoon? Kim, thank you so much for coming on the show today. Before we wrap things up, I know that we've shared a couple resources on the show, which we'll link in the show notes. I'll probably get that upstairs tomorrow for folks who are watching this back. But where should people find you on the interwebs? Where can they? Should they connect with you perhaps on LinkedIn? Yeah, I

Kim Minnick  55:56
mean, my interwebs presence is could use could use some boosts.

Put that on my growth to

connect with me on LinkedIn, that's where you'll find me mostly, I try and be pretty engaging on LinkedIn, I will I feel pressure to do it. I'll say it now. I'll be more engaging on LinkedIn, with connection requests from the show. But yeah, that's the best place to find me. And if you're interested, check out a novel pbc.com I do feel like I should give a shout out to my employer. And obviously, we do have some open roles. If you were interested in helping government work better for the citizens who need it, come check us out.

Chloe Condon  56:39
So in the last couple minutes that we have in the show, Kim, give us your top rate, we have PJ here. On the show, he's getting ready to start his interviewing journey as a self taught person in tech, give us your top three tips for PJ and any we have a bunch of folks in the chat as well here who are saying they're getting ready to start interviewing they're, you know, self taught, or they're coming in here from a boot camp or university. Give us your three tips on how to be successful. Reach out to recruiters at companies you're interested in with that

Kim Minnick  57:16
kind of curious and personalized message. And before you apply to a job posting, review the job description, look at those key words and try and mimic them in your resume. Your resume that is you know talks about your accomplishments and your successes, try and match that for the job description. And I know this is old advice, send thank you notes. Just send a thank you note after an interview. It's I feel like that's really old advice. I think I've heard it a lot. But it's really rare that I get a kind follow up email and

Unknown Speaker  57:58
it's just

Kim Minnick  58:00
interviewing is about human connection. Yes, it's about skill evaluation. Yes, it's about finding the right role that's right for you at the right time. But it's also about connection. So even if this role doesn't work out today, maybe that person can help connect you in the future. So foster those relationships.

Chloe Condon  58:17
Sounds like confidence is really key here like a healthy amount of admitting your strengths and weaknesses, but also owning that and being confident.

Kim Minnick  58:27
confident. prosity Yeah, earnest confidence and earnest curiosity. You can't ask for much more.

Pj Metz  58:34
This is my favorite word

Chloe Condon  58:36
of Being Earnest in a tech interview. I feel like that's a talk for you, PJ.

Pj Metz  58:40
I actually am designing a talk about earnestness and authenticity and why it's the most important thing you can do.

Chloe Condon  58:48
We love We love Well, we'll help with the title. I feel like there's an important importance of acronyms

Pj Metz  58:54
somewhere we can do. I mean, that's the thing. It's got it.

Chloe Condon  58:59
Thank you so much for coming on the show today to the show, but I'm sure that we'll have you back real soon. And Brandon, not PJ. It's been great to have you back.

Pj Metz  59:11
That's great. It's me, I'm Brandon. Here's a mug with my name on it.

Chloe Condon  59:16
But until next week, y'all We will see you on eight bits and have a great rest of your week.