Cloudflare TV

Getting Started in Tech: Interviewing the Interview

Presented by Daniela Rodridgues, Lindsey Monyelle
Originally aired on 

Getting Into Tech is a new show on CloudflareTV that is all about working in tech. In our Interviewing the Interviewer segments, we will take a look at the application/interview process from the perspective of our hiring teams. With A Day in the Life, we will have one on one conversations with current Cloudflare employees about their background, current role, and their experiences applying for tech jobs. Finally, Demonstrating What you Know is our hands-on segment, showing ways to take the skills and knowledge you’ve developed from any source and demonstrate this in a way that is effective to the hiring process.

In our first segment, we speak with Daniela Rodrigues, a Recruiting Coordinator in our Lisbon office. We will get to hear what her day is like, what role the recruiting coordinator plays within the Cloudflare hiring process, and gain valuable perspective for prospective candidates


Transcript (Beta)

All right. How's it going, Daniela? Everything's going well. How are you? I am doing well.

So today, my name is Lindsey, and I'm here with Daniela, and we are starting a new segment where we are going to be kind of discussing the different aspects of sort of getting your foot in the door with tech roles.

So to kind of give an overview, we are starting today with sort of a one-on-one chat with Daniela, who is with our recruitment team.

And we're going to get some good insight from her on sort of that perspective, that side of the table, when you go into interviewing, when you're submitting a resume, things like that.

We're also going to be doing some segments where we talk to various team members on our team, and kind of what their experience has been like, what they do, their road getting here, and all of that.

And then the other thing that we will be covering in future episodes is sort of some of the more technical aspect of, so this is my background, how do I translate it to something that is desirable and catches the eye of somebody when you are applying for jobs?

So that is a bit of the rundown. So let's get started.

So if you want to just start by telling me a little bit about, you know, your experience with Cloudflare so far, kind of a bit of your journey, Daniela.

Yes, of course.

So I'm a recruiting coordinator with the recruiting team here in EMEA at Cloudflare.

And so I started last August. So it's been a little bit more than a year now.

I started mid -pandemic. So my onboarding and until now, to be fair, it has been completely remote.

So all of my setup was shipped to me, which was great.

It was very, very, very cool that I had like a monitor set up, my laptop and everything without really having to leave the house.

So, so far my experience with Cloudflare has been very good.

In terms of my role, what I do is I, along with my teammates, I schedule the interviews for the whole of the EMEA region for all of the roles that we have opened here.

And so it can be from tech to sales to other generalist roles.

And we do all of that. We keep communication with the candidates whenever they have any questions or issues.

Sometimes we also have to troubleshoot technical issues.

So all of that goes through me. And so when it's, when it's the early stages, candidates tend to rely on us coordinators a lot to feel more confident or prepared for the interview.

So, so yes, that's the kind of help that I give to everyone.

Okay, very cool. And so tell me what, where, where has this fallen like within your, your broader journey, right?

Have you worked in sort of recruitment positions before?

Is this, was this a transition to a new role?

So I guess I can start from the very beginning. I have a degree in communication sciences, so it's more connected with marketing, journalism, but I wasn't really passionate about those things or not as much as I thought I should be.

And so I never really wanted to pursue a career in the area, which made me take another degree in human resources management.

So of course I wanted the chance to work in human resources and I did join a product company previously where I was a recruiting coordinator.

So that was my first step into the tech world, but also HR as, as I wanted to.

And then I moved to Cloudflare and here I am. So I'm still quite new, I guess you could say.

But I would say I've had some interesting journeys in terms of my, my jobs.

I mean, I did customer service previously in several different companies, then moved to, to internal communication, then to recruiting coordinator and here I am.

So this is actually really interesting because the fact that you, you know, aren't like, I've been working in recruiting for the past 10 years or something like that.

I, it may still give you a good perspective on the two sides, right?

So how has that sort of shaped your view on applying just the whole presenting yourself to a company process?

Like, do you feel like this experience has changed your perspective greatly?

Yeah, of course. I mean, it's really interesting to see that, you know, how different companies run their recruitment processes, because I doubt that two companies are the same in that respect.

Some companies may want to put you as a candidate forward to the recruiting team and then they will decide if you are the person for the job or not and put you forward to the hiring manager.

Other companies immediately ask the hiring manager to review your profile as soon as you send it in.

So I would say that, that those slight differences can make also a big impact on the process and why some candidates are chosen or not.

I think that at Cloudflare we do, do the right thing when, wherever possible, the hiring manager does review the roles and the applications for, for their role.

So it's not the recruiting team that screens most of it out.

Whenever possible, the hiring manager does it. So that also shapes the way I see things like my, I wouldn't suggest people to stop applying just because you don't meet a certain requirement of the job description.

Of course, it may be a very important factor, but you will never know if you don't try.

And maybe you have other, other abilities and, and things in your CV that really stand out to the hiring manager.

So why not do it right? Previously, before I joined the recruiting team, I would have some doubts like, what is the best way to, to put myself forward?

What should I write in my CV? Will it really be, be read or taken into consideration?

But now I know that, yeah, of course it will be taken into consideration.

And you have a whole, a lot of people looking at it and, and seeing if, you know, if you're the right person for the role.

And here at Cloudflare, I think we do something that I don't think many other companies do, which is even if you apply for a role that you're not a great fit for, then the recruiter will say, or the hiring manager will say, well, this person is not great for my team currently, but what about this team or that team?

And so, so I think that's really, that's really good.

That's really awesome. That it's not just a straight rejection, that it's like, they actually look at it and see the potential for a different kind of fit.

That's really cool. Well, and it's interesting also, you, you brought up the whole, you know, whether or not you should match all the requirements for a job.

And that's always, that's always a hot topic in tech, especially, you know, you see the job listings that are like, must have 20 years experience of Kubernetes.

And it's like, that hasn't even existed for 10 years. Do you think that the way that we write our job postings, in my experience, like I, I'm still pretty new working in tech, but I also am coming from that perspective of looking for like entry-level jobs.

And so I saw a lot of the, the requirements being a bit all over the place.

And I feel like ours are, are pretty balanced. And would you like, what's your perspective on how those job listings are posted?

Like how they're written, who writes them?

I think job descriptions are an art in itself. There's, there are so many theories on how you should write them.

I think one of the biggest concerns currently is how to make them inclusive enough in terms of writing, because as we know, when we use certain terms, it kind of detracts women from applying because they don't feel like they would be a good fit for the role.

Network engineering rockstar, like that kind of stuff.

So even that is taken into consideration when we write job descriptions.

And of course, I mean, recruiting has some input, but the hiring managers do as well.

We try to not have very limitative requirements, if that makes sense.

As you know, for, for the CSA team, for example, we don't really want people to have, or to come from all from the same background because that doesn't add to the team and it doesn't add to Cloudflare.

We like to have people with different backgrounds, with different experiences that add to the company.

So of course, if we're talking about a technical role, there are certain requirements that you have to fill as, as, as it's natural.

But, you know, when it comes to maybe secondary requirements that people would like to have just for brownie points, or I mean, we shouldn't really limitate candidates to, you know, fit this certain box and only look for candidates who fit in there.

But that's, that's not just how we work in the recruitment team. It's how we work as a company at Cloudflare.

Like Matthew and Michelle, our co-founders always say, you know, diversity leads to better results overall.

So of course we would like to strive for that.

I also, I also feel like not, not that there's been any situations where I have seen something that should be flagged, but given that our, our culture is so very open and has great communication between teams and, and just between people, it seems to me that if somebody were to see a job listing for their team, that seemed out of sync as to what would actually be in both ways, either, wait a minute, oh, we need more than that, or this, this seems too harsh.

It seems that there would be good communication flow to kind of give that feedback too.

Absolutely. Yes, of course. And I mean, that's the only way that we can thrive after all.

I mean, I can give you a quick example. Sometimes we post jobs online with a certain job title and imagine for Lisbon, maybe since the title is in English, maybe what people read and understand by that job title is not the actual role itself.

And so people don't apply. For example, coordinator in Portuguese seems like a very senior role.

So people are not involved with that. And they apply thinking that, you know, this will be my chance as a recruiting coordinator to manage all of recruiting for EMEA.

Or on the other hand, they don't apply because they think I am not.

Yeah. So these kinds of iterations are in the nature of the tech world and in the nature of Cloudflare itself.

And so, of course, we iterate and change things as we see fit.

And as we see, like, it's best for the company and for us as well and for the team.

So, of course, I think as our culture is so open and like you said, communication is a must and it happens all the time on several different topics.

This will not be an exception. I'm sure that, you know, if some team member saw that they were recruiting for the same team and noticed that there was a gap or there was a mistake or something, it would be called to attention for sure.

Yeah, for sure. And that actually I wanted to ask you to your experience.

You mentioned about, you know, the language differences and how things are interpreted in Portuguese, as you know, but maybe people not watching.

I'm also in Portugal.

I'm not. I'm a bit remote from the Lisbon office, but I do live in the country as well.

I'm obviously not native Portuguese. So this is my second job working in Portugal, but both of them have been for international companies.

The other one was for a European company. And now, as we know, you know, Cloudflare is based originally in the US.

What has your experience been as far as at the recruitment process or just culture work experience between Portuguese companies versus working here at Cloudflare?

Yeah, so I think it's really different.

One thing that I really like about Cloudflare that you can't usually find in typical Portuguese companies is the culture of mistakes.

Making mistakes is or should be OK.

And Portuguese culture kind of dictates that if you make a mistake, you're a failure.

You have failed. It's over. It's hard to recover from that.

That's also why, in my opinion, Portuguese people don't really try and, you know, become entrepreneurs as much, because if the company fails, if the first company that they create fails, then that's pretty much game over for them.

And Cloudflare, at least for my understanding, is really open.

And in fact, it thrives on mistakes because then we can learn how to recover from that, how to make everything better.

And so it's really good. And that's the biggest difference, I would say.

And that's why I feel so, so connected to Cloudflare, because it allows us to grow as well.

Of course, you cannot grow if you don't make mistakes and learn from them, right?

Yeah, exactly. And I can attest to that. I've made mistakes since I've started working here.

I've made mistakes that have, you know, broken prod. And I was not felt any sort of shame or anything like that.

Our management team and support was really great and really supportive.

Sometimes they just want to know, like, how was this mistake made?

So if it's a documentation issue, if it is a thing that we can change about how things are done or written, so that way we can prevent it in the future.

But typically, it's usually one of our managers telling me not to be so hard on myself.

And it's okay that everybody makes mistakes.

Of course. It's a great learning experience, really. When you make a mistake and you're like, oh, what do I do now?

And you ask your team for help.

And after the problem is solved, the next step is to just think, okay, so this happened.

How can I make sure it doesn't happen again? And that's the part of the process building that happens a lot at Cloudflare, especially because we're just getting started.

And so there's so much to be done and so much that has not been done yet that these mistakes are natural to occur eventually when it comes to internal processes, for example, in recruiting.

But like you said, I'm really glad that our managers and our teammates are just very supportive and all hands on to help us fix whatever it is that we must have broken this time.

For sure. And it does.

If you're not afraid of getting punished on top of everything else, it makes you more able to have that open communication and tell somebody when something happens, which is the most important thing, right?

We need to be able to have that communication.

Yeah. All right. So as far as the candidate process, is there any, let's start at the beginning.

Let's start with the resume submission process.

Is there anything that stands out to you for advice that you would want to push forward, things that really stand out positively or negatively, at least within the culture of Cloudflare?

I mean, I like to see a good resume. I think that one that, you know, explains your experience so far is pretty good.

I am all for cover letters.

I know that this is not consensual, but there are some people who don't really like or see the need for cover letters.

But I like to get to know people.

I know that our head of people, Janet, also does. She reads cover letters.

She read mine when I joined. So that was exciting. I mean, just try to present yourself in a way that, you know, you feel comfortable with.

I think that's the most important thing.

I know that, you know, recruiting is a process where you sell yourself and the company also sells itself to you or it should be like that.

So you kind of get to know each other and see if you're a good match for each other.

So you wouldn't want to present yourself in a way that is not completely yourself or truthful, because then you'll have to lie eventually to kind of keep up that facade or that front you want to take.

So I would just say it's one of those things. This is something that we also learn with practice and experience and, you know, by living life, that even though you really want one thing to happen and you try your best and you even go above and beyond and lie or, you know, kind of embellish things a little bit, some things are just not meant to happen and maybe that's for a reason.

So like I said, I mean, you can apply for a role at Cloudflare that you know that you're not completely qualified for, but it doesn't mean that you're going to get a rejection letter and that you're just going to, you know, I'll never apply for this company again because they'll never take me in again.

It could happen like it happened previously with some people at Cloudflare, like, okay, you're not a good fit for this role because you don't have experience in X, Y and Z, but what about that other role?

Have you considered that? And sometimes we can, you know, still have candidates apply and be successful in the process.

So I would just say that, you know, just try to be yourself and make that transparent through your CV.

And I don't think there's any shame or, you know, in that. I think that's totally fine.

You don't have to be the most experienced person in the world to be given an opportunity.

So. Yeah, for sure. And I think this is one area that gets kind of lost.

You know, people seem to kind of understand that, like, you know, when you are looking for like relationships and things like that, it's best to be like your authentic self because the person you're going to be with is then going to love you for who you are and things like that.

But I mean, this translates over to friendships, to roommates, to jobs.

If you make an image of yourself as to who you think the job wants you to be, that's that's going to either fall apart and then maybe you're going to end up really unhappy there or it's just like you're going to be in this place where you're having to constantly kind of be a fake person and be a fake version of yourself.

And that just sounds exhausting at the very least.

Exactly. I was just thinking that, like, maybe even if you get the job, will you really be happy?

You're going to feel like constant pressure to uphold that image of yourself.

And there's no need, actually, because if, you know, at Cloudflare, what I I heard this from Matthew, our senior the other day, and I loved it.

He says that our recruiting process is long. There's it just is it is how it is.

But it is that way for a reason. And although we don't want to make it like super long, when you join Cloudflare, it's because you have a whole cheerleading team cheering for you.

The people that you met, they all have to, you know, give their approval that you should join the team or.

And so when you join, you can be sure that you're going to have this whole cheerleading squad waiting for you.

So that that makes me feel very good because it is what happened to me. But just before I joined, I got like a lot of emails from the team welcoming me.


So, I mean, that's just good. And it probably wouldn't happen or you wouldn't feel as good about it if you know that you weren't completely honest and you're completely yourself, which you should be, because there's no Jamie that it's so.

For sure.

And well, and then that's the other side of it is, you know, you you want to be your authentic self as much as possible, kind of in life.

But from the company perspective, like you need to accept people for themselves, you know, with with their flaws, with their, you know, their nature being human.

And that's one thing that I think is really cool about our company.

And as far as having like the cheerleader support, one thing that we do that I've never experienced before is at least with support like any of us could end up interviewing somebody potentially that we have like a technical interview with somebody on the team.

If any of if any of my co-workers ever watch this, I it was such a nerve wracking experience when I went through my interview process afterwards, after I was hired, I would have people be like, I'm so glad I said yes to to your interview.

And I'm just like, I don't even remember that you interviewed me.

Like, it's just sort of that blind panic.

But yeah, it's it's really the process is longer, but it it really gives a chance for the team to get to know you and you to get to know some people in the team before you even start, which is really great.

Let's not forget that something that usually gets forgotten is that recruitment process is not one sided.

It's just not one way. It's not for the company to get to know you as a candidate, but you should also get to know the company, because even if you think in theory, this is the company I want to work for during the recruitment process, you can learn a lot.

And so you can find out that, you know, after all, I actually don't really want to work for this company.

I don't feel I don't really feel connected with it or with its values or culture.

And that's totally fine. I mean, of course, you shouldn't force that relation.

So some people kind of forget that, you know, they just really want to be hired or really want to work for the company.

But they should also pay attention to any red flags that they see during the recruitment process or even just differences in opinions or lifestyles.

It's totally fine. You can find a company that's good for you. And we spend so much time working in our lives.

We spend time at home and now even more with the pandemic and everything.

But we spend so much time at home, but also at work that we need to make sure we're happy doing both things.

We need to make sure that, you know, there's a balance and that we are true authentic selves, which is our key phrase for this segment.

But I mean, it makes so much sense, right? Well, and it's it is really hard, too, because I definitely am sympathetic to the whole, I just need to get a job because people have bills to pay.

People have sometimes kids or even just themselves, you know, keep a roof over their own head.

And I actually it's really hard because I I've recently become kind of more aware of this aspect for my like 20s, my early 20s life, which is I very much got into a bad job cycle, which is, you know, you you take literally anybody that will hire you because you need money, even though you see all the red flags and even though it looks really kind of sketchy.

You take that job, you last two months, three months, and then you have to quit because you can't take it anymore.

Or it's, you know, not a good logistical fit.

Like it's too far. You have to take four buses to get there. And this this cycle just ends up repeating itself because now you have a spotty job history.

So the only people who are kind of going to start to take you seriously are other similar type of work.

So I actually found myself in that cycle from like probably 20 to 25.

And it's it makes it a pretty big uphill battle. So I guess kind of avoiding that cycle in the first place.

And if you are in a position to be able to be more thoughtful and to look at all of the pluses and minuses of a job before that cycle starts, it makes it a lot easier than having to dig your way out of it, I think.

Yeah, for sure. But you're here at Kloppler. So how did you actually join?

What was your story? So, okay. My story is that I, you know, I've worked in customer service, pretty much my whole life.

I've worked Whole Foods, I've worked various, like retail and food service type things.

And I actually moved to Portugal just under five years ago now.

So I've been in the country for a little while. Met my husband, we got married.

And my first job in Portugal was doing phone support for a subcontractor for a tech company.

And that experience wasn't the greatest for me.

But it helped me in a lot of ways, because it did kind of get my first official foot in the door in the tech industry.

And it also, I hate to word it this way, but it did really kind of instill into me a lot of that that sort of like, work ethic as far as, you know, kind of forcing yourself to go through, because you have to and kind of being financially like, accountable.

So having to kind of, you know, push myself to do that.

And thankfully, I was I was laid off, because my department was closed.

So my whole team was laid off. And this was actually a really great experience for me, because this, this allowed me time to study.

So I spent a solid year and a half, just learning whatever I could, because I wanted to get into cybersecurity, I wanted to get further into tech.

So I started studying anything that I could get my hands on that had the word free attached to it.

So through this process, I, I just started I started studying and I started building a visible timeline.

And this is one of the things that I want to talk about in future segments.

But what I did is I built a website. And I basically had a timeline of everything that I was doing everything I was working on.

And this was my way of being like, hey, I don't have a background.

But like, look at how passionate I am, like, look at, look at how much I'm doing in such a short amount of time.

And then I, I got the interview, well, I got the the take home test with Cloudflare, which is, you know, we with support, we answer some questions, some support type questions, and got the interview.

And for me, this was the first interview that I had gotten that didn't have like, a whiteboard interview aspect, not really.

So I, I like to code for fun, but I'm not like a developer. So yeah, that was kind of my process.

And my customer service background kind of got me into here.

And I've grown so much my tech skills. Since then, it's been just over a year.

And it's been an amazing ride. Yeah, that's great to hear. I mean, like you said, it's, you got laid off.

And maybe back then, you didn't know that it was like, almost a blessing in disguise.

Yeah, that's usually, yeah, it's usually how we feel it happened to me as well.

Whenever we get laid off, of course, we always think, well, this is terrible, what am I going to do now.

But you just have to look for opportunities, because they are everywhere.

And so you can take time to study and learn new things and hone your skills, you can take time to apply to jobs that are more in sync with what you are looking for, you can do so much.

So that's truly the message that you should take from, you know, bad situations, it's how you can actually overcome them.

Yeah, for sure. I don't mean to cut you off, we are just on the edge of time.

I wanted to just quickly show we have this page, is the URL right now.

If anybody who sees this wants to hop on over here.

And basically, we've got a survey on this far link, you can fill it out for me, it goes straight to me.

And then this will help our future segments and what kind of material we cover.

All right.

That sounds great. So, yeah, we've got about just a minute left, it looks like under more like 30 seconds.

But yeah, so if you want to, like I said, it's gettingstartedintech.pages .dev.

Um, yeah, and just there's a bunch of open fields as well as the buttons. So just go ahead and tell me your thoughts.

This is great, Lindsay. Thank you for sharing.

I'm sure people will really like this as well. Well, and thank you for talking with me today.

This is a lot of fun. Of course, no worries. See you next time.

I'll be tuning in for the next episodes. See ya.