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How to get hired through a hackathon

In this competitive era of hiring, scouting for your dream job is becoming a bit like a lottery. Hitherto, the main strategy was to pad up your resume with all kinds of “useless” degrees. This almost seemed to be a must in order for you to stand out. But all this has changed since we came along. We are changing the way people find and hire talent through our hackathons and online challenges. We realize that it is more important for people to showcase what they can do, instead of showing off their degrees (or getting yet another degree!).  Hackathons are a perfect way for you to showcase your skills. They are a great leveller where people with “average” resumes do just as good, or even better than those with traditionally “good” resumes.

But how does this process work? How can you maximize your chances of getting hired through one of our hacks?

Here is our list of some of the things you can do to get an edge:

  • Update your resume: Many of our hackathons are invitation only. Send us a copy of your updated resume and any other links (e.g. GitHub profile or LinkedIn) that showcase you! Register well in advance of the hackathon, and provide us with your updated contact information.
  • Learn more about the company. There is no use winning a hackathon and then not knowing anything about the company. Do your homework. This shows the company that you are really interested in working with them and not there to merely fill in numbers (or win a prize!). (Every company has an enterprise page where you can learn more.)
  • Find the right teammates. It is better to work in a team than being a lone crusader. Join our Vhackers facebook group where you can cast around to find the perfect teammates. Remember to find people that complement your skills.
  • During the hack. Get to the hackathon early so you can ideate with your team. Find a comfortable spot where you can ideate and work on the problem in peace. (For more information on how to optimize your experience, check this informative blog post.)
  • Interact with the company. You want to spend all your time on the problem. We understand that. But remember, this hackathon is for hiring. Make an impression on the company representatives. Interact with the company, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • It’s not all about fun. I know it’s tempting to treat a hackathon as just merely a fun event. But it is a serious one too! If you approach it as a 24 hour technical interview round, you have the right attitude.
  • Presentation. Your 24 hours’ effort will all come down to these vital few minutes when you present your ideas to the judges. You are tired. You want to walk out. But that is a big mistake. This phase is the most important part of the hackathon. Remember, the winners of a hackathon are not necessarily the ones with the best technical skills.
  • Interview phase.  After killing the presentation, you have been shortlisted for an interview. Be honest about your role and give credit to your teammates. Be confident and use appropriate body language. Be clear about your goals and requirements. Ask questions about the company itself demonstrating that you have indeed done your homework.
  • Follow up! Your work is not done after the interview. Companies have to screen through a large number of candidates through of these hackathons. You may not get a response for several days. Make sure you follow up. Be persistent but not annoying.

Want to hack and get hired? Choose from our list of upcoming challenges and hackathons, and land your dream job. To get started, why don’t you sign up for our PayU appathon, HackerHunt or IndiHack? Register soon and get ahead!

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Bharat Ramakrishna

Blogger. Part-time mathematics enthusiast. Loves esoteric and quirky things. Bibliophile. Has a wide range of interests including playing chess and pool, juggling and creating puzzles of fiendish difficulty. Grammar Nazi.