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Women at Work

This Master Interviewer Has 5 Tips For You

From returning to work after an illness to re-upping your skills.

Martina Lauchengco, Operating Partner at Costanoa Ventures, has spent over twenty years as a marketing and product executive at top companies. And those top companies include Netscape, Microsoft, Loudcloud, and now Costanoa Ventures where she works with fast-growing startups to build their teams. Martina has interviewed thousands of candidates and knows just what it takes to nail an interview.

Martina sat down with a small group of PowerToFly VIP's and answered all of their questions regarding the interview process. Do you want access to exclusive chats with women like Martina? Click here to become a PowerToFly VIP and join our community of women here to empower one another.


Q: What are your best interview prep tips?

ML: Make sure you do the work before you get there. Go to the site, review the products, and get to know their competitors space.

Q: What was it like interviewing at Microsoft?

ML: I really liked interviewing at Microsoft because I was able to learn so much. You had to be mentally on the entire time because you were trying to go through an exercise of pushing someone else through their mental paces, and assessing their capacity and talent beyond what they could talk about. It required being nimble, and thinking just as much as the person you were interviewing.

Q: How would you handle addressing technical skills that have stagnated?

ML: Take the opportunity to teach yourself new skills. Know how you like to learn, and go do it - whether it's the classroom, self taught, or another way. Different disciplines have different requirements around whether or not you need to true up on things. If you're on the coding side, you would have to be current on those technologies. If you're on the marketing side, there's a lot in the marketing technology stack that has evolved very rapidly that you would want to spend some time retraining on.

Q: What would you say if you had to stop working for a year due to health issues?

ML: First of all, it is far more important to step out of work and take care of your health than to work through the issues - and so I would spin it that way. Something like, "I spent a year dealing with my health issue so I could be my complete self when I returned to work."

Q: How do you balance being assertive and being perceived as forceful?

ML: I think this is a perpetual balance for women, and there is no single right answer - it's very contextual, and it has to do with the environment, and the moment you are in. This "balance" has just as much to do with who's in the room and how they are perceiving the information as well as how you are actually acting.

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How These Companies Are Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.

That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.

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Autodesk, Inc.

How Embracing What She Doesn’t Know Led Autodesk’s Arezoo Riahi to a Fulfilling Career in DEI

Arezoo Riahi isn't a big fan of the "fake it till you make it" approach. She'd rather ask for the help she needs and learn from it.

Autodesk's Director of Diversity and Belonging joined the design software company from the nonprofit world after a long career in connecting people from different cultures. While her work had been deeply rooted in DEI values, there were certain parts of the strategy-building aspects to her new role that she wasn't sure about.

"If you know it, show up like you know it. If you don't know it, you shouldn't fake it. And Autodesk didn't shame me for not knowing everything. They helped me, and the entire team, by providing the resources that we needed, bringing in outside expertise to help teach us when we were in new territory," says Arezoo, who has been at Autodesk for three years now, during which she's been promoted twice into her current role.

We sat down with Arezoo to hear more about her path into DEI work, what she thinks the future of that work must include, and what advice she has for women looking to build fulfilling careers, from knowing what you don't know and beyond.

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LogMeIn Inc.

Behind-the-Scenes: Sales Interview Process at LogMeIn

Get an inside look at the interview process for sales roles at LogMeIn, one of the largest SaaS companies providing remote work technology, from Michael Gagnon, Senior Manager of Corporate Account Executive Sales.

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Procore Technologies Inc

How Being an Open Member of the LGBTQIA+ Community Has Helped Procore’s Alex Zinik Overcome Imposter Syndrome at Work

Alex Zinik wasn't surprised that she started her career in education—she decided she would become a teacher when she was just in third grade.

She was surprised while working as a paraeducator in the school system and preparing to become a special education teacher, she discovered that it didn't feel quite right. "I didn't know if that's what I really wanted to do," she recalls.

So a friend suggested she take a job during her off summers at construction software company Procore. She thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out this new challenge, and if she needed to, she could go back to the school district once the summer was over.

"Five summers later, I'm still here!" she says, smiling. "And I see myself here for many more years. I just fell in love with the company, the culture, and with the career growth opportunities I was presented with."

As part of our Pride month celebrations, Alex, currently the Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO at Procore, sat down with us to share how a common fear—the fear of being found out—underlay the imposter syndrome she felt when pivoting to an industry in which she lacked experience, and the anxiety she often felt before coming out to her friends and family about her sexuality.

Read on for her insight on overcoming negative thought patterns, being yourself, and paying it forward.

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CSL

The Outlook That Helps CSL’s Paula Manchester Invest in Herself and Her Team

If you told Paula Manchester that you weren't good at math, she wouldn't believe you.

"That's a global indictment," she says. "'I'm not good at math' implies that you don't have the ability to nurture that muscle. And then I'd ask what kind of math? There's a lot to math."

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