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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.

Diversity & Inclusion

How To Handle Conversations on Race with Your Non-Black Coworkers

I sat in front of my CEO to discuss several complaints of racism. I was new to my role as a Culture Director. I was nervous about his reaction to the complaints. But I also knew he strongly supported developing this new department; I knew that he would take the right steps. So I was shocked when I heard him say sheepishly, "I don't know, Noelle...all of this stuff about racism. I just don't see it. I don't even see color. I'm pretty much color blind."

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Work From Home

Four Ways to Nail Your Next Virtual Interview: Recruiters at Relativity Share Their Tips

Living in the midst of a pandemic has brought about a whole host of changes and challenges for workplaces and employees. One of the most notable? Virtual interviewing. With most on-site interviews on hold for the foreseeable future, it's important that you be prepared to make a great first impression—virtually.

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For Employers

How Leaders Can Support Their Black Employees

A five-step framework for addressing systematic racism at work

The world has changed in the past few weeks.

We're watching corporations and organizations across the world come out in support of Black lives in droves. Many of those organizations are doing so for the first time in their history.

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popular

Looking for a Remote Job During COVID? 3 Talks to Watch

Women Founders & CEOs Share Their Tips

If you're anxious about looking for a new job right now, you're not alone. We've talked before about how you can land a job in the midst of COVID-19, but today we wanted to share advice from some of the experts who spoke at our inaugural Diversity Reboot Summit.

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For Employers

How Your Company Can Fight Racism— Inside & Outside the Workplace

Since the brutal murder of George Floyd, the demand to take a strong stance against racism has swept the nation.

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