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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.

popular

Business Casual for Women - Summer Edition

With Instagram Feeds From Your Favorite Style Influencers

Is anyone else holding their breath for summer to arrive? I know I can't wait to dust off my summer wardrobe.

As the seasons change, we have an opportunity to switch things up and have some fun liberating our personal style! But business casual for women in the summer can get confusing. Men can rely on the standard khakis plus polo shirt summer work vibe, but for women it's not so straightforward. Even less so when you need an outfit that works just as well during a sweaty morning commute as it does in a freezing office with the thermostat set way too low.

So how can you create a summer look that's breathable, comfortable, professional, and modern? I'm here to help you navigate those questionable waters!

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Inspiration

The Problem With "Boys Will Be Boys"

How It Ends Up Hurting Women And Men

The phrase "boys will be boys" makes my blood boil. But I realized when I sat down to write this piece that I didn't know exactly why.

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Women in Finance: Help Us Understand the Gaps by Completing This 5-Minute Survey

Although nearly 50% of employees in the finance industry are women, 85% of finance executives are men.

We want to learn from the experiences of women working in the industry - and the perspectives of women working outside it - to help finance leaders make real strides towards gender parity at all levels.

Have 5 minutes to help? Share your opinions in the anonymous survey below. (You can access it here if it doesn't load.)


Create your own user feedback survey

What Is a Competitive Salary - And How To Negotiate One

You see an ad for your dream job. And by some miracle, you actually have all 20 of the preferred qualifications!

So you hurriedly scroll to the bottom of the publication to see what the salary range and benefits are… only to find that "competitive salary" is all that's listed.

What the heck does competitive salary actually mean?!

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