Insider's Guide to Getting a Job at AOL
Cutting-edge. Creative. Dynamic. Flexible. Fast-paced. Fun. These are just some of the words AOL employees used during recent interviews to describe the culture and environment where they work.
Employees also referred to AOL as "a place for game changers and people who want to take their skills to the next level" and an environment where "people work hard and play hard."
When asked about the perks AOL offers, employees proudly mentioned the onsite gym, outdoor trail, game room, day-care center and all the free AOL-branded merchandise like T-shirts and pens.
But what does it take to get hired by AOL? I recently interviewed Susan Amori, director of Recruiting Operations, to learn more about what the company looks for when recruiting talent.
Q. What qualities do you look for in hires, and where do you find candidates?
A. We look for people that clearly demonstrate a passion for what they do and get excited about the opportunity to work in a creative environment. Most of our jobs are filled by people moving internally, employee referrals and social networking. We like to have the exposure on the main job boards, but when it comes down to it we find people through our networks.
Q. What types of interview questions do you ask and what types of responses are you looking for?
A. If you're interviewing for a technical position, we'll run you through technical problems to evaluate your expertise and get a sense of how you create solutions. Non-technical positions focus on behavioral questions to give candidates an opportunity to demonstrate how they've been innovative in their work, interacted with others and challenged themselves. All candidates meet with an AOL Cultural Ambassador in the interview process, to assess how they align to our core AOL values.
Q. What's your favorite interview question and why?
A. 'Describe a time when you have really loved what you were doing at work,' or, 'What's the most fun you have had at work?' If a candidate really lights up around this question, that's a good sign.
Q. What advice do you have for people interested in applying to AOL?
A. Really consider how you can bring value to the role. Then, use your network to reach out to someone who works here to get their insight into our business and culture.
Q. What do you think makes AOL a great place to work?
A. There is never a dull moment. We are constantly improving what we do and how we do it. We challenge each other to do it better. The people are awesome, the benefits are tremendous and the company truly cares about helping others. We're not perfect, but perfect would be boring.
Note: In the interest of full disclosure, although our intention is to be unbiased, we must state that both the author and editors of this story are employed by AOL.
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Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers, has over fifteen years of experience in career management, recruiting, executive coaching, and organizational development.
Barbara partners with both Fortune 100 companies and individuals to deliver targeted programs focusing on resume development, job search strategies, networking, interviewing, salary negotiation skills, and online identity management.
She is the author of Happy About My Resume: 50 Tips For Building a Better Document to Secure a Brighter Future and #JOBSEARCHtweet and her award-winning resumes are featured in dozens of career-related publications.