Expert Q&A with Recruiter Kathleen Cardozo

expert interview kathy cardozoWe know it’s a tough job market out there – whether you’re a recent college grad or a current student who’s starting to think ahead to future employment opportunities.

That’s why we decided to sit down Kathleen Cardozo, the current Director of Recruiting at AdRoll, and a former recruiter for companies like Google, Hearsay Social and more.  Below, she answers our questions on what young people can do to get noticed in a competitive recruiting environment.

We hope you find them helpful, no matter what stage of the employment process you’re in!


collegefeed: As the Lead Worldwide Marketing Recruiter for Google, what did you look for in candidates?

Kathleen Cardozo: Over the last 15 years, I have had the good fortune of recruiting for a variety of companies – small start-ups, mid-sized companies, as well as huge companies like Google, Dolby, Palm and Check Point.

While all companies evaluate candidates differently, there are a few common requirements among the companies: people who are smart, passionate and experienced in the industry, as well as those who are passionate and experienced in the company’s desired role and communication style.  In addition, more and more companies are evaluating candidates based upon their cultural fit.

Google is no different.  Google assesses candidates across these criteria, as well as on their creativity and analytical ability.  In addition, interview evaluation criteria will vary by function within the company and level of the position.

In order to prepare for the possible questions, review the job description.  Then, begin to map your experience with the job’s requirements.  Think about questions that an interviewer might ask, and then begin to craft the best possible answers.  Practice your answers.  Being able to communicate in a succinct fashion is an indicator of much more than a good communication style – it is an indicator that you know your craft, that you can quickly communicate your responsibilities and accomplishments, that you have the ability to summarize effectively, and that you can highlight what is important.

collegefeed: Now that you work for a smaller start-up, can you speak to why new graduates should consider applying to young companies in addition to the tech giants?

Kathleen Cardozo: There are huge benefits to working at both large established companies, as well as small start-ups.  A large company offers you the ability to see how a company functions from the top down – including things like organizational structure, cross-functional collaboration, product development process, etc.

In a larger, more established company, you’ll also likely have access to a number of more seasoned colleagues who are in the same discipline – marketing, sales, finance, etc.  You can learn a great deal from them.  In addition, at larger, more mature companies, your role will most likely be fairly well defined, making it clear what you need to do to succeed.

The small start-up, on the other hand, is more chaotic.  While each role is defined in general terms, you tend to have broad idea of what you’re responsible for, but you’re constantly jumping in to help wherever the need is within the business.  Depending upon the start-up, the pace is typically extremely fast, very exciting, full of energy and constantly changing.

There is a lot to be gained from either environment – you really can’t go wrong with either.

collegefeed: How could a new college graduate get your attention?

Kathleen Cardozo: There are a number of ways to catch the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager.  Here are a couple suggestions:

  1. Make sure your resume is well written and aligns with the role you are applying for.  Typically, only 3% of the resumes submitted fit a job profile.  It’s OK to have a resume tailored to the desired role.

  2. See if you have a contact within the company and reach out to him/her for an introduction.  Typically, companies have employee referral programs.  They look to employees to recommend people they know.  If someone internally is willing to vouch for you, it goes a long way.

  3. Reach out to the hiring manager or recruiter via LinkedIn to let him/her know you are interested in the role

  4. See if there are alums from your school that are at the company.  Connect with them via LinkedIn as well.

collegefeed: What should current college students be doing now to prepare themselves for future hiring opportunities?

Kathleen Cardozo: I strongly suggest that students “try before they buy.”  If you have any idea of the type of work that you ultimately want to do, get an internship or job in that industry or function.

During the college years, you can sample different industries/functions and then either cross them off your list or decide you want to learn more and pursue them with vigor.


We couldn’t agree with Kathy more!  If you’re ready to start sampling different options, use collegefeed’s “Personal Career Assistant” to create a personal profile and connect with employers who are looking for candidates just like you.  Then, stay tuned to our new blog, as we’ll be serving up even more helpful employment advice for young career-seekers in the future.

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