What’s the one thing that’s better than securing a great job in a fast growing technology company where you can thrive and develop your career with the latest cutting edge technologies? Well that job could be located in a tax-free paradise where you could be sipping mudslides on pure white sandy beaches, gazing out to the still, clear blue waters of the Caribbean Sea with an enviable lifestyle and an ultra high standard of living…
That’s right. While your fellow tech heads are stuck with the gloomy city life and the morning subway crush, you could be jet skiing or paddle boarding into work and dining out on freshly caught fish and lobster with drinks at sunset, where every weekend is a Caribbean holiday.
The secret is starting to get out. The Cayman Islands, more routinely known for its outsized financial industry is fast becoming one of the world’s hottest- if you’ll pardon the pun – technology centres. It’s all down to the growing vibe in the tech sector as government incentives to attract fast growing technology companies to our shores has resulted in a sharp uptick in the number of job opportunities for experienced and qualified IT professionals .. from software developers and systems architects, right across to network engineers & IT sales.
If you’ve got the skills all laid out on your CV and you are fortunate to get an interview then let me tell you that you’ve already nailed the hardest part. But let’s not let such a great opportunity slip by. It’s time to ace that interview and secure a technology job in the Cayman Islands.
- First things first. Get your portfolio in shape by getting your GitHub account up to date (most relevant for software candidates). Prospective employers are going to want to see your coding abilities in action so show what you can do and make sure there’s plenty of links on your CV (& share with recruiter to give to client prior to interview). It’s essential to showcase as much of your skills as you can and the best way to do that is to keep your account current and update it as you learn new skills. Be ready to speak about these projects within your interview.
- While we’re on the subject, your CV should contain details of all your RELEVANT extra curricular activities. The tech community in Cayman is ever evolving, and companies are keen to see individuals who are passionate about technology both in and outside work .. Meetup group participation, tech volunteering – it’s all relevant! Be prepared to speak about this within your interview. It’s important to show your thirst for knowledge and ambition to move outside your comfort zone, however it’s fair to say that if you want to land a position in a particular field here you are going to need that relevant experience.
- For the interview itself, you don’t need to stray too far from the classic Why, What, How framework. Before an employer in Cayman will be ready to take a chance on you, they are going to need to be convinced that you not only have what it takes to do the job, but you’ll be able to make the transition to Island life and that you will not be looking to jump back on the first plane home. From the employer’s perspective, they are going to come across a number of suitable candidates but they will always be asking themselves if this person can make a go of things in Cayman I’d definitely suggest doing plenty of research about what life is like in the Cayman Islands and rope in any friends you have on Island to help give you that inside track. Essentially you will need to articulate why you want to make a life in the Cayman Islands and if you have kids, how you think they will settle in. In my opinion this is one of the biggest considerations so make sure you give this plenty of thought before an interview.
- When the interview actually takes place you can expect to be in a video Skype scenario or a conference call, so don’t expect to be flown in for a meeting. And the interview might go on for a while longer than you might otherwise be used to. Plan for up to an hour and a half, with representatives from both the HR team as well as a number of key business units. It’s far easier for a panel to assess your tech skills in this kind of setting than your personal skills so you should expect an element of probing in this direction. A good trick here is the STAR technique where for any given scenario or question you can come back with a Situation, a Task an Action and a Result so you can demonstrate how you have successfully applied yourself in that particular example.
- Another aspect of how your responses to interview questions will be perceived is if you are asked about how you see your career progressing. When you are asked that question then you should really respond with an appreciation of the underlying technology scene here, which means don’t say you plan to be a manager at a major multinational tech company because those kinds of opportunities simply don’t exist here (for now at least.. who knows what the future may bring here!).
- Finally, just a few words on presentation. Just because it’s a long distance video interview, don’t forget to put your best foot forward in terms of looking the part. Be presentable and professional and show you mean business. You’ve come this far, now ace that interview and I’ll see you on the beach.