Event insights for candidates

SMR | | 3 min read

We recently sent out a survey to attendees of our most recent SMR event to understand how it went. We’re always looking to do what we can to make SMR as awesome as possible and so we’re always keen to hear what people thought of the weekend.

Within this information we also find opportunities to share insights with future attendees in order to help them prepare and ultimately to find their dream job.

“Failing to prepare, is preparing to have an awkward conversation with an employer”

– SMR employee, 2017

The first thing a candidate needs to do if they’re looking to get hired at SMR is to prepare. This doesn’t just mean updating your CV and printing them off – although you should definitely be doing that – but we’re talking about conducting some excessive research into attending companies.

At the upcoming event we’re planning to accommodate over 200+ companies – but not all these will be hiring for your position – and you might only favour 5-6 of those that are. So it’s a bloody good idea to research your top picks in the lead up to the event. Below we’ve compiled a list of facts that our companies will expect you to know if you really want a job there.

  • Where they’re based
  • The sector they’re in
  • The products/services they offer
  • The products/services they’re planning on launching
  • Their mission
  • The tech they use

If you’re able to collate all these facts on companies that you’re interested in, and then express this knowledge in a conversation with them, you’ll stand a great chance of (at least) getting yourself an interview, if not receiving a job offer there and then – yes, this has happened several times at previous SMR events.

“Confidence is a key ingredient in success – but too much, and you’ll over-egg the pudding”

– Bear, SMR office dog, 2017

Now when we say “be confident”, we’re not suggesting you go in all guns blazing and scare the companies off, but one of the biggest regrets our candidates have shared with us is that fear got in the way of them going up and introducing themselves to companies.

We try our best to make SMR as informal as possible, but we understand that going up and introducing yourself to the founder of a company that you really want to work for can often be a little intimidating.

Unfortunately, we can’t simply tell you not to be nervous for all nerves to then disappear, but what we will do is provide some helpful tips as to how you can go about boosting your confidence to go up and speak to the CTO of your desired company.


Yes, we’ve mentioned this once already, but it really is important. Not only will this give you the right things to say, but knowing that you’ve spent the past week researching this company may spur you to go on and wow them with your knowledge.

Team up

Batman & Robin, Han Solo & Chewbacca, Mac & Cheese – sometimes the best things come in two’s. So if you need a helping hand, why not team up with a fellow candidate. Meet them in the bar or chill-out area, and once you’ve found someone, tackle the event together. Candidates in the past have told us having a fellow candidate by their side provided them with the encouragement they needed. And we’ve even had attendees meet their future business partners in our chill-out areas.

Dutch courage

If all else fails, grab yourself a beer before going out to speak to companies, but not too many, we don’t want to spoil that pudding now.

“Follow your dreams up”

– Previous SMR candidate, 2017>

One of the last, and best tips we could give you is to follow up with your favourite companies after the event. They’ll have met many a great candidate over the weekend, and although you’ll have stood out (if you followed our advice) you won’t be the only one.

In order to refresh the memory of your favoured companies it’s worth dropping them an email on Monday, letting them know how awesome it was to chat (but only if it was, there’s no need to lie). It’s up to you from here how you word your email, but just the fact you’ve sent something over shows how determined you are to get this job, and trust us when we tell you that companies love an eager candidate.

Well there you have it tech fans, we’ve prepared the event, we’ve given you tips – we’re even giving you free beer and coffee – now it’s up to you to go out there and get yourself your dream job. And if you need any reminding of this advice during the event, be sure to ask anyone in a Grey SMR top, we’re always keen to help our candidates.