2020 has been a major year of change for me in a lot of areas. Career-wise, after 3+years of being a co-founder of a recruitment startup, I moved in-house. In the old days, moving in-house means that you are burnt out (or can’t bill) and are seeking the comfort in a job with fewer demands. However, while the billing pressure is no longer there, being in-house is not all rainbow and unicorn. Indeed, you will be facing a lot more challenges (and opportunities!) there.

While it is probably only the beginning of my in-house career, I want to recap and…


So, you took the time to perfect your CV/cover letter, brief your recruiter on what you are looking for, and have possibly passed some technical assessments.

You’ve done basically everything you need to win an interview, and you are now invited to the first (phone) interview. It‘s time to give yourself a pat at the back and get ready for the next, and more important step, first interview.

Research, Research, Research!

You probably have done some researches on the company and/or have heard quite a bit about the company through your recruiter; however, what get you interested or get you through the door…


The competition for great software engineers/designer/tech candidates is stronger than ever, companies are fighting for great candidates through competitive offers, perks, titles, etc.; however, while companies spend a lot of resources on these, they forget (or fail) to do the most important thing —to let the candidate know that they/you are awesome (and why).

Marketing yourself probably is the first step to get you through the door and to set the right tone for the rest of the recruitment process. …


Doing good deed has always been one of my aspirations. Even though I am neither a doctor, a nurse (or a human right lawyer), I still believe that there are things that can be do as I came across the idea of effective altruism a while ago.

Humanitarian work is probably a highly misunderstood field (there are more than doctors and nurses!); the work itself is not all glorious / rainbow and unicorn. When people and competition for power is in place, there is politics; when there is politics, things get murky Nevertheless, it is still very respectable effort.

After…


Recently, I am working on updating my CV, and I was surprised by how difficult it is to find a (free) template that I like and that would work on Google Docs!

During the 3 days, I browsed through many different site, and I was tricked so many times by “create your CV for free” sites. Nearly all the templates that are nice are not free (which in understandable), and, to be honest, most of them are only nice if you have exactly the same content length and/or graphical information.

I occasionally came across some templates that looks nice and…


We have seen many good candidates who were dropped because they did not know how to show off their skills in their technical challenge, or made some “stupid mistakes/decisions” when they were tackling their technical take-home assessment.

When we were designing our own Terminal 1 assessments (by the way, you can see the perks for completing the assessment here), we designed a detailed set of grading and submission review guidelines to help our candidates thrive. We believe that the technical assessment should be a way for everyone to show off their skills and what they can deliver.

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Last night, we had a farewell dinner with our first engineer hire.

Most people underestimate the importance of a good goodbye. People put a lot of emphasis on saying hello, but very few think much of the goodbyes.

One of the moments that impressed me the most at my previous team was how the co-founder announced that I was departing. Instead of just stating the fact (and sorry to see me go), he also told the team that he was happy to see that they nurtured an entrepreneur.

You should be proud that your people / your teammate are moving forward and doing something bigger.

To date, I still think about that moment from time to time…


“I feel like I am eating in an adult’s restaurant now.”

I told my boyfriend when we were talking about how we felt a little bit “out of place” when we were dining at Uformel in Copenhagen (don’t get me wrong, it is a really cool place to eat at).


More and more companies are using HackerRank challenge to process their engineering candidates. If you are not familiar with HackerRank, it provides competitive programming challenges where developers compete by trying to program according to provided specifications. The submission of the participants are graded according to the accuracy of its output.

Given it’s nature, there are many inherent issues if company relies too heavily on HackerRank for screening. HackerRank is like your standardized test — it tests you more on your “examination skills” than your substantive knowledge.

I came across a Linkedin article that had eloquently put (one of) the major…


Helsinki is just about 2 hours away from Tallinn, which made it a good day trip destination from Tallinn (and vice versa).

We originally did not plan to do the day trip, but after spending one day in Tallinn, we believe that may not be a bad idea. After checking the ticket next day, we decided to go ahead.

We took an early ferry (8:00am) on the Viking line and returned at around 18:00pm. The round trip ticket was around EUR30/pax. The ferry to Helsinki was a very comfortable cruise ship.

When I travel, I prefer walking over taking transportation…

Sara Choi

A lawyer-turned-entrepreneur with strong passion in growing communities. Avid reader, knowledge and experience seeker.

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