Advice / Career Paths / Career Stories

What Does It Take to Ace a Fintech Interview? This Lead Recruiter Shares Her Tips (and She’s Hiring!)

Cheryl Perea, Broadway Technology
Cheryl Perea, a lead recruiter at Broadway Technology. | Courtesy of Margaret Fox Photography

When Cheryl Perea interviewed for a research assistant role at a boutique staffing agency, she walked out with a job—but not that one. Instead, she says, “the owner offered me an opportunity to build their IT recruiting business.”

That was the start of what would become a long and fulfilling career as a recruiter. “I found that not only did I love recruiting, but I was also very good at it,” she says. “It’s a very rewarding profession. I’ve helped so many people find new careers and put them in a position where they can thrive.”

Today, Perea is a lead recruiter for the fintech firm Broadway Technology, where she's always looking to grow the tech team.

Here, she shares which roles she’s trying to fill, what Broadway Technology candidates can expect in an interview, and why she loves being in nature.

What was recruiting like when you first started your career?

At the time, I made more than 100 phone calls per day to anyone and everyone I could find within my target audience. Of course, today, we have technology that makes finding candidates a lot easier. But that “hustle” style of recruiting I learned in those early days set the tone for my career and I'm extremely proud of my 25 years as a recruiter in tech.

What attracted you to the role at Broadway Technology? How did you know the company would be a good fit?

I heard about Broadway while I was recruiting for an Austin-based prop trading firm. I knew them as a company with a very high bar for talent and had heard it was difficult to recruit people away from them.

Everyone I interviewed with at Broadway had a great sense of humor and was clearly smart and passionate about the work. I was particularly drawn to the collaborative culture of the company, where each person is encouraged to make an impact and voice their opinion. I truly found my people at Broadway.

Why is now an exciting time to work in fintech, and specifically at Broadway Technology?

Broadway is growing and profitable, and led by an executive team that truly cares about their employees. While fintech is a hot market, fixed income doesn’t experience the same rollercoaster effects when the market is as volatile as it is currently.

What roles are you currently trying to fill?

We’re always looking for technologists, such as front-end or back-end software engineers, trading application support engineers, and software implementation engineers. These roles are evergreen and some of our hardest to fill.

We understand you built the recruiting program from the ground up. What are a few things that set it apart?

When I started eight years ago, Broadway was well known within the fintech and fixed income industries but not so much in mainstream tech. To combat this, my team and I spent the first few years building our brand and our database of qualified candidates.

If you apply to a role at Broadway we strive to make sure that you receive a reply or an acknowledgement that we reviewed your resume. If you interview and are not selected for the role, we want you to walk away with a favorable impression of the people you met and the overall candidate experience.

What can candidates do to prepare and set themselves apart during the application and interview process?

Our interview process is collaborative and focuses on getting a sense for how you think and problem solve. Therefore, it’s important to be vocal and explain your thought process. You can expect to receive feedback during an interview and how you handle it gives us insight into how well you’ll work or succeed in our environment.

What do you like best about working as a recruiter?

I love the excitement of hiring someone who is so elated that they are joining Broadway. I love getting lost in a search that yields tons of interesting candidates. Finally, I love being the face of Broadway and the first person most people meet as they start their interview journey.

What career advice do you have for those just starting out as a recruiter?

Start at an agency where you can learn how recruiting works from the ground up. Get involved in finding new clients, maintaining existing business relationships, sourcing, interviewing, and negotiating. After every interview, ask yourself what went well and what didn’t, and how you can improve the candidate’s experience. Recruiting is a game of constant self-examination and improvement.

How do you maintain work-life balance?

I make sure that I am out in nature every day, whether it’s hiking, mountain biking, gardening, or spending quality time with the residents at Central Texas Pig Rescue, which is an animal sanctuary for abused and neglected pot belly pigs.