An HR exec is always impressed by the same thing in job candidates — and too many people don’t do it

    Capital One HR exec Meghan Welch shared with Business Insider her best tip for getting a job at one of the biggest banks in the US. She said she is always impressed when candidates come in having already spoken with current Capital One employees. “There is nobody truer an ambassador for a company than the people who work there,” she told Business Insider.

Getting hired is all about who you know.

It’s an old cliché. But it’s also true, in Capital One HR exec Meghan Welch’s experience.

She said she’s always impressed when applicants come in for interviews having already connected with other employees of the tenth biggest bank in the US.

“I love to know if folks that I’m interviewing know other people who work at Capital One,” the bank’s chief diversity and inclusion officer told Business Insider. “I think the very best indicator of why someone is applying for a role.”

Welch, who has worked for the bank for 19 years, said interviews aren’t just for recruiters to pepper applicants with questions. She said candidates should always extensively vet businesses during the hiring process, as well.

“We do a lot of interviews,” she said. “There’s a reason for that. It’s as much for us to assess the talent coming in the door as it is to have them assessing us.”

And part of that assessment should involve connecting with current employees.

Welch encourages candidates to reach out to Capital One employees by leveraging their networks or sending cold emails. That way, she said candidates can get a “true picture” of the company, its values, and its focus on the customer.

She added they’ll also learn more about any potential downsides that could prevent a good fit.

“Employees probably know about the good and the bad,” Welch said. “We don’t all go home and say rosy things about our company ever single day. Everyone has a bad day.”

So if you want a job at Capital One, Welch said it’s important to find a way to contact a current employee and get the details on what it’s like to work there.

“There is nobody truer an ambassador for a company than the people who work there,” she said. “I love to interview folks who say, ‘Yes I know a lot of people who work at Capital One.’ I feel they truly know what they’re getting into.”