We vs They

I’ve been interviewing a lot these days at Shopify, so I’ve started to pick up on certain patterns I see when talking to people in interviews. One that I started noticing is how people talk about their past experiences.

Some people will say: “They were doing marketing websites for various clients” and others will say: “We were doing marketing websites for various clients”. It’s a subtle difference, but to me it highlights the level of investment the person had into their work. Did they have a sense of ownership? Were they allowed to make decisions?

In a way, saying “we” means you consider yourself part of the team. It means you were engaged in making decisions and that you had an important role that company or project.

This is just a small example, but the way you say things can often tell people more about you that what you’re saying. Noticing these details will make you a better interviewer.