Sweet! You’ve landed an interview for the software or tech job everybody wants.
But hold up! You’ve still got work to do. Yes, your skills are in demand. But you need to remember if it really is a great job, you're going to have stiff competition.
Here’s some handy interview advice from current technical hiring managers to get you started.
If you’re a junior developer, get a GitHub account and learn the GitHub command lines. That’s it. That’s the interview advice. It’s simple but important.
The better visibility you have in your tech network, the better chance you have of hearing about exciting roles and projects.
Make sure your work is clean, consistent and well commented.
The best code works in the fewest lines. If your code feels too long, then it probably is. Don’t try and spread yourself too thin - choose one core language and know it well. But that doesn’t mean ONLY learning one language. It just means you need a core competency, as well as the extra strings to your bow.
Google is your friend - there’s just too much to remember and experienced developers STILL Google every day.
Know your coding roadmap - don’t blurt out in an interview you’re going to just start pushing pixels the moment you get the green light. Explain how you plan your code journey and list your functions before you build - it proves you’re an employable pro, not just a code basher.
Before answering any tech question, always explain how you’ll first check if your solution already exists on sites such as GitLab - it proves you can work smart and not just hard. (But don’t forget to underline how you won’t just copy and paste code from sites unless you KNOW what it is and does).
Interview advice for all technical jobs
Don't be put off by bad job specs
As you’ve probably noticed, job specs are increasingly asking for two, three and sometimes four tech roles for one salary; they want you to scope, design, code, test, support and lead all at once.
You know this isn’t possible. We know it isn’t possible. But that doesn’t mean you should thumb your nose at the role. Like your CV, jobs are often more than a written synopsis.
Most dev and technical managers are busy people. They just don’t have the time to write realistic job specs and it’s easier to give the role to non-techies and see what comes back.
To give yourself the best chance of finding the right role, you’re going to have to kiss more than one frog.
Technical tests can be a pain, but they’re here to stay.
You’ve been working in the industry for years, it’s obvious you know your C# from an Exchange server. But even if you know you can ace tech questions, still be courteous.
Nobody wants to work with an arrogant team member. Ensure you’re in control of the hiring process by making it your role to lose at every step.
Be honest about your skills
Learning on the job is a great attitude. But 9 times out of 10 you’ll be found out in the interview if your CV is writing cheques your skillset can’t cash. Always qualify your ability, don’t be afraid to say I don’t know, and always have an example up your sleeve of how you’ve researched similar knowledge gap problems in the past.
Soft skills make a difference.
You might be the best coder in the business. And yes, some companies will put up with quirks to sell high-profit software, but few will risk team morale by hiring an ar$ehole.
If you’re not naturally a ‘people-person’, that’s fine. But at least have some examples of when you've been a team player in a difficult situation. It proves you can play well with others when required.
Is that all the interview advice you need? Absolutely not.
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