In my last essay, I discussed how to land a software developer interview. This week, I’ll discuss how you should prepare for that interview once you’ve been offered one.
Interviews in the technology field are typically nerve-wracking and unpredictable. However, you can take efforts to alleviate many of these feelings.
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What might I expect in terms of questions?
In the tech business, interviews are far from uniform, which I prefer to think of as a good thing. This keeps things fresh and allows you to demonstrate your abilities in new ways each time.
This comprises the questions you’ll most likely be asked during your interview, but don’t be concerned. There are a number of frequent questions that will assist you in getting ready for your special day.
These questions, in my opinion, can be divided into two categories: company-specific and situational (hypothetical).
Hypothetical (situational) questions
These questions will most likely focus on your work style, recent successes, and technical expertise. The following subjects are likely to be questioned:
- Please tell me about a moment when you had to deal with a particularly difficult bug. How did you get it to work? What was the end result?
- Do you like to collaborate (pair) with others or work independently?
- What features of the programming language do you enjoy the most?
- Which of the language’s new features do you utilize the most, and why?
- Describe the normal project workflow for your team. What do you find appealing about it?
Remember to keep as optimistic as possible. While the interviewer is sincerely interested in your comments, they are also on the lookout for any indicators of negativity or difficulties that you might bring to their current team dynamic.
Avoid disparaging a piece of technology you’ve utilized in the past. Instead, make a positive spin on your reaction.
Let’s take a look at each step of the interview process now that you know what some frequent questions are and what aspects to include in your responses. The phone screen is the first step.
“Tell me about yourself,” first and foremost.
If a company is interested in you after you apply, the initial step is normally to set up a phone interview. This is usually a rather informal discussion with a member of HR.
You should expect them to inquire about your work experience, future plans, and, most significantly, why you are applying for a position with their organization.
Just because this round of the interview is usually easier than the others doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for it. Here are a few questions to think about:
Please tell me a little about yourself.
This is an excellent opportunity to give your “elevator pitch.” This will almost certainly be one of the first questions you are asked, and it can set the tone for the rest of the interview.
If you have a tendency to speak quickly, take a deep breath and attempt to speak slowly and clearly. The following are some points to include in your response:
- You and the company have the same ethos or interests.
- What piques your interest in software development?
- Future objectives that (hopefully) this organization can assist in achieving (that is, technical and professional growth)
What is a recent project that you are particularly proud of?
The interviewer isn’t only interested in your technical accomplishments, as is the case with most of these queries. They’re also searching for signs that you can communicate well, are dependable, and would get along with the rest of the team.
Try to be enthusiastic and provide complete answers to questions without talking too much. The following is a useful framework for answering these types of questions:
- Give a brief summary of the project and the problem it seeks to solve.
- Mention the tools you used to complete this project.
- Any indicators that show a beneficial impact should be shared (like timesaving metrics, open-source contributors, number of active users)
Why are you considering leaving your current employer?
This could be one of the more difficult questions to respond to. Make sure you have a great response prepared for this question before the interview, as it can reveal a lot about a candidate in a short amount of time.
When answering this question, there are a few things you should avoid:
- Being negative. Any potentially unfavorable factor may be turned into a good.
- Discussing compensation and benefits.
One of the finest solutions to this question, in my opinion, is, to be honest, and say that you are seeking something fresh. That is an entirely acceptable response!
I’d just add your curiosity about new challenges, passion for the firm, or a piece of technology you know this company employs to this response.
I’m not sure which programming language to use.
It’s a good idea to have a decent idea of the programming language you’ll use during the interview before you start preparing for the other phases of the interview process.
When it comes to this subject, I have some easy advice: stick to what you know and accept what you are comfortable with.
In our field, it is fairly usual to wish to use (or learn) numerous languages. When preparing for an interview, though, it is advisable to focus on just one.
This can help you move your focus away from worrying about which language you’ll use and toward challenges you’ve solved using the language you’re most familiar with.
You’re ready to take on the technical phone interview once you’ve decided which programming language you’ll use.
During your pair programming session, use Excel.
Pairing programs with a member of the team you would work with is one of the most prevalent ways to assess your abilities.
This session normally lasts 20 to 30 minutes, and the problem you’re presented with is something you’ll encounter on the job at this organization.
If you have a session like this, there are a few things to bear in mind:
- Keep your cool and remember that you’re here for a reason; they like you and see potential in you.
- Even if you believe you’re talking too much, speak out loud as much as possible. In these exercises, it’s preferable to over communicate than to sit in silence pecking away at the keyboard.
- They’re on your side, so don’t be scared to ask questions! The interviewer most likely left out crucial data on purpose to assess your ability to communicate with other developers.
Finally, try to remember that this organization sees potential in you on both a human and technical level. Be yourself and self-assured!
If the company’s approach does not involve a pair-programming exercise, another typical activity is to assign you a project or a set of challenges to address on your own.
Without any pressure, practice interviewing.
Interviews, as I have stated, are difficult to prepare for. However, I am a firm believer that practicing, practicing, practicing is the greatest approach to ensure a larger possibility of success.
Have you ever practiced a large school presentation in front of your friends or family? You may still be apprehensive, but it will make you feel more at ease when speaking about your issue.
Interviewing is a presentation in and of itself, and the concept of practice runs is crucial. In the year 2020, the majority of interviews will be conducted remotely, making mock interviews feel more authentic.
If you know someone who works in the software sector, I’d suggest asking them if they’d be prepared to give you an hour or so each week to conduct these fake interviews. Even better if they currently hold a position similar to the one you’re interviewing for.
If that is not something you can do, you can always check online for interview questions. For example, Google is your friend when, for example, you want to learn questions about react js interview questions.
These platforms also give you greater flexibility, allowing you to avoid having to schedule time with someone you know.
Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but I’m convinced that as you have more of them under your belt, your confidence and comfort level will grow.
In conclusion, if you’re reading this because you’re about to begin interview preparation, congratulations! I hope that my suggestions may assist you in your planning and mental state as you approach your big day.
Finally, remember to relax, take a deep breath, and believe in yourself. Everyone you interview with sees potential in your abilities. You’ve got it!