5 Interview Tips to Help Developers Land Their Dream Job

February 14, 2017

11:20 am

Not all job interviews are equal. The more specific or technical information an applicant is required to master, the more intensely they get grilled before landing the high-paying gig that’s a perfect fit for their talent.

There are plenty of applicable tips to help would-be developers apply for the position they want. But don’t take my word for it: Tech.Co landed an interview with Tigran Sloyan, CEO of CodeFights. The company is a skills-based recruitment platform for developers, so Sloyan has the experience needed to offer some advice for that specific slice of tech worker, the job-searching developer.

Here are five interview tips, all straight from Sloyan, that’ll help developers land their dream job.

1: Practice With Real Interview Questions

“As a great developer you often think ‘this is what I do for a living and I am good at it,’ so it’s tempting to walk into an interview without much practice. The reality is, interview questions you face at most companies are very far away from your day job so make sure to do some research and practice using real questions that appear on interviews.”

CodeFights also announced the launch of their new “Interview Practice Mode” just hours ago, so developers looking for the type of specific technical questions Sloyan mentions here may want to check out the new resource, which can let them in on the questions asked by top tech companies.

2: Ask Plenty of Questions During the Interview

“Some engineers think that asking questions is a sign of poor skill or lack of understanding. In reality, it’s the opposite. Most questions during technical interviews are intentionally vague and the goal of the interviewer is to see if you can ask the right questions before diving in. The worst thing you can do during a technical interview is to solve something that you weren’t asked to solve. So ask questions until you are absolutely sure you have all the details.”

3: Research the Company’s Interview Process

“Use sites like Glassdoor and your own network to find out the interview process at the company. For some companies, you interview 4-5 people onsite and they all have to say ‘Yes’ for you to be hired. For others, you still interview 4-5 people but those are all from different teams so as long as one says ‘Yes,’ then you are in. Knowing what you are dealing with and what the thinking process is behind the scenes will drastically improve your chances.”

4: Apply to as Many Companies as You Can

“Some candidates make the mistake of only talking to a select few companies and trying to hit the bulls-eye from a few shots. That works in theory but in practice. In practice, it’s very hard to understand what a company is like and what they work on from the outside. So interviews are also a way for you to interview the company and see if it’s something you are ready to commit to. On top of that, doing more interviews is practice and when you get to the offer stage having several offers helps you negotiate the best compensation package.”

5: Be Mentally Prepared for a Negative Outcome

“At the end of the day, interviews are run by human beings and human beings tend to be quite subjective. So no matter how good you are and how much you prepare, most of your interviews are going to have a negative outcome. You have to be mentally prepared for that. Candidates who are used to excellence throughout their life take it very personally when a company comes back to them with a No. You have to set your expectations right upfront so you don’t set yourself up to be disappointed.”

Job interviews are inevitably stressful, especially when your skills are on the line. It’s natural to be nervous, but the more you prepare, the better equipped you will be to ace whatever the interviewer throws your way.

Image: WOCinTech

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He's based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state's slogan: "sayWA." In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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