After you complete your training you will want to get ready to go on a number of interviews to get your first job. In this post, I will go over a number of interview tips that can help you out during this process. So let’s get started.
The following tips are based on my experience in both giving interviews and being interviewed over a number of years. This process can be very nerve-racking especially when you are going through it for the first time. The only way to get better at this process is through practice. After you have been interviewed a number of times, you will become much more comfortable with the process.
Show Up Early
My number one tip to have a successful interview is to show up early. Being late for an interview is a disaster. No matter what your excuse is, it’s almost impossible to overcome being late to a job interview. This makes a very bad impression on employers. In addition, you will feel rushed and you will not be able to perform at your best. If you show up early and are able to sit and focus on your interview, it will give you time to relax before you begin the interview process. Also by showing up early, it shows employers that you are conscientious and you are able to keep your commitments.
Another thing you have to overcome with an interview is nervousness. It is very natural to be nervous for an interview and I have found out that if you are very nervous it’s better to just tell the interviewer that you are. It will help you relax during the process. If you go ahead and admit that you are nervous it allows the employer to see a very honest and open side of you. Again, being nervous can be overcome through practice.
My next tip is to be very honest when answering questions. If you don’t know the answer just say so. Faking it in the technical interview is very bad. Most technical hiring managers know when somebody is making up an answer and it leaves a very bad impression. Simply not knowing the answer is not necessarily bad and you could just tell them you have not been exposed to that particular concept or if you do know something similar perhaps you can expand on that but just admit when you don’t know something it’s far better.
Do Your Homework
Before your interview, you should research the company you are interviewing with. It leaves a very good impression if you know something about the company and you have done your homework beforehand. It shows the company that you have initiative and are willing to go the extra mile to get things done.
Once you begin your interview questions one good thing to remember is software development is a team effort. Make sure you come across as a team player. Most software development shops employ quite a few people. Working as a good team member is a critical skill. If you can be sure and mention any other jobs you have worked in that reflects your team skills.
How to Dress?
Many recruiters will tell you to wear a suit and tie or formal business attire to the interview. Most software shops today are not that formal and it is probably more appropriate for an entry-level programmer to dress business casual. I will leave that up to you.
Another nice touch for an interview is to follow up with the written card to thank them for their time. This may sound strange, but it will leave a good impression. Mention in the thank you letter how you feel your skill set and teamwork would be a good fit for the company.
My last tip is to try to be yourself and have fun with the process. Once again I want to emphasize this process will get easier over time. I have added some sample interview questions in the next chapter and many of them are non-technical questions. These non-technical questions are very important to hiring managers so please do not ignore them. I hope I have given you some good tips to prepare you for your interview and good luck with the process.
With a little preparation you can greatly enhance your chances of success with any of your upcoming interviews. Good luck in your job search!
If you are interested in getting started with a career in information technology, you can download my free Information Technology Career Guide.