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Developer Interviews: Dos and Don'ts

Some tips to make the most of your job interview and appear professional to hiring managers.

· Agile Zone

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Interviewing can be stressful, especially for an introvert, so these do’s and don’ts will help you ace your next interview with a company you really want to work for.

Here are tips culminated from my experience as a technical recruiter.

Do:

Do Tell Us Why You’re a Programmer

We love to hear about your passion and why you do the things you do. Feel free to tell us about an awesome project you’ve worked on in the past (or your current side project). This shows us that programming isn’t just your job—it’s your way of life.

Do Be Honest About the Type of Culture You’re Looking For

As a tech recruiter, my job is to make sure it is not only going to be a good fit for us, but for YOU! If you don’t explain what you really want or need in a new position, I can’t assist you in reaching your full potential. I’ll be doing a follow up blog on questions to ask yourself before starting a job search in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned.

Experience is always the solid foundation to get your foot in the door, but there is more to a position than just having the right skill set. Being a cultural fit has become increasingly more important in the business world, because skills can be learned. We are looking for who will be a good fit for the team and who will be the future leaders of this company.

For example, proximity of desks to each other is a cultural component that can make or break your experience. Amadeus has an open environment with desks close together. If you like to program by yourself and not talk to anybody, our culture isn’t the best fit for you. If you’re not looking for a team atmosphere, that’s something you should be up front about.

Remote working is another example. Some companies allow their employees to frequently work remotely, while other companies prefer you be in the office for direct line of communication.

Work life balance is another consideration. Some companies require a lot of hours each Here at Amadeus Consulting we have an incentive plan that allows employees that wish to work more than 40 hours a week additional compensation.

Do Give a Firm Handshake

This might seem like a no-brainer, but as soon as someone gives an insincere handshake at the beginning of the interview, it becomes a distraction that will take away from your answers. You are judged by the quality of your handshake. I’m not saying this would be the sole reason not to get a call back, but it will distract your interviewee from the skills you bring to the table. Also, we do a lot of client facing here at Amadeus, and if that is a role you see yourself in the future, you should check out this link from snagajob.com and brush up on your handshaking skills.

Don’t:

Don’t Wear Casual Clothing to the Interview

Even if the company says “business casual”, always err on the side of business. A button down and khakis are a solid choice. Please don’t show up in jeans and a hoodie. There is a time and place for dressed down clothing, and an initial meeting with a hiring team is not it.

Don’t Skip a ‘Practice Run’ to the Interview Location

Take a practice run to the location of the interview to get a sense of how long it will realistically take to arrive. A practice run also makes the surroundings familiar, reducing stress and uncertainty on the interview day.

Don’t Skimp on Buffer Time

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview. Plan to arrive at the interview site 15-20 minutes early, and enter the building 5-10 minutes early. It is always better to be early than late.

If You Are Running Late, Here’s How to Recover

When you look at the clock and realize that there is a high chance that you are going to be late, call the office and let them know that you are going to be late. Give a timeframe for your arrival.

In this scenario, be sure to give yourself ample time to make the deadline you set for yourself. This gives everyone a heads up to rearrange schedules and inform interviewers. Be sure to apologize to whomever you are making wait.

We all understand that life happens and there are situations where we aren’t in control. A good candidate is one with good communication skills and an understanding for others’ time.

Don’t Touch Your Phone

Before entering the building, consider leaving your phone in the car. At least be sure to turn your phone on silent or completely turn it off. You should never pull your phone out of your pocket at any time during the entire interview — not to check the time, text back real quick, and especially not to answer a phone call.  Even if you are waiting in the lobby, refrain from using it.When you keep your phone away, you’re more aware of the surroundings, more focused on the interview, and not distracted. Also, it looks like you’re uninterested if you’re looking at your phone. You should be asking yourself "is this somewhere I could work" while in that environment.

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Topics:
interview tips

Published at DZone with permission of John Basso, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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