Building a Resume
- Keep it short and to the point. Do not exceed two pages in length. Interviewers do not need a personal biography.
- Refrain from building large sections that list out every software ever written. They do not provide proper context. Within each job/project define the technologies utilized. Interviewers look for these keywords to further explore.
- Each job listed should tell a short story.
- Refrain from providing excessive non-technical information. Prior jobs in fast food, retail, or any other non-technical environment are not necessary.
- Do not lie about items on a resume. Good interviewers will sniff these out.
- Ask individuals in the industry, friends if possible, to provide feedback on one's resume. Multiple mistakes in a resume are a red flag for employers.
- Aside from a resume, build a visual portfolio. It can encompass screen shots of different software built or examples of coding. It's important to show pride in one's work.
- Have the resume pre-saved in multiple formats including Microsoft Word and PDF.
Before the Interview
- Review one's online footprint. See what Google, Bing, and Yahoo have to say. Attempt to clean things up where necessary.
- Make a "dry run" to the interview location. This will eliminate getting lost on interview day.
- Review previous job experience. Be comfortable discussing prior projects in detail. An interviewer is looking for competence when discussing prior positions.
- Programmers aren't the most social bunch. Performing a mock interview with a friend can help point out area of weakness.
- Try to clear one's mind of all assumptions, fears, and expectations.
- Obtain the interviewer's contact information in case of any problems (car trouble, emergency, etc.)
- Research the company and position. It's important to feel comfortable with the company and the requirements of the position.
- Print out extra copies of one's resume and hand out. Also, bring a notepad and pen along.
During the Interview
- If running late, call ahead and apologize for the inconvenience. Offer to reschedule if necessary.
- Make eye contact at all times.
- Pay attention to body language and posture. Avoid distracting movements.
- Don't forget to smile. Showing positive emotion is good. Be an active listener and participant. Refrain from acting cocky/arrogant and avoid looking bored/disinterested.
- Take as much time as needed to answer a question. Don't be too eager. A well thought out answer is better than a quick response.
- It's OK to say "I don't know," but show a willingness to gain the necessary understanding.
- Don't volunteer too much information. Be clear and concise. Avoid rambling by mentally time boxing responses. Too much personal information can also be dangerous.
- Focus on what can and cannot be controlled during the interview.
- Never discuss salary unless the interviewer initiates the conversation.
- After the interview or during a break, write down unfamiliar subjects that were discussed. Research these topics and take steps to master them.