So you've decided to learn how to code, you've taken courses to become a Full-Stack Developer, and now you're skills are so in-depth you can essentially hack into Bill Gates' Twitter account. Fair enough, but that might not help you find that dream job. There are numerous stages and strategies for finding that perfect role.
Being a Developer, however, you're probably more concerned with fixing errors than knowing what questions may impress in an interview. That's why the Coded People team have come together to provide you with some helpful tips and considerations to find that dream job.
"It Went Perfectly"
Asking one of our Microsoft .Net Consultants, Adam Hurrell, what the advice he would give Developers chasing their dream jobs he provided the following:
"When getting interview feedback the words I dread the most are “it went perfectly”. However, these aren't always the people who get the job offer. This is usually due to a lack of self-awareness. One key tip is always to be aware of how you come across in an interview"
Consultants are in a unique position as they have the full story from both the candidate and the client on what the other wants. When a Consultant puts forward a competitive candidate, they will generally do so because they feel the fit is ideal. However, this does not mean that you as the Developer should not do your homework. Self-awareness and research are important.
If you feel you are confident for the interview, know what to say and do, have a friend do a mock interview to be sure. They may come across something you hadn't noticed that you may need to work on. Finally, remember that being witty, and confidence are great attributes, but they need to be balanced with professionalism and timing.
Along with self-awareness use, the knowledge of your Consultant to better your odds. Ask about the dress code, what kind of questions might be present, what does the company do, etc. At the end of the day, the Consultants are here to help you get the job. Adam puts it well:
"No one is perfect, but we can practice and prepare to come as close as possible."
Know Your Interviewer
Our founder Alex Broadbridge has worked with a range of both clients and candidates, in the process picking up a wide fountain of knowledge on how to best place a candidate. Alex's tip is one that may not apply to everyone but is one that many don't think of.
"Try and research the interviewer themselves and find a commonality via LinkedIn or Twitter to break the ice and show you have done your homework!"
Whether you are being placed with a startup or one of the Big Four, the interviewer will most likely has a social media presence. This means that you are in a special position to find out more about the interviewer through their posts. This is a great tip as it can give you an idea of the kind of person you will be talking to. Are they interested in the minute details of your experience, or are they more big-picture orientated. Also, consider if they share the same interests as you. This could be a great potential ice-breaker and may make you more memorable.
Ask your Consultant if they know the interviewer. If so, it shouldn't take more than ten minutes to do a quick search on Twitter, or LinkedIn to find out a little more about them. Who knows, it might make the difference between being just another interviewee and being offered the job.
One cv does not fit all
Jamal Hinds, our BA and PM Consultant has his own experience with candidates in tech. His big tip is to focus on your CV. This is one essential and integral aspect of getting any job, but it's one that Developers often struggle with.
"Remember that you aren’t just writing a CV for the Technical Hiring Manager, you are also writing it for Recruiters, Human Resources and Algorithms. Your CV needs to work on multiple levels for multiple stakeholders."
Too often Developers construct CVs that have the same buzz words, verbs, and experiences. So why would yours, in particular, stand out? The way your CV is constructed for each particular stakeholder is crucial as it can put yours at the front of the line. The best CVs do this, as they can be found easily (via algorithms), read easily (by recruiters), pass initial vetting by non-technical staff (HR) and finally be seen as having technical depth (by the Technical Hiring Manager).
The candidates with the most job offers are ones that are willing and ready to provide different variations of their CVs. Tailoring one CV to pass an algorithm screening (active verbs, statistics) and another to show your wider, broader knowledge base for the Manager can be helpful. This will allow you to have ready-made options to better improve your chances.
Our Senior Microsoft .Net Consultant, William Bennett has been with us for three years and he's had his fair share of feedback from clients. One point he immediately honed in on when thinking of an important tip for candidates landing their dream jobs is "Ask questions".
"At the end of the interview ask if there is anything that you have or haven’t said during the interview that may indicate you are not fit for this position."
While it may seem contradictory at first, focusing on your weaknesses can actually help to clarify any misconceptions or misunderstandings during the interview. This gives the opportunity for the Manager to make clear what experience is most important for them and for the candidate to then emphasise their knowledge in said areas. This may also open up a dialogue about the experience which, while not identical can still be applied and can nevertheless be that small difference between you and the other candidates. Asking questions is crucial to success.
Well, we certainly hope these tips help you find and land that dream job. Just remember that there are plenty of resources out there that can help make all the difference and don't require too much time or energy. If you have more questions or any comments about this post we encourage you to comment below.
The Coded People Team