How to Crack Your First Software Developer Job Interview
When looking for a new job as a software developer, it can be challenging to know what steps to take next. Many careers in the digital space require an apt interview skillset, and software development is no exception. Many potential software engineers struggle with common interview questions revolving around problem-solving and reasoning skills. However, this doesn't mean you will always encounter difficult job interviews. As long as you prepare diligently for each interview and do not regard them as generic, you are sure to succeed.
Read up on the job you're applying for
Before your first job interview, you'll want to take a moment to read up on the company and the job you're applying for. There are a couple reasons why reading up on the job you're applying for is so important:
It gives you context as to why the company is doing what they do. Reading up on the company's mission and vision can help you better understand its culture and how it makes its products.
It will help you anticipate some of the questions you'll be asked during the interview. Some companies also have a separate behavioural assessment stage during their application process. In such cases, you will likely find even more resources about them.
Talk about your past experiences
You'll likely be asked about your past work experiences during a technical interview. By talking about your past experiences, you will demonstrate your problem-solving and reasoning skills. You'll also demonstrate your creativity, how well you work under pressure, and how you work with others. If you're lucky, the recruiter or hiring manager will ask you to elaborate on a particular experience during your talk. This is an opportunity to talk more about the experience, including how you solved a specific problem, what challenges you faced, and what you learned from the experience. Make sure you are confident about your experiences and remember some of their procedural aspects rather than only the outcome.
Be prepared for any questions you are asked
During your interview, you're sure to be asked various questions. Make sure that no question throws you off guard, even if you can't immediately come up with a response. The best way is to come up with a list of anticipated questions and prepare detailed answers. You will feel more confident and comfortable when they do get asked in the interview. Even if none of them gets asked directly, you can use parts of your prepared answers.
Remember to prepare ahead of time. You don't want to walk into an interview without having prepared at least some possible questions.
Focus your energy on things that you can control. - Prepare how you want to answer your questions. Many potential employers will ask you the same question on different occasions. It would be best if you decided on a specific approach to structure your answer. One example would be the STAR technique which
The technical part: Practice, practice, practice
Before you attend your first technical job interview, practice. Practising will help you to feel more confident during your technical interview. If you have a few friends, pair up and practice solving problems together. If you don't have any friends who code, find online resources such as LeetCode that offer practice coding problems.
During your practice, don't spend too much time on one question. You should focus on seeing a variety of questions and techniques. In addition, you should find coding challenges that mirror the questions you may be asked during your technical interview. Google should help you find experiences of former applications.
During the technical interview itself, remember to guide the interviewer through your thinking process. Use "We" instead of "I" to ensure that both of you are on the same page. Applicants have been rejected on the basis of limited communication despite solving the problem. Companies are looking for team players rather than individualists. Remember the following guidelines:
Do not panic if you can't solve the problem Make sure that you understood the problem correctly and rephrase it to your interviewer before starting to code Mention all assumptions before writing your solution Come up with the simplest solution first, even if your code is inefficient
These approaches are universally applicable to all technical interviews.