Regardless of how much experience you have, interviews are nerve-wracking. But with a few simple tips, you can boost your confidence and land the perfect tech job for you.
You’ve already succeeded at the first step to landing your dream tech job – you’ve been asked to interview. But now comes the stressful part: nailing the interview and standing out from the rest of the candidates.
Whether you’ve just graduated from college or you’ve had years of working experience, the interview process can be daunting, but a surefire way to guarantee you’ll do well is by building up your confidence - and the only way you’ll feel confident going into one of the most important interviews of your career is by being prepared.
If you know your stuff, you’ll avoid stumbling around with your answers and getting hung up on difficult questions. You may not know the perfect response to every single inquiry or the technical solution to every problem, but by taking some time to prepare for the interview as a whole, you’ll come across as a more confident, composed and well-rounded applicant.
Here are four tips to help you ace your tech interview.
1. Research the company.
If you want to work for your dream tech company and impress the interviewer, you’ve got to know everything you can about their history, the products they offer, and what’s important to them as a company.
Check out the company’s website and blog to learn as much as you can about them. You could also check their social media accounts to get an idea of their company culture and what it would be like to work there. Don’t forget to also reread the job posting that attracted your attention in the first place to refresh your memory on the details of the role.
If you go into an interview not knowing anything about the tech company you’re applying to, it can show a lack of enthusiasm. Do your homework and you’re sure to impress them.
2. Brush up on your skills.
To feel as confident as possible when going into an interview, you’ve got to brush up on your skills beforehand. In many tech interviews, instead of giving you a computer, they’ll give you a whiteboard, so be ready to show off your skills in detail.
A great way to practice some problems before your big interview is by reading a book. I recommend "Cracking the Coding Interview" (CareerCup, 6th ed., 2015) by Gayle Laakmann McDowell. It's an excellent resource to prepare you for any important tech interview. It includes 189 programming questions and solutions that can help make sure your feeling prepared to answer all the difficult questions that might arise. Another awesome resource to brush up on your skills is HackerRank, an incredible website where you can practice code and prepare for interviews.
3. Stand out with a portfolio.
If you want to present yourself as a more enticing candidate, a great way to do so is by presenting a portfolio of your best work. Being able to walk into the interview with proof of your talent will help you stand out from the rest of the interview hopefuls.
4. Show your passion.
If you suffer from imposter syndrome, a great way to get over it in interviews is to focus on showing your passion for tech. There will always be someone who performs a task a bit better than you or has more knowledge about a subject, so instead, focus on letting your passion for the industry shine through.
You can demonstrate your passion by talking about different online tech groups you’re involved in, the networking events or tech seminars you’ve attended or previous tech projects you’ve volunteered your time or skills to. When you can show that you’re constantly striving to do better in your field and learn new skills, an interviewer might look over your limited experience because they can see the passion you possess.
Even if there are other candidates who’re are more experienced than you, with these interview tips you’ll be able to walk into that interview room feeling just as confident and capable as they are. So take a deep breath, do your homework, be yourself, and get out there; you’ll land the tech job you’ve been dreaming of before you know it.