In fact, the competition in IT is still not as high as it may seem. Several factors contribute to this, including the fact that demand for IT professionals is steadily increasing (about 30% for the first quarter of 2021), and there are about 3 candidates per job opening.
The bad news is that even with such high demand and low competition, getting hired by a good company is not easy.
In this article we will tell you how to prepare for an interview at an IT company, what employers are looking at, and how to increase your chances of getting an offer. The article will be useful both for experienced professionals and juniors who are just starting their career in development.
Prepare a long time before an interview
Your success in an interview depends a lot not only on how you present yourself but also on the foundation you lay before you come to the interview. So your first steps in applying for a job you’re interested in should be deliberate to maximize your chances of success.
Prepare a good CV
CV is the first important detail that determines whether you will be invited to an interview. Before making contact with a potential employer, it is important to present yourself and the skills you possess.
❌One mistake on a CV is to simply list the companies you’ve worked for and the position you held in each organization. The employer wants to understand what you’re good at. That’s what you need to talk about.
✅Describe what projects you worked on and what responsibilities you had on those projects. Don’t forget to properly indicate how you can be reached.
Don’t forget about your portfolio
A portfolio is optional, but it’s better to have one. A portfolio complements your resume and serves as proof of your skills.
❌ It isn’t necessary to add to your portfolio all the projects you have participated in. It also doesn’t make sense to present unfinished projects to the employer.
✅Choose projects that you’re proud of and that can set you apart from other candidates. Upload them to GitHub or other similar online platforms, fill in a description, and talk about the purpose of the projects.
Make a good first impression
You can only make a first impression once, so every detail is important, including appearance. The way you look lets the employer know whether you and the company are right for each other and whether you will be comfortable in the workplace.
❌There’s no need to try to pretend to be someone you’re not. There’s no point in wearing a formal suit if you don’t normally wear one. It’s enough to look neat.
✅ Wear clean, casual clothes, whether the interview is in the office or online. Images and prints can be distracting and irritating, so plain clothes are safer from this point of view.
Be prepared psychologically
The technical interview is an important stage of the job interview at an IT company. The purpose of this stage is to find out the competencies of the applicant. As part of the technical interview, you need to be prepared to answer theoretical questions and solve practical problems.
❌One of the mistakes is to expect when preparing for a technical interview, that you will definitely be asked to write code and prepare only for that. Practical tasks can range from writing a piece of code to finding bugs in an already finished code. Theoretical questions can also be different. Many of them can be of no use at all. Their purpose is to estimate the outlook and depth of knowledge.
✅Be prepared for any of the basic theory questions. Software architecture, programming principles, languages – they can ask anything. To understand where your gaps are, look on the Internet for examples of questions and tasks that different IT companies give at job interviews. There are many articles on the web on this topic.
Frequently Asked Questions about an interview in IT company
Is there anything I need to know beforehand about the company I was invited to interview for?
Yes, you do. This will give you a chance to see if the place is right for you, if you want to work there at all. Remember, it’s not just you who gets chosen, it’s you as well. Knowing more about the company will allow you to ask more specific questions during the interview, which will be an added bonus and show you as a candidate interested in getting a job here.
Does it make sense to go directly to the CTO or team lead to get the job?
Usually, there is no point in doing this, you will be redirected to recruiters anyway. The only situation in which it’s worth going out is when you think you’re perfect for the position and the recruiter turns you down for biased reasons.
Are there any questions you shouldn’t ask at a job interview?
You can ask any questions you want at the interview, as long as they are within the bounds of propriety. Based on these questions, the recruiter will understand what you’re interested in, what you care about, what you’re focused on.
How important are soft skills for a developer?
If previously soft skills were not taken into account when hiring, now the situation is changing. There are even cases when a developer, whose hard skills did not meet the requirements of the vacancy, was hired if the assessment showed that he is trainable, has good communication skills and can develop quickly. So soft skills are important, although a lot still depends on the needs and specifics of the company.
How do I get a job as a beginner, a student with no experience?
If you’re passionate about development, gain experience. Take part in summer internships organized by different IT companies. To accumulate a portfolio, create projects: practice as part of labs and coursework, participate in hackathons and courses and come up with your own products. Even if you’re not able to show your projects to the employer, in the process of development you will pump up your skills, get a better understanding of technology, and understand what you’re doing and why and how. And that is what employers expect from you.
Afterwords about an interview in an IT company
Try, gain experience in the profession and in interviewing, don’t be afraid to show yourself for who you really are and remember that you, among other things, should be interesting and comfortable in the chosen company.