How to Ace Your Next Tech Job Interview
December 14, 2022
Airwrk organized a webinar on “How to Ace Your Next Tech Job Interview”. Leonika Hannan was the guest speaker of the webinar. She is the Co-Founder & CEO of Talvette and a renowned HR Consultant for Tech Startups. Because of her expertise as a Technical Recruiter, she shared some meaningful insight on how you can secure your dream tech job with ease. This blog answers the following questions based on the knowledge she shared in the webinar.
You should learn skills that you find interest in. There are plenty of job opportunities in the market. You will definitely be able to find a job that aligns perfectly with your preferred skill. Working with something that you find interest in will make work not feel like work. You will enjoy what you do even in your workplace. Apart from the technical skills, you should also focus on soft skills such as communication, teamwork capabilities, ability to work remotely, and so on.
For companies in USA and Europe, they specifically put a lot of focus on soft skills. Some of the other important factors a tech talent should have is to be able to debate without getting aggressive; being able to stand your ground and defend your decision. It is often the case that in an attempt to defend their ground, talents often use harsh words. This shows aggression and that is something totally undesirable. So, you should have a good grasp on language, learn to use words that will not make you sound harsh. Don’t let language be the barrier.
The first response Leonika Hannan had was that she personally never cared about CGPA. In fact, the best tech talent she has ever encountered was a diploma holder, he did not have an undergraduate degree. However, this will vary from company to company. In our country, CGPA might be a key factor that companies use to evaluate a talent. But for the jobs in European countries and American countries, it is generally not as important. Some companies may look into certifications, but it is more important that you have certain skills. For example, if you are familiar with scrum, companies are more likely to prioritize you over other candidates who simply has a certificate.
While the technical recruiters may not come from a purely technical background, through their experience and expertise they definitely know about technical matters to some extent. So, avoid speaking in a manner that shows that you are unwilling to talk about the technical aspects of the job because you think that the hiring managers will not understand those. Avoid being too condescending either. Do bring up technical aspects of the job but do not bore them with it. You should keep a good balance when you speak. It is recommended that you never interrupt the interviewer during the interview. Listen properly, and then answer accordingly. Recruiters also evaluate you based on your ability to listen properly, because listening is an important factor to be a team player.
When they ask you a question that you don’t know the answer of, don’t try to wing it. Instead, humbly mention that you do not know the answer, and you might say what your best guess is on the topic. The recruiters always know the answer. So, you should never give the wrong answer and pretend it to be the correct answer.
One key thing is that internal references help a lot. If you know someone who already works in the company, gather knowledge from him ad get insights from him about the company and the company culture. Besides that, go through the entire company website and all relevant sites. This way, you can ask intellectual questions about the company. This shows that you are dedicated, and you put in the effort to study about the company before appearing for the interview. When the interview is over, say ‘Thank you’.
When it comes to resumes, Bangladeshi tech talents often don’t get the same level of exposure regarding how to craft a good resume. Recruiters usually take a quick glance at a resume and spend less than 30 seconds to look at it. So, don’t keep irrelevant information. Your resume should be modified based on the country or the company that you are applying for. Not all companies require a curriculum vitae (CV). So, only include it if the job you are applying for asks for it. Airwrk has published an excellent blog on how to craft the perfect tech resume that will help you secure your dream tech job. You may check it out here: Crafting the perfect resume to land your dream tech job
Initially, the recruiters will do a keyword search to scan through your resume. They will check how frequently a certain skill was mentioned in your resume that is relevant to their job. That is why it is important to keep the information in your resume relevant to the job you are applying for. After they shortlist your resume, they go through it thoroughly. From there on, if they put you in their second shortlist, then they will call you for an interview.
In the first interview, they mainly test your communication skills and your fluency in English. After that, you will have to go through a coding test. Keep in mind that engineering managers prefer quality over quantity, and clean codes. If you pass the coding test, they will make you sit for another round of interview with the engineering manager and the CTO. A further interview with the head of HR is done to check if you are a good culture fit for the company. The interviewers in every stage keep notes. They will note down if they’d be willing to work with you. If everyone is happy with their notes and everything aligns, they will move forward and send you the job offer for your dream job.
Fresh graduates asking about the salary is highly discouraged. They should primarily focus on gaining experience and salary should be a secondary thought for them. For senior tech talents, they may ask about the salary, but they must not bring it up at the beginning of the interview. You may send an email to the HR team to know about the suitable salary range. This way, you will not waste their valuable time of going through all the interview processes just to find out that the salary range is not to your preference.
Companies generally have channels that allow the employees to share knowledge. Always focus on those and make sure you take advantage of those channels to share knowledge with your co-workers. You should talk to your teammates about your mistakes and what you learnt from those mistakes. This will help others to avoid the mistake that you made. Furthermore, as they also share the same sort of information, you can also learn from their mistakes. You should not just keep yourself limited to your department only. You should socialize with the employees working in other departments, this will allow you to broaden your network which will come to your advantage in the long run.
The standard of how frequently you switch jobs vary from industry to industry and country to country. In the USA and Europe, people generally switch jobs after 2-3 years of working in a particular company. So, if you switch jobs within 1 year of working somewhere in those regions, it is generally seen as a bad thing. Switching jobs frequently shows that you are not stable in your job. One of the key challenges in this competitive and fast paced industry is adaptability. So, recruiters will definitely take into account if you are willing to stay with the company and how you will part ways with them in the future. Therefore, it is definitely an important factor that you need to keep in mind.
So, the next time you apply for a tech job, make sure to keep the above points in mind. These will definitely give you an edge above other tech talents and you will surely have a higher chance of acing your dream tech job.