Have a Job Interview? Here’s How to Land the Role

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So you’ve hit the job market. Maybe your last job wasn’t challenging enough, or maybe you’ve only just graduated from college and are ready to begin navigating the waters of employment. You could have been downsized, or you’ve relocated.

No matter the reason, chances are strong you’ve already spent a good amount of time getting your resume up to par and have submitted it to any number of potential employers. That’s the easy part. Now comes the challenge – the interview.

For some, the interview portion of the job hunt is an almost insurmountable hurdle. It not only means you have to sit down for a face-to-face interview (either in person or via video conference), it means your communication and presentation skills must be at their best. So no matter if you’re interviewing for a software development company, such as BairesDev or any management position within the business of your dreams, you must be prepared.

I want to offer up a few tips to help you make sure that interview lands you the job.

Do your research

During the interview, you’re not only going to be asked questions about the company you’re interviewing for but the product or service they offer. You need to know the answers to these questions. The second you attempt to fake your way through this, you’ll get caught and you might as well walk out then and there.
Take the time to research the company, the product and/or service, the position, and even those who own and manage the company. Go into the interview as if knowing everything about the company is a requirement, as though you will be tested on the past, present, and future of the company. 

The more you know going in, the less likely you’ll have to squirm your way through some questions that may not have anything directly related to the job.

Know your strengths and weaknesses

It’s as cliché as anything since the creation of the term itself, but interviewers are very likely to ask you what your biggest strengths and weaknesses are. Have the answer to these two questions perfectly prepared. At the same time, don’t answer a cliché with another cliché. Be honest with your assessment of yourself and your skills. And as many times as you’ve been told, don’t try and turn your weakness into a strength. 

You might think saying, “I can be too much of a perfectionist at times, but that makes me the ideal code debugger” is the ideal way around the question, but it’s not honest. Those doing the interviews would rather you be truthful than lie about something they’ll eventually find out after they’ve hired you.

Prepare for common questions

There are always common questions asked in interviews. Many times these questions will depend on the job you’re applying for, but they’re easy to look up. Make sure you research the common questions specific for the market you’re in (both job type and location). 

Once you have your list of common questions, study them and develop answers that are honest and well thought out. Although your interviewer might have gone the lazy route by pulling questions from a book or article, you shouldn’t return the favor by answering them with equally lazy responses. Prepare for these questions as though you were preparing to defend your thesis in graduate school/

Prepare your own questions

At the end of every interview, those asking the questions usually turn the tables and ask those being interviewed if they have any questions. Don’t brush this opportunity off. So often people don’t take this opportunity because they don’t want to come off as pushy, needy, or in any way concerned. They then walk out of the interview wishing they’d asked the questions.

This is your opportunity to ensure you’re prepared to accept or reject an offer when it comes. Ask questions about pay, benefits, and vacation. If you’re interviewing for a company that does outsourced software development (or similar gigs), don’t hesitate to ask about working remotely. If you’re curious, ask.

The first two minutes are crucial

You’ll be far more nervous at the beginning of the interview than you are at the end. That’s too bad, as those first two minutes are the most crucial. Why? First impressions leave a mark. Because of this, you want to make sure you are at the top of your game right from the top of the interview. 

Walk in with confidence, and don’t show them you’re nervous. Most interviewers make their decision about a candidate in the first five minutes of an interview. Don’t even give them that much time to draw a conclusion. Blow them away in the first two minutes, so the rest of the interview is the icing on the cake.

Practice makes perfect

You might think this is embarrassing, but ask a friend to do a mock interview with you. Have them ask the questions, judge your answers and presentation, and even dress the part. Set this practice up to perfectly mimic what you believe the interview session will be. 

And don’t run through the practice just once. Go through this over and over and over. Practice your interview until you can nail it in your sleep. Make sure you go through the practice dressed in professional attire (as you will wear in the actual interview) and run it in different environments.

You got this!

Above everything else, have confidence. Once you’ve practiced the interview and feel you can successfully answer the questions, it all boils down to you knowing you can do it. Walk into the interview room as though the job is yours to lose and your interview will be foolproof.

After the interview, make sure you follow up properly.

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