After you’ve mastered the art of job hunting and crafting resumes, what remains is the final (but also most crucial) step of any job search – acing the interview. In the third and last part of our “How to Land Your Dream Tech Job” series, we will be providing tips on mastering the art of interviews.
Thorough Research and Preparation
Prior to the interview, take time to thoroughly research and prepare for the company and role you are applying for. Here’s how you can do so:
- Company Research: Have a holistic understanding of the company’s products, services, culture, values and recent developments. Start with the company’s official website, where you can find information about their missions, values, etc. Then, check out news/press releases, social media channels, and Glassdoor reviews, where you will get a better idea of the company’s ‘personality’.
- Role Insights: Next, familiarise yourself with the specific requirements of the role you are vying for. Have a general idea of the skills, qualifications and experiences the company is looking out for.
Understand Interview Loops and Format
The interview loops for tech roles often comprises multiple rounds in different formats: phone screens, technical assessments, and behavioural interviews. To ensure you are ready, it is important to have a general idea of the interview format. Some steps you can take to understand the interview format include the following.
Check the Job Posting: Review the job posting/description, where it may specify the interview format/stages.
Reach Out to HR or Recruiter: If the listing does not provide details of the interview format, consider reaching out to the company’s HR/recruiter to inquire more. This may sound counterintuitive, but the reality is that it is in the interest of the recruiter for you to secure the role as this is part of their KPI. As such, they are incentivised to help you as much as it is reasonable.
Review Different Websites: Websites like Glassdoor often have interview reviews shared by previous candidates. These reviews can give you an idea of how the interview might go. Consider also checking out LinkedIn profiles of current or former employees of the company, where they may have shared information about their interview experiences.
Tech interviews often include challenging technical questions – expect questions related to data structures, algorithms, and programming languages. To combat this, brush up on your technical knowledge and problem-solving skills. Revise core concepts and practice solving problems on platforms like LeetCode and HackerRank. This will also aid you in the technical assessment portion, which we will cover in a bit.
Beyond technical questions, be prepared to answer behavioural questions that interviewers will ask to assess your soft skills. To prepare for this, keep in mind examples and anecdotes that demonstrate your strengths. From teamwork, to leadership, to problem-solving, recall instances where you demonstrated such skills.
Consider structuring your responses according to the STAR method – i.e., Situation (S), Task (T), Action (A), Result (R), which helps to structure your answers in an organised and understandable manner.
- Situation: Clearly summarise and provide context of the situation/context in which the experience or challenge occurred. It is also important to explain why this is an important problem that is worth the effort/resources to address.
- Task: Next, explain the task or objective you were faced with – i.e., the problem you needed to address, or the goal you were working towards.
- Action: This is the core of your response. Describe the steps and actions you took to address the situation at hand. Emphasise what you did, how you did it, and why you chose to do so. More importantly, be sure to highlight your skills and decision-making abilities.
- Result: Lastly, share the fruits of your labour. That is, what you managed to achieve with your efforts. Remember to be specific and quantify your achievements when possible.
In addition, technical assessments are also a common part of tech interviews. To prepare for this, consider the following:
- Review Fundamentals: As mentioned above, brush up and revise core concepts in your field of expertise.
- Time-Constrained Coding: As you will likely be under time constraint during the actual interview, practice coding under similar conditions to simulate a real interview. This not only enhances your speed, but also your accuracy (since you don’t have the luxury to check through your codes).
- Mock Assessments: Explore platforms like interviewing.io and Pramp, which offer mock interviews with peers and professionals to gain experience and refine your skills.
Mock Interviews and Feedback
Last but not least, practice makes perfect – Minimally, better, if not perfect!
Jio your friends, mentors, or peers to conduct mock interviews with, where you will be able to build your confidence in answering common interview questions. Then, seek their feedback on your performance to further refine your interview skills.
Unsure where to start? Join Heicoders Academy’s telegram channel, where we provide resources and share interview tips!
With that, we have come to the end of our three-part series on landing your next dream tech job. It’s no easy feat, but bear in mind these tips we’ve shared, and you’ll be well on your way to landing your dream tech job. Good luck!