6 Tips for Interviewing for a Dev Position

6 Tips for Interviewing for a Dev Position

Let’s be honest. Interviewing for a job is rarely fun. Besides demonstrating you have the requisite skillsets, interviews require that you exhibit a unique combination of preparation, personality and pluck.

While every company has its own culture and quirks—some are more creative, others more corporate—you’ll have a better chance of impressing the powers that be if you master the following six interview tips:

1.     Be enthusiastic and be yourself

Who wants to hire a candidate that doesn’t show some excitement about a new position? Even if your last few jobs were like something out of “A Nightmare on Tech Street,” you need to show some enthusiasm for the possibilities the prospective job presents. Here’s a secret: people hire people they LIKE. And those people are typically positive and enthusiastic. Small teams especially want to work with someone they can get along with for 50+ hours per week. This is hard for some developers who are more introverted, but if you be yourself and show you have a friendly personality and can be collaborative, you’re more likely to be considered for the job.

2.     Demonstrate your ability to solve problems

This is the #1 thing most companies look for in a technical candidate. Coding languages and frameworks may come and go, but if you can come up with creative solutions to new problems—and do it collaboratively with a team—you’re golden. It all comes down to this: show how you think. Be prepared to break down a problem with the team, whiteboarding potential solutions and asking good questions.

3.     Share your opinions

Good developers are invested enough in what they do to have strong opinions about it. If you’re passionate about technology, you should have opinions and be able to articulate your position persuasively. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’re argumentative, defensive or inflexible. Nobody wants an all-out argument about Python vs. Ruby during an interview. But if you take pride in your craft, share it diplomatically.

4.     Share your passion

The best developers all have one thing in common: they truly love coding and are always hungry to learn. They spend their nights and weekends coding and learning new niche technologies. They’re on top of new technology trends. And they have passion projects. Great developers want to learn from each other. So, when you go in for a technical interview, share your passion, demonstrate that you’re in this game for the long haul, show that you’re pushing yourself because you love what you do, and communicate that you have something to offer.

5.     Show, don’t tell.

Be prepared to be put on the spot to code a particular solution. It’s a lot different writing code on a whiteboard or piece of paper, and having to do so can really throw you off your game. Before the interview, spend time writing some code by hand to get in the swing of things. Brush up on your syntax, too, as you’ll likely be without all the handy syntax highlighting and error messages that are taken for granted in modern dev environments. How can your future employer know for certain that you can write, say, JavaScript in practice, if you can’t remember the appropriate syntax during the interview?

6.     Do your homework

Yes, everyone says this. But few actually do it. So, do your research and come prepared with questions. Pore over the company website to educate yourself about their history, culture, what technologies they’re leveraging, etc. Don’t think you can just show up for an interview and “wing it.” Too many people assume they’ll be evaluated solely on their experience or existing skill set. Companies that take their culture seriously want to hire people that are excited to work with them and care enough to get to know them.


Follow these six actionable tips, and you’ll increase your chances of acing that technology interview. And remember, the interview is a two-way street that allows you and your prospective employer to get to know each other and see if there’s a fit. Good luck!

Need more training before you’re ready to interview? Talk to a friendly Success Advisor at KnowledgeNet for information on IT, coding, project management and business skills career training. Or call 877-797-2799.

Technology adopter. Doubles player. Pug lover. Martini drinker. Snow skier. And rabid reader.

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