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How to Nail Your Software Developer Interview and Land the Job

October 13, 2022

The software development field is growing rapidly, and many people are interested in starting a career in this line of work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 163,000 software developer jobs will open yearly over the next decade.

Like most jobs, when interviewing for a career in software, you will be required to go through an interview process but there are some key differences that make software developer interviews stand apart from traditional job interviews.

This often lengthy process is overwhelming and stressful for some, but if you practice enough, you can be on your way to landing a job as a software developer. Here are some tips for how to prepare for your upcoming software developer interview.

Make a Good First Impression

When interviewing for a job, you want to start off by making a great first impression with the interviewer. When you make a positive first impression, you are more likely to get farther into the interview process and have a better chance of getting the job.

One way you can make a great impression is to be authentic and friendly. You do not have to be over enthusiastic and loud, just be sure that you have a positive demeanor and are fully engaged in the conversation you are having.  For example, Seed Scientific found that 65% of candidates that do not make eye contact during the interview process, do not get the job they are interviewing for.

Another way to make a great impression is to be a good listener. Make sure that you are listening to everything thoroughly and be attentive to what the interviewer is saying. If it appears that you are spacing out, or not fully listening to the interviewer, this can be seen as a red flag and you could have a chance of no longer being considered for the job.

Practice Interview Questions

Without a doubt, you are going to be asked different types of questions during the interview process. These questions can include the interviewer inquiring about your professional background, career experience, skills and more. 

It is always better to go into an interview overprepared than being underprepared. Consider how you’d answer common interview questions. Below are some examples of questions that you could be asked.

  • What programming languages do you have experience working in?
  • What are the most important things to look for when you are checking over code?
  • What projects have you worked on?
  • Do you prefer to work with a team or working independently?

While there is no way of knowing the specific questions that you will be asked in an interview, you can prepare with practice questions that will be likely asked. Consider ways you can incorporate your experience and accomplishments into your answers to show the interviewer that you are capable and a good fit for their role.

Ask Thoughtful Questions

A job interview is not only for the interviewer to get to know you, but also for you to understand the company more and decide if the role is right for you. Typically, you can expect the interviewer to leave time at the end of the interview for questions. This is your time to show that you came prepared and get clarification on any questions you have.

It is a good idea to prepare questions ahead of time, so you can learn more about the company and see if you would be a good fit. Some questions you could ask include:

  • What type of projects should I expect to work on?
  • What is your development process?
  • How would you describe the daily responsibilities of the position?
  • What qualities are you looking for in a candidate that would make them successful in this role?  
  • What type of products will I be working on?

Consider asking questions such as these to gain a better understanding of the company and position responsibilities.

Looking for more example questions? Check out this article with more questions that you could ask your interviewer.

Expect a Technical Assessment of Your Skills

Software development is a career that is built around using different tools and programs to create products and services, so it is only natural that an employer would want to test you on your expertise in these areas when interviewing for a position.

Some of the skills that you could be tested on include:

  • Software language (Java, Python, SQL, C3, etc.)
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Hands-on coding ability
  • Video embedding 
  • Data structures
  • Problem solving ability

When being tested, it can be expected that you may be nervous. Do not feel like you must get a perfect score on your assessment to be able to get the job. Often, employers are looking at different aspects of the assessment to analyze your problem solving and critical thinking skills. If you are intimidated by these assessments, there are many online resources that offer example problems and situations that you could be given in a technical assessment, like this guide from Dev Community.

If you show an understanding of the tools and languages that are required for the job, it will be clear that you are a qualified candidate and will increase your probability of being extended an offer.

 Although these interviews can be lengthy and challenging, by following these tips, you can easily land your next software development job in no time.

Are you looking for your next Software Developer job? Check out STEMHUNTER, a job board made specifically for STEM professionals.

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