When you come in for an in person interview please consider the following.
- Bring your own hydration. As a candidate you should expect to do a lot of talking. Come prepared and bring your own water bottle. This will also show that you came prepared.
- Listen to the questions well. Given that you will be doing a lot of talking, use some time to listen to questions as well. Don’t interrupt the interviewer and try to understand the question very well. Then reply.
- Ask question or clarification. If you don’t understand the question well or you would like to know of more context before answering the question — ask us the question. Try to use the time in the interview as if you know the interviewer and you are on the same team. At work – you would ask others for help or clarification, right? Do the same in the interview. Be respectful and ask for the clarification. Repeat the question back to the interviewer just to make sure you got that right.
- Get up and use the whiteboard. If you are in an in person interview and if there is a whiteboard available in the meeting room – get up and use it to support your responses. Most of the times we will setup an in person interview in a room that has whiteboards with a purpose. Don’t wait for us to ask you to use the white board, use it instead. Show the initiative.
- Be aware of what you don’t know and be prepared to address it. When you join a new team or a company there will be a learning curve. We understand that and we would have built in “some of the” learning curve, training needs etc into our plans and estimates. As a hiring manager though we would like to know how would the candidate balance delivery and learning. We would like to know more about the attitude of the candidate and how the candidate would accept this situation. Be prepared to answer this question. Show the interviewing team that you have been in this situation before and how you handled it. Tell us and convince us are prepared. Don’t expect all of your learning to happen within the 8-5 work hours only.
- Be prepared to be put on the spot. In the interview – you will be put on spot. Be prepared for that. If there is something on your resume the interviewer will ask you about it. They will probe the depth of your knowledge on a specific topic and the breadth of your technology coverage. We will also ask you about how you will work in a specific scenario. For example – let’s say you are hired and this is your first week on the project. You are asked to work on so – and – so task. What would you do? The goal of such questions is not only to see how you can build out a technical solution but also to see how you would work in a team. What kind of relationships would you want to build, what kind of help you would need from them, how you would escalate issues and discuss solutions.
- Keep an online profile and highlight it. These days everyone would have a linkedin or github or some kind of professional online profile. Highlight this in your resume. Note that I am not talking about your personal facebook profile or anything. If you don’t have an online profile of some kind that is not a good sign.
Often times a quick way to judge your proficiency level with a skills is to ask how would you rate yourself on a scale of 1 – 10. This is the scale we usually think of. In the top 1 skill you claim to have we would expect you to be at a 8+ level. In the next top 2 skills you claim we would expect you to be at 6+. For most of the other skills on your resume you should be 3 or a 4 at least.
On a scale of 1 – 10 please rate yourself on the following
10 = You are an expert, can write a book on this topic, you are on the forefront of latest advances and frameworks
9 = You have used this extensively, can design architectures, can explain anything on this topic to other tech leads and management, you have actually tried out some of the latest advances and frameworks
8 = You have used this extensively, can work with complex requirements, can work on complex debugging scenarios, can mentor developers, you are well aware of the latest advances in this area
7 = You have used this extensively, can mentor developers and you understand concepts very well, used it on more than 1 projects
6 = You have used this on one project, in a good capacity and learned it grounds up and are now a defacto expert on this on the current project
5 = You have used this on one project, in good capacity, learned it grounds up and know this very well
4 = You have used it on one project, and did a POC at work
3 = You have not used on a project, did a POC though at home though.
2 = You have heard of this framework / technology, read a few articles, never used it though
1 = Never used or heard of this framework