How To Successfully Pass An Interview At A Software Product Company?

How To Successfully Pass An Interview At A Software Product Company?

 

Whether you are a Ruby Developer, DevOps Engineer, or Tester, there are always plenty of exciting projects to join that will help you grow professionally.

The interview process — central to securing these opportunities — depends on the level and type of position, of course, and varies from company to company. However, there are a few factors all employers pay attention to when interviewing that we will cover below.

 

This Makes Sense

The times when one could land a job by solely being equipped with the right set of technical skills are long gone. More and more often, being actively involved in the recruiting field, we see refusals occur because of a lack of “soft skills.” A lot of developers fail here, but there are ways to improve your abilities in this area.

Here are a few tips from our Relocate team on how to “sell yourself” on a (remote) job interview:

First, always do your homework well before the interview. Peruse info about the company (e.g. CrunchBase, TechCrunch, VentureBeat) and its team, look through the company blog, and make sure you have complete knowledge about the role.

Another good idea is to search for “typical” interview questions your target company might ask and practice answering as many as possible. Also, try to glean information from any contacts you might have that are currently working for this particular company. It could be a great opportunity to learn more about the company’s interview process, its focuses, and that kind of questions you should be prepared for.

Try to positively impress an interviewer in the beginning of your conversation. Talk about the weather or something abstract. You can also mention that you’re going to visit the city where the team is based (you may be invited for an on-site interview) or that you know a few developers from the team, etc.

Treat your interviewer as if he/she was sitting across from you. Don’t forget about eye contact.

Another important factor is finding a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed during your call (no cats walking across your Mac, noise in the background, etc.). If, during the interview, the internet connection becomes weak, ask your interviewer to recall a few minutes later so that you can fix the problem or switch to Skype.

If you’re considering job relocation and English is expected to be your working language, spare no effort in improving it. Mastery of the language is essential for getting hired by prestigious product companies abroad.

Talk about the business component of your product (at least in a few sentences), point out what problems it solves and what your audience is.

Try to secure an interview at a few world’s top technology companies such as Facebook, Skype, Amazon. You will gain invaluable interviewing experience and boost your confidence.

Prepare interesting questions to ask about the company. For instance:

 

  1. Are you an Agile-based company?
  2. What problems has your team encountered while integrating Agile?

  1. Do you plan to build an Android app?
  2. How many clients visit your website using a mobile app? What is your strategy for mobile development?

  1. Do you write Unit Tests?
  2. What restrictions does your business put on the code creation process? How are your Unit Tests going?

 

Practice giving a brief summary of the jobs you’ve held. Tell only about relevant experience that you gained at each. You should also be able to describe your weaknesses (acknowledge them beforehand).

It’s paramount to be prepared for varied interview questions. Here are 7 most common ones you should be ready for:

  1. Tell us about yourself. (It’s a good idea to start from the beginning and tell interviewers how you fell for programming, what University you graduated from, where you worked first, what technologies you’ve learnt and practiced, and what you liked most about your job. However, don’t go deep into details on any one facet — keep it simple).
  2. What interesting tasks have you worked on at previous jobs?
  3. What problems have you encountered on your past projects?
  4. How did you solve these problems?
  5. Tell us about your dream company.
  6. What do you do to grow professionally?
  7. What are the advantages and disadvantages of your main programming language?

And last, but not the least, avoid political, religious and any other delicate topics during the interview.

 

Passion For Programming

Companies are looking for “passionate” candidates to join their teams. Thankfully, proving your credentials as a passionate programming enthusiast is relatively easy nowadays, and I’d single out several markers that will show you’re on the level:

These indicators show recruiters and hiring managers that you’re truly keen on programming.

 

Be Yourself

Very often, good candidates are refused for the following reasons: “too reserved”, “didn’t reveal himself/herself”, etc. You’ve probably come across company descriptions like “informal culture” or “we don’t wear jackets, we boldly share our opinions and focus more on ‘personality’ rather than qualification.”

Don’t be intimidated by such descriptions. Just be yourself — this is the best recommendation to successfully pass an interview at any company.

 

Passion For Product

You’ll never get hired by Google if you say nothing about their product and don’t offer your own ideas for its enhancement. For some reason, most potential hires neglect this recommendation. Naturally, it is only fair that leading companies hire those candidates who have taken the time to learn about their products and proven to be experienced specialists.

You don’t have to be delighted with the product, but, there are still a few steps you should never neglect:

 

General Programming

A lot of product companies actively use the tasks on General Programming — algorithms, data structure, etc. And yet, most candidates don’t expect to get a task with algorithms. After the interview, they often regret that they lack even a day or two to get properly prepared. However, what’s done is done, and the time to get ready has come and gone.

That’s why it’s always best to ask about all technical tasks beforehand — ask your recruiters, visit Glassdoor, etc. Get as much information as you can beforehand!

In addition, there are thousands of books available that are exceedingly helpful (Cracking the Coding Interview, for example).

 

Thanks for reading this far. You’re welcome to share your thoughts on this topic in the comments.

Good luck!

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