How To Answer Common Interview Questions

How to Answer Common Interview Questions

In today’s highly competitive market, it is recommended that you go into a job interview knowing how to answer common interview questions. It helps if you have notes in front of you outlining the talking points that you want to hit. This will make you sound more confident and impress the interviewer.

Tell me about yourself and your experience.

Nearly every interview begins with this topic. This is your chance to highlight your experience that matches the job description. It is not necessary to discuss your early career if you are a senior developer. The past 5 years’ worth of experience is really all that is relevant. If you are a junior developer with little to no experience then you want to incorporate your studies and projects that are relevant to the job description.

Why did you leave your last job?

You always want to tell the truth when answering this question but keep it positive. If you were laid off from your last job, you can tell the truth about that. Layoffs are so common in the tech industry that the interviewer should not think anything of it.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This is my least favorite interview question. I see myself employed in 5 years but that is not a good enough answer. The interviewer wants to hear that you want to grow professionally. They will not want to hire you if you come across as someone who is not willing to work hard. Talk about the career path that you are on and where you want to go with it.

What is your greatest professional achievement?

This is my favorite interview question. It may be hard to answer when you have little to no experience but by the time you are a senior developer, you should have many achievements to choose from and it will make you feel great to talk about them. Again, if you have little to no experience you can talk about a school or personal project.

What type of work environment do you prefer?

I prefer a work environment where I get paid. But just in case your interviewer has no sense of humor, you should probably describe the work environment you envision from the job description. If you will be part of a team, then you should want to be a team player. If you will work remotely then you should have a home office that is quiet and free from distractions so that you can be more productive than you would be in an office full of interruptions.

When you answer these common interview questions with confidence, the interviewer will be impressed. Remember to make a list of questions to ask during the interview. The interviewer should leave some time at the end of the interview for you to ask questions and you should always take advantage of that. When you get the job offer, do not be afraid to negotiate your salary!

Have a great week and Happy Coding! #LearnLoveLiveCode

Surviving Reorganization

Surviving Reorganization

Reorganization does not always mean that your job is in jeopardy. Companies go through reorganization on a regular basis. The best thing you can do for yourself is to know the common signs leading up to a layoff and prepare yourself for surviving reorganization.

Assess Your Position

There are many common signs when your job is in jeopardy. If you are not being added to upcoming projects and you can see an end to your productivity on the team, this may mean that there is no more funding for your position. If your colleagues have been laid off but you have not been given your pink slip yet, this does not mean that you are safe. Also, if management begins to over scrutinize employees this may be a sign that they are on a witch hunt for any reason to let an employee go. This is a standard practice during any reorganization because employers need to protect themselves against wrongful termination lawsuits. It may not provide the best environment for you but you can take this opportunity to find a better job.

Prepare Yourself

The best thing you can do for yourself is to polish up your resume, cover letter, and portfolio website and begin your job search on the top tech job boards before you are laid off. You may find a new and better job so that you are able to quit before you are laid off. Or, in the event that you were not going to be laid off in the first place, you could have a bargaining chip in your pocket to negotiate a higher position or a higher salary. Either way, it’s a win for you!

Position Yourself

If you are able to find out the intent of the reorganization, you may be able to position yourself for a promotion. Is the business working on a new process to implement? Then you should find out about the process and suggest the best method for implementation. Is the company expanding? Figure out your niche and discuss it with management. You never know what can come of the conversations and you should seize this opportunity to discuss your future with management.

Have a great week and Happy Coding! #LearnLoveLiveCode

Writing A Thank You Letter

Writing a Thank You Letter

After a job interview, you should always write a thank you letter to the interviewer. This will show your initiative and professionalism and can land you the job! Here are a few tips on writing a thank you letter.

Keep It Short

You do not have to write a novel. A good thank you letter should include the following in no more than two short paragraphs:

  • Thank the interviewer for their time
  • Reiterate the qualifications that you have that fit the job description
  • Tell them you look forward to moving on to the next steps in the interviewing process

These points will help to refresh the hiring managers’ memory and set you apart from the other candidates. It is common practice to keep the tone of the thank you letter “business casual”. Being too formal can make you look inexperienced so you want to make sure you keep your tone friendly (to an extent).

The last point you want to make is that you are interested in the position and want to move on to the next steps. Your tone here should be enthusiastic so that the hiring manager will know that you will be a pleasure to work with.

Sending Your Thank You Letter

If you are working with a recruiter, then you probably will not have the direct contact details for the interviewer. In that case, it is entirely appropriate to ask your recruiter to forward your thank you letter to the interviewer. You can always send your thank you letter via email. However, I have known people who sent it via snail mail on watermarked paper. I think this is a great tactic but unfortunately it is a dying one.

Thank You Letter Example

Below is an example of a thank you letter for a senior web developer position.

Dear John,

Thank you very much for taking the time to interview me today for the Senior Web Developer position. I enjoyed our conversation and I believe I would be a good fit for the position given my 7 years of experience as an ASP.NET/C# Web Developer. I understand you are looking for specific skills using GitHub, SourceTree, and the Google Search API and I have worked with all of these for the past 5 years.

I look forward to moving on in the interview process and I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you again and have a great day!

Kind Regards,

Have a great week and Happy Coding! #LearnLoveLiveCode

Unemployment During The Holiday Season

Unemployment During the Holiday Season

If you are experiencing unemployment during the holiday season, my heart goes out to you. I have been there and it can be awful at times. But do not despair, try to stay as positive as you can and you will get through it.

Continue Your Job Search

Many people think that there is no point searching for jobs during the holiday season but this can be a great time to connect with employers. Polish up your resume, cover letter, and portfolio website. Search the top tech job boards daily so that you submit applications to jobs that were posted in the past 24 hours. Being an early applicant with a brilliant cover letter and resume can help get you noticed by hiring managers and recruiters.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Maintaining a positive attitude when faced with unemployment during the holiday season is difficult. However, if you go into interviews or conversations with recruiters with a positive attitude then you will show that you are pleasant to work with which will help you move forward in the interview process. No one wants to hire a downer with a defeatist attitude. The same rule applies to holiday parties – people would rather hear your positive spin on your unemployment situation than how awful your life is. You never know what connections you will make at holiday parties and they may lead to employment opportunities so it is best to stay positive.

Learn New Skills

Unemployment is a great time to study and learn new skills. Programming languages are constantly changing and it is very important that your skills are current. Plus, there are many courses, blogs, and videos you can learn from that are completely free! We offer a number of free web development tutorials on our YouTube Channel to help you learn the most current skills including HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.

The Fundamentals of Web Development

Fundamentals of Web Development

Create a Superhero themed web page from scratch using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript with this free course for beginners.

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Learn, Love, Live, Code Weekly Coding Tutorials

Learn Love Live Code

Continue building the web page from The Fundamentals of Web Development crash course with these weekly coding tutorials.

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Have a great week and Happy Coding! #LearnLoveLiveCode