Top Tips on How to Prepare for a Software Engineer Interview

You’ve finally landed the interview with the company you’d love to work for, so what do you do next?

Brush up on Skills the Company Wants

Read the job description carefully and prepare yourself to be able to give the definitions and speak about the major benefits of the operating systems, and programming used. Be prepared to take coding tests in everything, even if it’s been a while. If the employer comes across as arrogant or competitive, it’s best not to take the position. Be sure to ask any questions before you start answering.

Soft Skills Matter

Interviewers will be watching to see if you can work with others, so be sure not to show signs of ego or arrogance during the interview. While what you can do is important, you’re not the only person interviewing for this position, so keep your ego in check while talking with the interviewer. They will be noticing how open you are to new ideas, if you’re flexible in your solutions, and your approach to how you optimize the solution.

Freshen Up on Old Skills

It’s normal to include skills on your resume that you haven’t used in awhile. If you’ve done that, be sure to give at least the basics a review before heading into your interview.

Prepare for Coding Test

Think about what technology the company uses and then focus on studying the languages and concepts that might be on the test. Search online for a free coding test that covers these technologies. Find sites like Leetcode or HackerRank are good places to start for common technical and algorithmic interview questions.

This article from Medium recommends preparing for a tech interview at least 4-6 weeks ahead of time, with 3 months being preferred, simply to brush up on all the different kinds of questions asked. If you haven’t been in the industry consistently, you may want to consider following their lead.

3 Job Searching Steps When Transitioning from Military Life to Civilian

Getting a job can be one of the returning veteran’s hardest challenges. Translating military skills and experience into civilian terminology is hard, but it can be done.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Ideally, you would be able to prepare for civilian life while you’re still in the service. Make sure to enroll in the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), which gives armed forces members access to employment information and training within 180 days of separation. Ask about VA benefits, request letters of recommendation, and try to get all your paperwork taken care of ahead of time. Work on your resume and LinkedIn profile and keep in mind that military slang won’t track in civilian life. Update your resume to match the job requirements.

Skill Up

Do you have the skills for the kind of civilian career that you want? Does your competition have more education? Consider taking classes, getting a certificate, or getting a degree. Now is the time to figure out what would work best for you in the long term. Make sure that any college or certification you choose comes from a well-respected school that’s accredited. Consider taking CLEP or DANTES exams for skills you already have, but might not be able to prove on paper.

Don’t Be Afraid to Network

While the armed forces discourage socializing to complete a task, you need to recognize that civilian life often requires socializing. Extend your network through LinkedIn to attract new professional contacts, and make sure to add a professional profile picture to your page. Don’t focus only on people at the top, because other people can also influence your career. Engage with all types of people at all types of levels in the career path of your choice.

Final Thought

You could feel a sense of culture shock when you return, but it will get better with enough patience and effort. Don’t expect everything to come together at once. Think of this as the long term strategic plan to accomplish your mission, with many pieces in play.

7 Steps to a Successful Interview

The interview stage of your job search can be stressful. You have the job in sight, but you don’t have them convinced until you get past the interview. Luckily, there are things you can do to set yourself up for interview success. Here are the seven steps to a successful interview.

Step 1 – Do Your Homework

When preparing for an interview, you need a full understanding of the job description, the organization, the team, the manager, the corporate culture and the industry. Only then will you be capable of selling yourself as the solution to the hiring manager’s pain points.

Step 2 – Position Your Experience

Equally important is a strategic positioning of your work history, experience, and skill set so you are prepared to talk (at length) about why you are right for the job.

Step 3 – Be Professional

Good communication, promptness and a polite attitude are all hallmarks of a professional employee. If you fail to bring professionalism to the interview processes, there is little chance you will make it to the hiring stage.

Step 4 – Dress for Success

They say to dress for the job you want. This is true for an interview. While it is good to dress in a way that will help you fit in with your co-workers, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed for an interview.

Step 5 – Have Confidence

Interview confidence involves a firm handshake, good eye contact, strong posture and an engaging smile. Employers are looking for a candidate who knows they will bring value to the job, so be confident in your worth and pleasant in your interactions.

Step 6 – Ask Good Questions

The interview stage is as much an opportunity for you to ask questions as it is for the hiring manager. In fact, many interviewers fully expect candidates to come prepared with questions that spark good conversations. They show the hiring manager that you’re not only interested in the work, but are thinking critically about your role within the team and how you will best be able to meet their needs.

Step 7 – Follow Up

A strong follow-up is critical to a successful interview. If you are able, leave a handwritten thank-you note with reception as you leave. If not, a thoughtfully written email with a simple thank you is also effective. If you are working with a recruiter, be sure to connect with them before contacting the client directly. If they would rather you send your note through them, that works equally well.

Are you looking for an interview?

Get started on the next phase of your career today by giving the team at USPRO a call or search for a job here. Our recruiters will help you find and prep for your next big interview. Contact us today!


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