By Olivia Fallen, Career & Industry Specialist, Career and Professional Development Services
Throughout my time as a Career & Industry Specialist, I’ve helped prepare numerous students and alumni interested in the software development field. If I could give any advice to someone preparing to interview for a software developer job, it would be to research the company and practice coding questions.
Firstly, I want to emphasize the importance of doing research on the company, because this can make or break an interview. At a minimum, you should research the company’s mission, vision, and work culture.
I once worked with a student who interviewed at a major tech company and showed up in a full suit. He was surprised to learn that at this particular organization, they preferred extremely casual clothes for their day-to-day dress code. Needless to say, this student didn’t get the job because the recruiter felt he hadn’t done adequate research on the company culture. The student reapplied the following year, arrived appropriately dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, and got the job.
I tell this story not to imply that you should wear casual clothing to tech interviews. Rather, to emphasize the importance of doing your research! If all else fails, reach out to the company’s Human Resources department beforehand to inquire about appropriate dress.
Additionally, familiarize yourself with the organization’s social media platforms, strategic initiatives, and any core principals the company is founded on. Recruiters often open interviews asking about your knowledge on said topics to ensure you are passionate about their company and have done your homework.
The second part of a software developer interview that is commonly incorporated into the process is a coding and technical aptitude test. Fortunately, there are a plethora of websites that have practice questions. This portion of the interview is arguably one of the most important as that is the main aspect of your job.
Lastly, it is important to practice! Consider scheduling a mock interview through Career & Professional Development Services to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.