How Do Developers Ace Online Interviews?


Preparation is the key to becoming a standout candidate

Developers are known for their technical ability, but this may not translate into confidence in online interviews. With studies from Everest College showing that 92% of Americans fear at least one part of the interview, you would be in a big club of interviewees whose nerves get the better of them in interview situations.

COVID-19 has accelerated the switch to virtual interviews. Research from Gartner has found that 86% of interviews are now conducted online, bringing with them new challenges to overcome. Nerves don’t disappear because you’re in front of a camera.

In this article, you’ll learn how to extinguish your virtual interview fears and maximize your chances of landing the developer jobs you desire.

Do Your Research

Research the company you’ve applied to. Read their most recent press releases and get to know what their current focus is.

Connect with other developers who are currently working at your target company or who have previously worked there. Be bold and ask for insight into the company.

Consider the reasons you want a new job, and how the hiring company can deliver this.

Before your interview, do some background research to discover if there is common ground and interests between you and the interviewer.

Establish Your Online Appearance

As you’ve done your research, so too will the employers. Therefore, ensure your online presence is optimized to present a professional personal profile. Detox your social media to ensure that your online profiles are consistent with your in-person self, and that there are no posts or images that could lead to an awkward line of questioning during the interview.

Be Prepared for Online Challenges

There are several tactics that interviewers may use during virtual interviews. For example:

  • You may be asked to participate in an online coding challenge when applying for developer jobs.
  • Brainteaser questions that appear completely irrelevant to the role could be asked. (Take a moment to think the question through logically before answering.)
  • Another potential challenge is to be asked to illustrate a technical concept on a whiteboard. Don’t worry about the little things such as handwriting, and instead focus on logical thought processes that you’d use daily.

Do not fear any of these potential challenges. They are a great opportunity for you to showcase your skills and developer abilities. If you expect these challenges, they won’t throw you off.

Prepare for the Common Questions

You don’t need to memorize your answers – in fact don’t, or you’ll risk appearing scripted and false. Instead, consider answers to common questions and practice your delivery.

Common questions you may be asked include:

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Tell us about yourself.
  • What are your weaknesses? (Think of an answer where you own your mistakes and express determination to improve in these areas.)
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

If they ask you to explain a previous problem and how you resolved it, keep the STAR acronym in mind:

  • Set the Situation
  • Define the Task
  • Explain your Actions
  • Describe the Results of your actions

Have a question ready

You will always be asked if you have any questions, so have at least one prepared.

Remember that this is not the time to ask about salary. Ask an intellectual question that demonstrates your interest in the company’s future and your development in it.

Now Get Ready for the Big Day

You now have a better idea of what to expect, and have prepared some excellent questions and answers. Now it’s time to perfect the extra details.

Check Your Equipment

As a developer, you’ll know your way around a computer, but don’t be complacent. Make sure you check your connectivity, microphone, camera, and speakers beforehand and on the day.

Position your screen at eye level, prioritizing how the interviewer sees you over how you see them.

Check Lighting, Backdrop, and Distractions

Ideally sit by a window, but certainly avoid fluorescent bulbs or poor lighting. Always light from in front of you – you don’t want to be a silhouette.

Ensure the background is decluttered, clean, and organized. Finally, remove all distractions from your interview space – including your phone, pets, housemates, and children.

Dress for the Interview

You’re probably interviewing from home, but the same interview rules apply. Dress professionally, and make sure you’re comfortable in your clothes.

Show Passion and Enthusiasm

Interviewing virtually requires extra work in expressing yourself and creating a connection with the interviewer.

Show your infectious passion for what you’ve achieved so far, what you do as a developer, and your enthusiasm for the future within an excellent organization.

To Sum Up

After your interview, send a polite and professional follow-up email to demonstrate your interest in the role.

The recruitment process is tough for all those seeking new developer jobs, but the key difference in succeeding is determination and preparation. If you’re not successful this time, remain resilient. Ask for feedback, learn, and work on your virtual interview technique.

Get in touch with TotalTek today to be matched up with the perfect developer vacancy for you.