Application Developers, steps to a successful interview

With high levels of competition for jobs in the market today, those doing the hiring are looking for “all-around” knowledgeable employees, who are elf-starters, independent, technically proficient and have good communication skills.

As the interviewing process will now cover more than just a technical assessment means that the current interviewing process is more vigorous than ever. From a candidates perspective, you will need to show that you have the technical knowledge and have the awareness and cross-over skills of some of the other roles within the development process, such as business analyst, designer, architect, DBA, and often, project coordinator. If you are just a programmer, it is wise to re-evaluate your current situation and start ensure that you move with the market and evolve as the market does.

If you are looking for a new position in Information Technology, the following list will give you a guide to what hiring managers are looking for:

1. People Skills. During the interviewing process, you must show at least three of the seven traits listed below.

  • Self-Discipline: Ability to choose your task, create a plan of attack, and execute the plan
  • Motivational Skills: Ability to coordinate and stimulate others to action towards the desired goal
  • Organizational Skills: Ability to effectively control resources in the time-constrained environment, proving that you can meet development milestones is essential here
  • Communication Skills: Ability to effectively communicate with others by using presentation, writing, and listening skills
  • Strategic Skills: Ability to apply methodology for systematically spotting and exploiting opportunities to improve the situation
  • Conflict Resolution: Ability to control how conflicts are handled and resolved in a group setting
  • Assertiveness: Ability to distinguish yourself as a leader and a person of authority

If you feel you do not possess enough of the skills in the list above, think of ways that you can acquire them.

During your interview you should be ready to discuss your previous professional experience where you had shown your proficiency in the skills above. You also should be prepared to explain what each skill means to you on a personal level.

2. The Basics. You should always be ready to answer specific technical questions. Remember, your interviewer cannot assume that you have the skills or knowledge because you have said so. They will want you to prove its part of their due diligence.

  • Make sure you know coding basics
  • Review current best practices to ensure that your methods are current
  • Review a piece of code that you would be happy to present as an example of your abilities

3. Advanced Topics. If you are applying for a Senior Developer role, you must be ready to discuss advanced topics of the specific language(s). Some areas to focus on would be:

  • Application Design Patterns. A useful reference can be found from wikipedia here
  • UML: Unified Model Language has become a required skill for many roles within Information Technology.As UML is often used for specifying, visualizing, constructing, and documenting software. Suggested UML diagrams that you should be familiar with are:
    • Use-Case Diagram
    • Sequence Diagram
    • Class Diagram
  • Application Frameworks: The majority of all application development jobs these days require an in-depth knowledge of a number of frameworks
  • You need to have a good understanding of architectural tiers. Typically an ideal candidate will have a good understanding of distributed and non-distributed architectures and will be able communicate the strengths and weaknesses of each

Hints & Tips, Hints for the Interview