Engineering Day 4 (The Interview)

So you have an interview coming up. You’re excited, you want to wow your interviewer, but how do you do that? Some general advice to keep in mind for your next interview.

Much of the interview happens before the actual interview. What does that mean? Well before you reach the point where you’re being interviewed you should have already impressed your potential employer/investor/business partner. You are getting the interview because you impressed someone somewhere along the way.  How did you impress someone along the way? Here are few potential factors:

Non tech skills and Intelligence
It wasn’t just your tech-skills that did the trick. It’s your non-tech skills that also played a huge role. The interviewer is most likely impressed because by your demeanor and personality she has determined you’re not just technically intelligent, you’re emotionally intelligent, and professionally intelligent.

You know how to relate to people, you know how to be a good team player, you know how to communicate well and efficiently, you know how to show up on time and maintain deadlines. You know how to take constructive criticism and also give constructive feedback. You’re humble, genuine, you don’t try overshadow others.

Passion and Creativity
Demonstrate your passion and creativity. Showcase the blog or site you maintain. Showcase the open source code you’ve been writing for a non-profit or charity for example. Demonstrate a problem in your community that you identified and solved (creativity). It’s not enough to go to school for a few years and expect to land a job. It’s not enough.

Ultimately you got the job because you created the right image in the interviewer’s mind. Your resume said you were a Web Developer, your online portfolio said you were a Web Developer, the interesting projects you’ve worked on showed me you were a Web Developer and when you said it in the interview room the interviewer truly believed you. You created the image in her mind and you provided sufficient proof.  Additionally you showed the interviewer you’re someone trustworthy, creative, hardworking and dedicated that she can work with.

As an employer I’m paying you for your skills, but I hired you for your personality/character, your ability to work well with others.

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