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What to Wear to a Developer Interview

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As the old saying goes, first impressions count and that is never truer than when it comes to an interview. How you present yourself paints a picture in the prospective employer’s mind of your interest and dedication to landing the position. But does this apply to an IT developer interview? ‘Silicon Valley’ culture has strongly influenced the IT industry uplifting many long-standing traditions in the world of business. The stereotypical ‘IT guy’ is depicted as a laid-back person wearing jeans and a hoody at best, but is this appropriate when interviewing for a developer position?

 

 

There are a number of things that must be taken into consideration when gauging what to wear to a developer interview. First and foremost, it is important to note that developer positions are open in a wide array of industries ranging from a small tech start-up to a global bank. The culture and industry in which the company operates in will dictate what you should wear to the interview.

 

 

For example, in a bank, formal business attire is expected and worn by nearly all employees. If the employees are wearing suits, you should suit up for your interview. If a suit just isn’t for you, dress smart. A co-ordinated, well fitted smart outfit with dress shoes will suffice.

 

 
 

A bank is a very black and white example. The tech scene is a different story, where the lines can become blurred. Even some of the top tech firms dress more on the business casual side, making it hard to gauge what is deemed office appropriate. Smaller tech firms can dress very casually, with a suit not being expected or even appropriate. A good trick is to research the company’s culture through a simple Google search, Glassdoor, LinkedIn and so on. Try speaking to an employee of the company or even a similar company to get an idea of what is expected.

 

Interviewees are always susceptible to underdressing to match the company culture. It is recommended to always dress professionally, no matter what type of company you are interviewing with. Your appearance signals who you are, your professionalism and even your work ethic.

 

Men should consider wearing trousers or khaki pants with a long sleeve shirt and dress shoes. No jeans or trainers, its simply too casual for the occasion. Women should consider wearing a pencil skirt or trousers with a collared shirt. A work dress is also suitable. Wear whatever you are most comfortable in but err on the side of overdressing. Whatever you decide to wear, ensure the clothes are clean, crease free and the shoes are polished.

 

Good personal hygiene and care is a must. For men, make sure you’re clean shaven or your beard is very neatly trimmed. If you use hair product, go easy with it. For women, keep the make-up light and professional. If you have a lot of jewellery and/or piercings, best to take a minimal approach to both. Make sure your nails are neat and if you are wearing nail polish, make sure it’s not chipped. Last but not least, try not to use overpowering perfume or aftershave - a subtle scent is best.

 

 

 

During an interview, there are a lot of variables outside of your control, so why not make the most of the variables you do control? Research has shown that the first few seconds of meeting someone is the most crucial, with the visual impact you make being the most important factor.

 

Posted by Adam Dunne on 24 January 2019

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The Power of Networking - 5 Benefits Networking Can Have on Your Career

The Power of Networking - 5 Benefits Networking Can Have on Your Career

1. Get Help and Be Helped One of the most significant parts of building a professional network is the opportunity it presents you to ask others for help when you need it and to help other people in your network. It happens to all of us at some point when we need an extra pair of hands to help us solve a problem. All jobs present bumps in the road and it’s great to have a professional network you can lean on in times of struggle and vice versa you can lend a helping hand when your network need help. 2. Be Inspired by Ideas Networking can be so beneficial to our creativity and inspire us to do more in our work. If you’re feeling a little lost or not as pumped about your job as you once were, go to a work event or conference and start talking to people! These people can have a similar role as you or a completely different role, or just work in the same industry. Don’t focus on what level they are either. Different levels of experience will bring you all kinds of different insights. It doesn’t matter what role they are in or what level they are, they will always share something new with you. It’s a great way to come back to the office with new and exciting ideas. 3. Build a Good Reputation Building your network will get you known among those in your industry. More visibility is a great way to build your reputation. Getting yourself out there and being noticed by your peers will help you make a name for yourself. Word of mouth can go very far and if you make enough good impressions a level of trust for you and what you do will follow. This will stand to you if you decide to apply for a new role. You may not know your interviewer directly, but they may have a connection to you through a mutual contact, who has nothing but positive things to say about you. 4. Grow your Confidence Career advancement isn’t the only benefit to networking. It can help with your personal growth as well. By continually putting yourself out there and meeting new people and stepping out of your comfort zone on a regular basis, will help you to build invaluable social skills and self-confidence that you can take with you anywhere. The more you network, the more you’ll grow and learn. 5. Gain New Friendships The last benefit doesn’t impact your professional career, but it doesn’t make it any less significant. Spending time socialising and building your network will naturally lead you to making friends. Some of the strongest and long-standing friendships have started as work connections. The people you network with will be like-minded with similar aspirations and struggles as you so it’s not unlikely that a work relationship could develop into a friendship. We have heard it time and time again, advancing in your career is just as much about who you know as what you know. That’s why networking is so important to your career, but networking can benefit you personally just as much as it can professionally. Spending time networking will be very worthwhile and the best part is that it’s never too late to start investing in your network.

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Keeping It Professional – How to use LinkedIn properly

Keeping It Professional – How to use LinkedIn properly

While there are plenty of social outlets to vent and express your feelings online, LinkedIn is not one of them. Outside of work we have all been told by a friend or colleague NOT to talk about work, regardless if the information is positive or negative, nobody wants to tackle these topics after 5:30. The same rules apply when it comes to LinkedIn and your working world. Nobody wants to hear your opinion on football, nor do they want to see photographs of your family, or that funny picture of a dog chasing its tail. There are plenty of social media outlets where you can express these interests and opinions. Try to differentiate your work world and your social world. LinkedIn is used by hundreds of millions of professionals worldwide. It is a place where you can sell/offer your experience and skills within the working community. How you demonstrate this information will be the reason why you are being headhunted by businesses and agencies, or on the contrary why you are finding it difficult to gain any traction in your network. Here are some key tips on how to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile. 1. Profile Picture: Your profile picture is a unique selling tool. Isn’t it always nice to have a face with the name? It makes you stand out more, makes you more memorable and ultimately portrays a big message to your professional network. When you’re using a picture, please do NOT have a picture of you including: Dogs, Cats, Bars, Nightclubs, group pictures, poorly formatted pictures or wearing a football kit. This is the first thing that a hiring manager will see, make it count, and make a positive impression. Recent surveys have shown that your profile is 11 times more likely to be viewed if you have a photograph on it than without. 2. Spelling/Grammar: This one is self-explanatory, yet it is the most common issue you’ll find on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn personal page is essentially your own online stock for hiring managers to buy into. You want your stock to be professional, assertive and representative of your ability. Ensure to spell-check your personal information and details before you submit them on your page. This, of course, will rule out any “where, were, we’re OR they’re, there and their” mistakes that are most common. Remember, this is your professional profile – nobody else will correct your work for you. 3. Networking A great way to get the most from your LinkedIn is by expanding your network. LinkedIn users have a tendency to add their closest friends and don’t explore and maximise their potential to widen their networking net. Reach out to old acquaintances and colleagues, clients and customers, and most certainly your college alumni – these are quite likely the most beneficial additions to your network. They have probably pursued the same routes as you have and can provide you with a broader reach in your network. 4. Creativity: “Creative and Responsible” – are the most used adjectives by LinkedIn users over the last few years. Never have we seen such creativity and responsibility by users across the globe. Although going by this statistic we should be societies full of Steve Jobs’ and Richard Branson’s. True creativity now-a-days in the business world is explored via strategy. Please don’t misconstrue your creativity as an innovative personal attribute that no other user could possibly think of. Instead why don’t you portray this “creativity” via a different route? Present your publications, merits, videos and any other projects that will depict the right image of you. We must be strategic on what information we want on show and what will make us stand out and be remembered. I’d advise you not to use LinkedIn as a place of social interaction, rather see it as a way for you to canvas your experiences and skills to date, and interact with professional communities globally. Think professionalism every time you log in and you should be presenting your best foot forward.

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Why Asking Questions In An Interview Is So Important

Why Asking Questions In An Interview Is So Important

Asking questions is an important part of learning and understanding certain situations in everyday life. As human beings we are naturally curious and like to explore different avenues; asking questions helps us to do this. In an interview setting it can be a daunting task trying to think of the right questions to ask but try to think of questions before going into an interview that will put across your interest in the role and working for the company. While some job-seekers do not ask questions at all due to the stressful nature of interviews, others tend to ask ineffective questions that do not fully highlight a genuine interest in the role. This is an opportunity for you to get a greater understanding of the job you are interviewing for. It explains the duties you will perform with the bonus of getting an insight into the company from a person rather than a job spec or corporate website. When an interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions?” towards the end of an interview, think of this as an opportunity to stake your interest. Stay away from questions about remuneration and other perks as these can create a bad impression but ask educated questions that show you have done your research on the company and the role. The key is to ask evocative questions which will allow the interviewer to tell you about the role and get them thinking of various aspects of the company they like with the added benefit of providing you with first-hand information. Some examples of effective questions can be “What would be expected of me in this role within the first 6 months?” This is a great question, it makes the interviewer envision you performing the job you are applying for, while giving you an outlook on what you can expect in the mid to long term. It is a good note to end the interview on. Another effective question to ask the interviewer would be “What interests you most about this company?” This registers with the interviewer that you are curious about the company beyond your own personal interests. A lot of the time questions can be too self-centred, by asking this question it allows you to get a first-hand account of life in the company.

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How To Answer “What’s Your Greatest Weakness?”

How To Answer “What’s Your Greatest Weakness?”

The one question I am always asked when preparing a candidate for an interview is “how do I answer the weakness question?” The worst reaction you can have to this question is to say I don’t have a weakness. Everyone has a weakness and the reason the interviewer is asking this question is to see how you act outside your comfort zone. People often make the common mistake of trying to turn a negative into a positive. An example of this would be I’m a perfectionist or I work too hard. These answers are boring and show the interviewer you have put very little thought into his/her question. Also you are not actually answering the question you’re just trying to put a clever spin on it.Another mistake candidates make is being too honest. Never mention a weakness that you have if it is going to stop you from getting the job. So don’t answer “I’m lazy” or that “I’m always late” as this is not what your potential new employer wants to hear. The trick to answering this is in the same way you would answer any interview question and that’s by preparing your answer in advance. It can be very difficult to talk about your flaws in a stressful situation like an interview so make sure you spend time preparing your answer. These are a few ways to best answer the weakness question: 1. Pick a weakness that is acceptable for the job Don’t pick a skill or requirement that is on the job spec that you don’t have and say it is your main weakness. This will only put doubt into the interviewers head. 2. Pick a weakness that you can develop For this type of answer you might think of an example where you had a weakness but developed it over the course of your time in prior employment. 3. Describe your weakness in a concise way Don’t go into loads of detail on this question. They are asking you your weakness so be brief and don’t come across as negative. A common answer that candidates often use when asked the weakness question is on their delegation skills. Here you can mention a time when you used to have the mentality that only you could do the job but over time you realised that it was actually slowing the work down and by delegating to other staff members the job was done quicker. This answer is perfect to give but it depends on what job you are going for. If you are going for a managerial role where managing and delegating work will be part of your job description then don’t use delegating as your weakness. Every question in an interview is an opportunity for you to sell yourself, so it is important you never miss a genuine opportunity and the weakness question is no different. Treat it like you would any interview questions that you find hard and prepare your answer.