Research the company: We all know how much programmers are in demand, but even if you have 10 interviews going on, out of respect to both the hiring manager and your agent, put in some work to know at least 3 facts about the company you are interviewing with.  Location, products/services, technology stack and size of company are generally enough.

·       Time: Arrive 15 minutes before the interview if on-site. If you have time the evening before, take a drive around the area or to the building so as to make sure you allow yourself enough time the day of the interview.

 If a Skype interview or online, make sure internet connection is strong, you have a full battery, speaker and video are working well and that you are in a quiet setting where you are comfortable to speak – Starbucks is surprisingly not a great place for an interview. Always have your CV in front of you as well as the job spec, you never know when you might forgot something in your experience so it makes sense that when you can have your CV in front of you, to do it.

·       Listening: Listen to the question being asked. More often than not like in an exam, we want to spill as much info around what we have prepared instead of answering the question at hand. So many feedback forms from hiring manager’s relate to candidates not answering question asked.

·       Answering: To answer a hiring managers question, reach for the stars or the “STAR” method.,_Task,_Action,_Result

It is so important to have 4-8 sample projects ready to discuss with the manager, that relate to the requirements of the job spec. Common questions developers face, relate to technologies and tools you use on a daily basis. Outline the Situation, the Task, what the actions were and finish with the result. Always start with what “YOU” did in the projects and then bring in the role of your team to show your collaboration skills.

·       End: The end of the interview is always where you get the opportunity to ask some questions. In my opinion, 1 question is too little as it shows a lack of interest and 3 questions seems too much, as it can feel like you’re being too pushy. I think two questions is perfect and highlights your interest without over doing it.

If you are looking to make a change in your career or approaching a job interview, feel free to contact us at for advice.

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 Stephen Molloy at Mentor Talent Acquisition