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Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer? 218

An anonymous reader writes "Earlier in my career, when I switched jobs every year or so, I was pretty good at interviewing. I got offers about 75% of the time if I got to a in person. But times have changed... my last 2 jobs have been, longer term gigs.. 5 and 3 years respectively, and I am way out of practice. My resume often gets me the phone interview and I am actually really good at the phone screen.. I am 12 for 12 in the last 6 months phone screen to in person interview. It is the in person interview where I am really having issues. I think I come off wrong or something.. I usually get most of the technical questions, but I am not doing something right because I don't come off very likeable or something. It is hard to get very much feedback to know exactly what I am doing wrong. I have always gotten very good performance reviews and I am well liked at work, but if there is one area for improvement on my reviews it has always been communication. So I ask, can anyone give out some advice, I have tried toastmasters a few times, but does anyone have other tips or ideas? Has anyone else had a similar experiences?"
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Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer?

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  • Re:Drink more. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Magnus Pym ( 237274 ) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @12:40PM (#46551911)

    Likeable is good, but complaining about past employers is a TERRIBLE idea. It is very very hard to do this without coming across as a whiner. Most interviewers immediately pick up on the implied negativity. `You are complaining about them today, you will surely complain about us tomorrow'.

    Project positivity. You are not running away from anything. You are running towards something... the new job. Employers don't necessarily want to pick up and be saddled with orphans, refugees or the weak. They want healthy, well-adjusted individuals who can stand on their own feet and be productive.

    Also, note that interviewing has changed over the past few years. Behavioral interviewing is all the rage, led by a few large, successful companies. In this situation, candidates are asked to describe specific things that happened to them in past jobs (or specific problems they have worked on), and the interviewer tries to get a feel for how the candidate behaved in that situation (overcoming adversity, dealing with ambiguity, working on seemingly intractable problems), and to extrapolate to how the candidate would behave in similar situations in future. If you really are experienced, you probably have a number of examples like this from your past. Research a few large companies (Google, MSFT, Amazon), they are very open about their interviewing strategies and the qualities they expect from an employee. Keep a few examples of behavior polished and ready.

    And good luck!

  • by leptons ( 891340 ) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @12:46PM (#46551969)
    I had to dye my hair for the first time ever during my recent job search, because I was being interviewed by 20-something and they aren't as likely to hire someone in their 40s if they look like they are in their 40s.

    There is a misconception in the industry that younger == better, but nothing could be further from the truth. The younger ones invariably cause many problems by making mistakes that more experienced people have already made and know to avoid.

    I will by dying my hair again only if/when I need to look for another job.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 22, 2014 @01:36PM (#46552357)

    The strangest interview I had was when I did not suit-up. I was helping a friend build an addition and toward end-of day got a call from the potential job to see if I could show up in twenty minutes, the boss wanted to finish up interviews instead of waiting for next week which would have been my interview day. I rushed over still in my ripped muddy jeans, dirty tee, muddy boots and forgot to remove my tool belt. Figuring there was no-way I would get the job, we joked, talked about many things, went out for a beer and got the IT job. Stayed on that job for ten years !

  • Re:Eight years older (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lgw ( 121541 ) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @08:43PM (#46554775) Journal

    The problem with being eight years older is that you are, indeed, eight years older. Past a certain age it seems that the only jobs you will be able to get is through your network.

    My resume says "20+ years of experience", and I get recruiters contacting me constantly. People want me to help fix the problem in their shops, to be the one doing the morphing, not to be the one needing any sort of molding myself. Or they just want someone who will simply do the job right without needing any supervision - take some of the load off of overworked managers. I've learned that latter is a warning sign - managers should be trying to fix their structural issues when it's that crazy.

What is research but a blind date with knowledge? -- Will Harvey