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DCR: Step 7 - Interviewing

Published 11/11/2016

In today's episode, we talk about the incredibly important process of interviewing. More specifically, where you should interview, and for what position.

Today's episode is sponsored by Hired.com! If you are looking for a job as a developer or a designer and don't know where to start, head over to Hired now! If you get a job through this special link, you'll receive a $2,000 bonus - that's twice the normal bonus provided by Hired. Thanks again to Hired for sponsoring the show!

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Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Hey everyone and welcome to Developer Tea. My name is Jonathan Cutrell and in today's episode we are talking about the developer career roadmap. We are on a new step today. Step number seven, we're talking about interviewing today. If you haven't been listening to Developer Tea recently, I recommend you go back and listen to some of the developer career roadmap episodes that have come out previously. We have done six steps before today's episode and really this is kind of the core concepts that we hold close to our hearts at Developer Tea. So go and check those out. Step one was of course budgeting your time. Step two, pick your base language. Step three, start the learning cycle. Of course that step goes throughout the rest of your career. Step four was to pursue and obtain an internship or another entry level position. Step five is cross-training and that includes both cross-training in your job and outside of your job. And step six is go public. And finally step seven is interview at the company you want to work for in the department you want to work in. Now here's the thing, if you have an internship at this company then this episode it still applies but it applies slightly differently. Of course you are going to be interviewing the entire time during your internship but you have taken the most important step in getting into that company that you want to work for. It may be the case that if you have an internship in this industry that you aren't at the company that you eventually want to end up at. And hopefully you've taken some time to talk with your supervisor, your boss, whoever that may be about your intentions so that they know that you're hoping to move on to a different company eventually. That's not an easy conversation to have every single time but certainly if your boss knows your intentions and they are on your side then they can help you achieve some of those goals more readily. They can help you make the connections you need to make and they are going to be blindsided when you choose to leave that internship. So this episode really applies in multiple scenarios. It applies when you are actually going towards your internship. A lot of times internships are not as intensive of an interview process as a full-time job maybe. So this is kind of a more dedicated discussion, a more dedicated step for that full-time position, the kind of position that you want to stay in until further notice or until something else changes in your life or you decide that you want to make a major career shift. So if an internship position is a year long, maybe a year and a half or two years maximum, then this type of interview is shooting for the five to ten year range or beyond. This is a longer term, a chapter of your career. That's what we're talking about doing here. And really what we're talking about mostly today, we talked about interview tips, we talked about how you should walk in with questions for your potential employer. We've also talked about making sure that you've done some studying on that employer, that you know what they want. But in today's episode, what I really want to encourage you to do is seek out the company first, the opportunity with the people to sit in front of the people that you want to work with rather than seeking a title first. And there are a lot of differing opinions on this subject. And this is one of those topics where if you go the other direction, it is very possible and perhaps likely that you could also succeed. So the two directions that we're really talking about here, direction number one is going for a title in order to build your resume to eventually end up at the company that you want to work at. So for example, you want to be a front end developer at company X, but company X won't hire you for that position. They want to hire you for a different position. You could possibly go to company Y and they would hire you as a front end developer. You build your experience at company Y and then you reapply to company X. And this is absolutely a valid route to go. And in fact, we've kind of already said that you're doing this if you're an intern at a different company, right? And what I don't want to promote for you to do, especially in your first big chapter of your career, what I don't want you to do is go and work for a company that you don't want to work for five years or 10 years for that matter. I don't want you to go and spend that relational equity. I don't want you to spend the energy with the expectation that you could eventually end up at that company that you so desire to work for. So during your internship and even way before your internship, I want for you as a person to spend some time learning about your values, learning about yourself, really deciding what types of companies do you want to work for and be able to answer the question, why? I want you to be able to articulate why you want to work at the company that you want to work at. And the great part about this is the fun part is that you have full freedom to give any answer that you want to. It could be because of the location of the company. It could be because of the work that the company is doing in the social sphere. It could be because you have a lot of friends that work for that company. There can be a lot of reasons. But what I want you to do is really consider those reasons in terms of the five year plan, that five to 10 year window of your life. Are those reasons going to be valid and are they going to be enough for you to enjoy your job for the next five to 10 years? Now statistically speaking, you will very likely not stay in this job for five to 10 years. That's what we're shooting for with this step in your career. But statistically speaking, it's likely that you will move around before you land that five to 10 year job. But it is certainly possible and hopefully it is your goal to have a longer tenure at a company. And that's because you're going to learn so much more if you can invest a significant chunk of time, meaning more than one year into a company, into a culture, into a set of problems. You're going to learn a lot more. You're going to grow a lot more. So once you've decided those values, once you've decided those things that really anchor you, that make you want to work for a place and make you see that company or that opportunity as a longer term solution for you, that is really the goal there, right? The goal is to end up at that company and secondarily to hold a title at that company. Now the reality is your relationships that you will develop while you are working for that company are going to be more important than the experience that you would develop in a different company. Let me say that again. The company is going to be more excited, more motivated to hire from within someone who is equally excited and already vetted for a position that they are now qualified for, that they've built up the experience working towards. They would be much more motivated in general, companies would be more motivated to hire from within to a position that somebody, one of their own, has, has studied for or has acquired the necessary expertise for rather than going outside of the company and taking a bet on an external hire. Now I do feel like it's important to make a disclaimer that that is not always true and sometimes it depends on the particular job. For example, if you have experience leading an entire company, when another company is looking for a CEO, they're probably going to be looking for someone like you who has led a company already who has that kind of experience. It's a little bit more difficult to kind of climb the ladder up to that position. But as a general psychological and economic rule, hiring from within is less risky and ultimately the people that you hire from within, if they have been seeking that position, they're going to be better fit than someone who is external to the company. I highly recommend that you interview for the company that you want to work for in a position that is similar in the same department that you want to work in as a software developer. This would mean they need to be working with some kind of technology so that when you do eventually hopefully shift tracks into that position that you originally intended to apply for, that that shift is not a huge departure from your current responsibilities. I want to talk about today's sponsor and then we're going to come back and give you a few tips that you can take into the interview room. Some stuff that we haven't explicitly talked about before. Today's sponsor is hired. It just so happens that we're talking about interviews in today's episode, but hired helps you in this hiring process. It can be really difficult to find those companies that have the values that you want. Searching through hired is kind of like Christmas Day for developers. You see a ton of incredible companies doing incredible work around the world. And what hired does is it matches you to these companies. You can go all the way through an interview process, for example, and find out that the culture doesn't fit or the salary offer is way too low or something else just doesn't match up. That's what hired helps prevent for you. Hired is the world's most intelligent matching platform for full-time and contract opportunities in engineering, development, design, product management, data science, sales, and marketing. For a four-week timeframe, you work with a talent advocate. Throughout the process, this person is providing unbiased career coaching to help you put your best foot forward with potential employers. They're going to help you in this hiring process to go through things like interviews, like we're talking about today. So, the privacy and autonomy of your job search is of the utmost importance to hired. They will never show your profile to your current or your past employers. That's the most important part for you, especially if you are currently unemployed, is that hired is totally free. They pay you to get hired. Now normally people get a thousand dollar hiring bonus on hired, but you can double that normal bonus to two thousand dollars by using the link spec dot FM slash hired. That's a special link spec dot FM slash hired. That lets hired know that you're a Developer Tealistener. Of course, hired is sponsoring Developer Teaso they're going to help you out. Thank you so much to hired for sponsoring today's episode of Developer Tea and helping developers who listen to this show get placed in jobs they love. I told you I had some tips for you walking into your interview, but really I have one main thing for you to walk away with today. This is really the most important message when you walk into an interview. The most important thing that you can communicate to your employer is that you are confident that you can add value to the company. Let me say that one more time. The most important aspect of your interview with your potential future boss with your potential future supervisor with an HR department, anyone that you're talking to. The most important thing you can do is present the confidence that you can add value to the company. The way that you can present this confidence is not by simply saying that I know that I can add value. In fact, if you go in kind of building yourself up in an interview, often that actually comes across as looking like insecurity. This is a strange psychological conundrum that a lot of people find themselves in. If you are confident that you can add value, for example, if you're meeting with a client in your interviewing them, this doesn't just apply to job interviews. It really applies to working with people in general, choosing to work with another person. If you talk with another person as if you know that you can add value, then you get past this idea that you may or may not be worth it or that you may or may not be able to acquire this job, acquire this particular contract, and you move past all of that discussion. Instead, you move on to solving problems. You start talking about the goals of the company and the learning that you're doing and all of the things that excite you about what you perceive to be your future in working for this company. When it comes down to this simple idea that when you walk into an interview, you have to believe that you are the best person for this job. You have to internalize that concept and you have to get to the place personally by following these steps in the developer career roadmap, but also by practicing, by going through the process of refining your skills and rejecting the notion that you're not good enough for this job. Once you can internalize those things, then an interview is really more a discussion about the future of your working relationship than it is a tentative discussion about the potential of a relationship at all. Of course, this minimizes a lot of the problems that people face in the interview process. For example, the company may have business reasons why they can't hire you right now. There may be a timing issue, they may be quite simply you may not have the skill set that you need to interview for a particular company. There are a lot of things that you're going to face as you go through the interview process. So remember, the first interview may not work out. The second interview may not work out, but statistically you're going to hold 10 different jobs in your life. So view these failed interviews as learning opportunities, as practice for the next interview, and remember, if you walk in with a confidence that you are the person that should be filling this role, that confidence is infectious. If you can start talking about solving problems with the person that is interviewing you, rather than talking about your skills or your background or maybe your educational experience, instead if you move quickly, certainly those things are important, but if you can move quickly onto what can we do together? That kind of alignment. That's what an employer will be attracted to. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of Developer Tea. I hope that the Developer Career Roadmap is helping each and every one of the developers who is listening to this podcast. Thank you again to hired for sponsoring today's episode of Developer Tea. Remember, hired helps you find those potential employers. You can review them before they ever even see your details. Go and check it out, spec.fm slash hired. That will get you a double bonus when you get a job through hired. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of Developer Tea. Make sure you subscribe if you don't want to miss out on future episodes. And until next time, enjoy your tea.