“How to be a perfect candidate?” Preface

I have been preparing to write this article for several months already. Today, one more candidate cancelled the interview minutes before it was supposed to happen and this finally tipped the scale. Within the next several articles I will share my point of view how a potential, perfect candidate should look like!

Short background about me — I have almost 10 years of professional experience working as a Software Engineer. Over the course of my career I conducted hundreds of interviews ranging from Junior positions up to Architects or Principal Engineers. I interviewed candidates from all over the world, came across candidates with a variety of backgrounds, cultures and ages. And I must say — it all doesn’t matter, nothing is given, nothing is set, only your actions matter!

I will keep this article very short, it will be just a preface and an invitation for you all to read the following articles from this series. Why do I think another article about hiring and interviewing is needed? Simply — because I don’t feel there are enough of them written by strictly technical people! You can easily find scenarios for impressing Talent Sources, Hiring Managers or even nailing technical questions. But there’s a major gap — no one really talks about how to behave on a technical interview and how to impress technical interviewer!

Since this story is “a preface” let’s think if there is anything You, as the candidate, can do BEFORE the interview happens? In fact there are multiple things you can — and moreover you SHOULD do — prior to a technical interview part of recruitment process.

  1. Find a date and time that will work for you — nowadays most of the interviews happen online, over Zoom, Google Meet or Webex so please make sure you find a slot which will work for you — and book this slot on your end. Please do not call an hour before the interview saying you have a conflict. That’s just not professional behaviour. I, as a technical interviewer, prepare the interview way ahead. If I hear an hour before the interview that it is cancelled it means I just wasted my time. I will have to prepare once again.
  2. Make sure you know who you will be talking to — that is your right to know the name of an interviewer so do not hesitate to ask this question. Then do some research, Google the name, check LinkedIn, check Github. If the interviewer wrote articles in the past — briefly read them! That will give you a great lever to get off on the right foot with your interview, these kinds of topics are great for small talk!
  3. Research the company — please, please, please — do not come to an interview knowing nothing about the company. “Why?” you might ask. I have an answer for you — I value your time. Just imagine spending 90 minutes on the technical interview just to learn that you don’t like the profile of this company and you are not interested in working for them. That means you could have saved 90 minutes just by doing a 10–15 minutes research. Your friends will be: company’s website/blog and Glassdoor.

These are the three things that I personally call time savers. These pieces of advice help to save your and the technical interviewer’s time. Please keep in mind — the only thing we, as a humankind, cannot create is time so value your and others time!

Please stay tuned for next parts of this series!