Work With Me | 901-878-9758

Conquering the Tech Interview with Confidence

I often get questions about what it’s like to interview for a technology job. In particular, job seekers ask what it’s like to interview to be a computer programmer. In fact, my most popular podcast episode ever was with a former Google recruiter, Gayle Laakmann, who described how to prepare for a coding interview.

Years ago, after my bachelor of computer and systems engineering, I competed in a few technical interviews. In the most memorable interview, I was asked to create a complete website. This was before the days of Squarespace and WordPress. The site had to be hand coded, and frankly, it took forever. I learned in this interview that employers have high expectations of computer programmers.

Perhaps they have good reason to give extensive interviews. It’s been said that a great coder can produce ten times as much code as a bad coder. And, it’s hard to get rid of a full time employee after they’re hired. Plus, unlike many other jobs, you really can give a developer a skills test. There are few other jobs where the interview process can give such clear and accurate feedback. On top of everything else, developers aren’t cheap. A company wants to be sure they know what they’re getting in advance.

A job seeker recently shared their coding interview experience with me, in hopes that it might help other developers. They had an initial interview at a company that was looking for experience with a particular programming language. Quickly, the candidate shared that they have not used this programming language in a number of years. They were assured that it would be no problem. The fundamentals were much more important.

During the second round of interviews, the same candidate was asked to complete a test. The test was using a technology that they weren’t familiar with. They were able to do research on their own, but it wasn’t enough. As you can imagine, the candidate walked away feeling unhappy with the experience.

Similar to the “build a website” homework that I had, this homework was meant to push the candidate’s limits. As frustrating as the experience can be, companies use these techniques to vet out potential employees. And, in some cases, the company does this to their own detriment. They can easily burn through candidates and come up with no one to hire.

As a candidate, one takeaway is this. Interviewing is a two way street. I often compare it to dating. Since when do we go on a first date and hope the person will marry us, before we’ve even ordered drinks? Interviewing is no different. Prepare and do your best. But, take the time to pay attention to how the hiring manager treats you. Look for a mutual match. If you don’t find a good fit, keep moving on. Just like with dating, if you stay with someone who’s a bad fit, you may miss out on the right opportunity.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

143 | Indeed Prime – Raj Mukherjee, San Francisco, CA

Episode 143 is live! This week, we talk with Raj Mukherjee in San Francisco, CA

Raj is the SVP of Product at Indeed.com. Indeed is the world’s #1 job website with over 200 million visitors per month from over 60 countries. In addition to Indeed, Raj has also worked at a number of other organizations, including GoDaddy, Google, and Microsoft.

On today’s episode, Raj shares everything you need to know about using Indeed Prime. Indeed Prime’s tagline is “Get hired within one month – job search not required.” Listen and find out how this recruiting tool (that targets technology candidates) is helping both employers and job seekers.

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

To learn more about Indeed Prime or to try it out, visit the Indeed website here.

Thanks to everyone for listening! And, thank you to those who sent me questions. You can send your questions to Angela@CopelandCoaching.com. You can also send me questions via Twitter. I’m @CopelandCoach. And, on Facebook, I am Copeland Coaching.

Don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave me a review!

116 | Learn to Code – Laurence Bradford, Founder of Learn to Code With Me in New York, NY

Episode 116 is live! This week, we talk with Laurence Bradford in New York, NY.

Laurence is the Founder of Learn to Code With Me. She’s also a contributor to Forbes. Her specialties include technical content creation, online education, and front-end web development. 

On today’s episode, Laurence shares her secrets for learning to code, switching to a technology field, and how to avoid the high price tag of going back to college to get a second degree.

laurence-bradford-podcast

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.


To learn more about Laurence, check out her website at learntocodewith.me.

Thanks to everyone for listening! And, thank you to those who sent me questions. You can send your questions to Angela@CopelandCoaching.com. You can also send me questions via Twitter. I’m @CopelandCoach. And, on Facebook, I am Copeland Coaching. Don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave me a review!

What We Can All Learn From Techies

business-meeting-1238188_1280

Last year, I received a text from a friend. It said, “I spent some time today figuring out a new video software.” And, it had a link to a fun short video.

This friend doesn’t use video at work, but he and two other IT guys are creating a YouTube channel. This is the second project for the team, who also recently started a podcast, to learn about podcasting.

This occurrence isn’t an uncommon one in the technology world. Techies are creating new social work groups on Meetup.com every day. They gather together and learn how to use software like WordPress, Python, Java, Oracle and PHP. They bounce ideas off of one another about how to start a podcast, how to build video games or how to make mobile apps.

They organize breakfasts, lunches and weekend-long coding sessions called hackathons. They host events for younger generations to teach them about programming.

The thing that’s interesting is, technology professionals do all of these activities in their free time. Their companies don’t sponsor these events. They aren’t compensated for participating.

But, the time they devote helps to keep their skill set up to date. Technology is a field that’s constantly evolving. In IT, if you want to keep up, you must keep learning. It creates job security.

In addition to beefing up their resume, this time builds their network. If there’s a job opening, you can bet someone will look inside these groups for candidates.

Lastly, it allows these professionals to cross-pollinate ideas with those outside their company’s four walls. They aren’t confined to the traditional thoughts on how to do things and can compare notes with others.

Although your industry may not change as often as technology, there are a number of great lessons to be learned from this group. First, don’t wait for your company to keep your skills up to date. It’s your responsibility. Be sure not to neglect your continuing education.

This may mean you may have to use some personal time, or even some of your own money. Think of it as an investment in yourself and your future value.

Once you’ve decided to give this strategy a try, you may wonder where to begin. Meetup.com is a natural place to look for special interest groups. You may also check the colleges in your area for continuing education courses. They often offer abbreviated courses at reasonable prices. Professional organizations can also be a great place to look.

Don’t have time to get out? Or can’t find anyone near you to network with? Search online. May universities such as Harvard and MIT are placing some of their course materials online – for free. And, there are many other online resources such as LinkedIn and website forums where you can network with others in your field.

At the end of the day, one of the best keys to being competitive is to always be learning.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

109 | Association of IT Professionals – Interview with Bill Schankel, Executive Director of AITP, in Mt. Laurel, NJ

Episode 109 is live! This week, we talk with Bill Schankel in Mt. Laurel, NJ. Bill is the Executive Director of the Association of Information Technology Professionals where he is responsible for strategy, governance support, and financial oversight. AITP seeks to advance the IT Profession through professional development, support of IT education, and national policies on IT that improve society as a whole.

On today’s episode, Bill shares his tips on the challenges IT professionals face today, skills professionals need beyond tech, and how to stand out during a job search.

bill-podcast

Listen and learn more!

To learn more about the Association of Information Technology Professionals, visit the AITP website at aitp.org. AITP can also be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Thank you to those who sent me questions! You can send your questions to Angela(at)CopelandCoaching.com. You can also send me questions via Twitter. I’m at @CopelandCoach. And, on Facebook, I’m Copeland Coaching. Don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave me a review.

AITP-Square-Logo-150x150