Interviewing Guidelines & Resources

This page serves as a resource to both instructors and students alike when practicing interviewing. Along with helpful tips around answering questions and links to processes like the STAR method, this page also offers clarity around resumes and how an interviewee might speak to theirs.

Behavioral & Technical Recommendations

  • A great process to practice when answering both behavioral & technical questions is to answer why the question was asked in the first place? Ex: If the interviewer asks you “what is the CSS box model?”, first write down why are they asking this?
  • Interviewee asks clarifying questions and takes time before responding. They also follow graceful exit strategies when not knowing an answer. This could include an explanation on knowledge gaps and redirecting the conversation to topics well known by the interviewee (including data structures, frameworks, relevant topics in testing, CSS, prototype methods/enumerables, etc.) or potentially writing down the topic and following up with the interviewer the following day.
  • When answering questions about one’s personal/professional journey into software development and answering questions, make sure the interviewee is following these 4 tips:
    1. Answers the whole question including transparency and details on an event and following up on the results that occurred afterwards.
    2. Tells stories following the STAR method.
    3. Speaks about experience including Turing and previous work experiences. Reminder: Don’t assume your interviewer knows anything about Turing including Turing-specific jargon like module, inning, cohort, DTR, etc.
    4. Displays a clear understanding of what the company’s product and mission is and know what their tech stack is. (This should be done before even submitting an application) You can give yourself a bit of wiggle room with this in case there’s a misunderstanding by starting out with “Based on what I was able to understand from your website…” as an opportunity to show that you’ve read up on the company.
  • When answering questions around workflow or technologies, confirm that the interviewee is specific in their answer. That relevant terminology is used correctly and specific examples are shared. High level answers are less likely to be memorable and lack the detail the interviewer is looking for.

How prepared are you for the interview?

Before starting an interview, real or mock, make sure to have a few things prepared in advance:

  • Pen and paper. Your interviewer will know you are respecting their time if you are writing notes throughout. This is also valuable if you have to diagram anything when answering questions.
  • 1 or 2 projects pulled up. More than likely in a technical interview, you will likely be answering questions on technologies you’ve learned or projects you’ve listed on your resume. Why not share your screen and demo off your work as you are answering your interviewer?
  • A list of questions written down prior to the intervew. Your interviewer is guaranteed to ask you what questions you have for them. The questions you ask say a lot about you as a person, the interest you have in the team and work that they do, and the research you have done prior.

Resume Recommendations

  • Interviewee should be able to speak to all topics listed on their resume. Make sure skills and projects are grouped logically and by preference. Double check for grammatical and spelling errors as well.
  • Project descriptions should not only be an overview or feel like a project spec. Rather highlight individual accomplishments and contributions (including your role as a project manager, technical leader, support, etc.) as well as personal wins including the challenges faced and overcome.
  • When reviewing one’s resume, ensure that the interviewee has an ATS-ready resume. Confirm that the doc is a Word/Google doc as not all ATS systems read PDFs. “Stylized” resumes are fine for Terminal portfolios or via emails as a PDF.

Note on the Resume Resource Above

Take note of the resume checklist and ensure that all necessary information is listed out on the resume as well. A few reminders are:

  • A summary is strongly recommended if the interviewee does not have a lot of previous work experience.
  • Skills listed are technical. Do not include “soft skills” as these can be added to experience descriptions.
  • At least 3 projects are listed including technologies, descriptions, and active links to repos and deployments.

Where does Turing experience belong?

The answer to this question is highly dependent on the interviewee’s past experience and is not as black and white as one may think. Turing may be listed under “Experience” if the interviewee has limited work experience or gaps in employment. Otherwise, it is preferred to use that space to highlight professional experience from prior roles. Turing may also be listed under “Education” as well with the note that the individual received a “Certificate of completion in [Back]/[Front]-End Engineering”. This may include descriptions of areas of study along with leadership or extracurricular activities they participated in such as Student Circles or SLC. Again, an interviewee may list Turing under both categories depending on previous experience. For clarification or concerns, please reach out to Tracey or Ryan.

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