It's down to the wire. Are you ready to stand out from your competition at your in-person tech interview? Copyright: tomwang / 123RF Stock Photo.
You've made it - after several rounds of phone and/or Skype interviews for a tech position at your dream company, you've been invited to come down to the office for an in-person tech interview.
What do you do?
Maybe you're not the best at first impressions or under pressure in a social situation. Maybe this is the first time you're going to see anyone you've been speaking with on the phone. If the position is located abroad, this might even be your first time in the country.
There are plenty of factors that can make this tech interview more stressful, but if you can knock this interview out of the park, chances are that you'll land the job, because in-person tech interviews are often part of the last stage of hiring for tech roles.
Look on the bright side
Tech interviews are just as much opportunity for you to size up the company as they are for the company to evaluate your skills. Copyright: sjenner13 / 123RF Stock Photo.
It may not sound like it, but in-person interviews have advantages. You can read someone's reactions better when they're sitting right in front of you, instead of reading someone's voice. Mannerisms can tell you a lot about a company, and you can also take the opportunity to observe the office and see if you fit in there.
In other words, the interaction is a bit of an audition - for them, not just for you. Treat it as such. What's it like to walk into the office? Pay attention to how your surroundings look while you're waiting and the way that the employees you see communicate with each other. It's only a small piece of the company, but it can factor into your decision about whether or not you see yourself working here.
1. Know what you know - and what you don't
By now, you've probably been through multiple rounds of tech interviews with the company and have hopefully answered several of the questions that you have about work style, culture, and team organization (here's a guide if you're at a loss). You probably know enough at this point to figure out what to ask during this interview.
Since this is probably the first time the company is meeting you in person, they likely have confidence in your technical skills - now, they need to evaluate you for personality, attitude, and culture fit. Come prepared with questions you haven't asked yet (or questions you haven't asked this particular interviewer), and fill any existing gaps that you'll need later if you get an offer.
Remember, you're being watched as well, so keep things classy, even while waiting for your tech interview. Copyright: gstockstudio / 123RF Stock Photo.
Traditional suit-and-tie interviews may not necessarily be the norm anymore, especially if you're going to work at a startup, but remember that this is probably the first time the company is seeing you in person. Depending on the company, you may not have to seem formal when you meet them, but you'll have to seem put-together.
And remember that “wear anything you want" doesn't mean showing up in a unicorn onesie.
Before the in-person tech interview, ask casually if you have to wear anything special, like “business casual." Follow the instructions the company's hiring manager or your recruiter tells you. And remember that “wear anything you want" doesn't mean showing up in a unicorn onesie.
In general, dress nicer for a corporate round than you would a startup. More important than the clothes would be your grooming: come showered, clean shaven or neatly trimmed, with combed hair. Don't go overboard with added fragrance, and make sure your clothes are in good shape.
3. Be on time - or even better, early
Being late always makes a bad first impression. .If you've never been to the office before - especially if the office is in a city you have little experience with - try to figure out transportation. Know how to get there 15 to 30 minutes before your interview time just in case something happens (rush hour or your ride share takes a longer time than usual to get there). Remember, once you're there, you might have to figure out how to get into the building and into the office, which can take some time.
Know how to get there 15 to 30 minutes before your interview time.
Still, despite our best intentions, we often find ourselves running late. As soon as you know you're going to be late, contact your point of contact with the company and let them know as soon as possible how late you'll be. Show how responsible you are.
Of course, the opposite is true. Keep track of how your interview progresses. Are people on time? Do they communicate time well to each other? File that away for when you evaluate the company's possible offer.
4. Be humble
No one wants to work with an arrogant chihuahua. Assert yourself but make sure you aren't the only person talking at your tech interview. Copyright: romeo3131 / 123RF Stock Photo.
Keep in mind that you're likely at this tech interview because the company is already confident in your skills. Now, prove that you're a team player. Don't feel pressured to act like someone you're not - the point is to show what you're like to work with. Listen to what the interviewer is asking, and put in some thought before you respond. You don't need a quick answer for everything.
You don't need to be a master manager to show you're good at working with others. Stay humble but helpful about your skills, and be honest when you don't know something. If it's a good team fit, chances are you'll feel it too.
5. Try not to talk about money
No two tech interviews are the same. If you're wondering when the right time to talk about the money is, it's a process for which you lay the groundwork throughout the interview.
If you're working with a consultant or recruiter, though, you can feel free to tell them your expectations beforehand so that he or she may further help you to narrow down options in your job search.
If the subject comes up, you can talk about your previous salary to the extent that you are asked, but usually this subject is more for the pre-offer discussion.
6. Follow up
Copyright: ximagination / 123RF Stock Photo.
It's just good manners. Send a quick follow-up email to thank the interviewer for his or her time, and then talk about how you're happy to answer any other questions. You can also add in a short note about how you're looking forward to your next interaction.
It's just good manners.
If you're working with a consultant or recruiter, let them know how the tech interview went right away. If something went wrong, he or she can maybe intercede and help you set things clear.
At 100offer, all our platform candidates receive free services from our specialized talent consultant throughout the process so that you have help every step of the way throughout your tech interview process. The result? You can proceed with an average 5 to 10 interviews and find your next dream job at tech companies in Singapore and China. We've got your back - just sign up today.