Before the interview
It happens that you get invited to an interview but it's too soon. You may feel like you need more time to get into the best shape. Let's say it's in 4 days and you feel like you can do nothing with this amount of time.
Typically, you should be able to reschedule. However, don't push the date too much. If your interview were in 4 days, don't ask for 6 additional months. Perhaps 1 or 2 weeks is something normal. Sometimes companies could be on a really tight schedule to fill a position but the bigger the company, the smaller the chance is.
So, if you feel like you need more time to prepare, ask to reschedule but be reasonable in terms of the additional time you ask for.
So, you've been browsing through HiredInTech and reading about how to prepare for an interview. However, at the same time you still don't have an interview scheduled. How can you fix that?
Here is a rather quick answer: there are at least two options:
- Use the official channels like the job sites of companies. Perhaps you can send your CV through a form or the jobs email address. This is not the better option. It is way less efficient that the next one.
- Here is the alternative: use a shortcut, find somebody in the company to recommend you. This greatly improves your odds of getting a job and the timeframe for this may get shorter. Usually, people don't realize how many options they have to achieve that. For example, you may think about people from your university who work at such companies. Maybe your university has an alumni group and you can use it to contact the right people. You would need to tell them why you want to work in their company and maybe mention past experience.
Another idea is to simply go through your LinkedIn contacts and find the ones who could connect you to the right people or directly work at the company that you want to apply to. You may be hesitant to do that but if you are good and present a good motivation about why you want to work somewhere chances are that these people will want to help. Moreover, in many companies employees get a commission for every recommended hire.
Finally, one interesting way is to find open source projects related to the company. You could start contributing to these projects. They may be observed by the company in some way. Or simply an engineer from the company may be involved in them. After a while, you may engage in an online social conversation with the right person who could judge you by your work and recommend you.
In a nutshell, try to find an alternative way to get to somebody internal. You will be surprised how often this can be successful.
You really want to prepare for your interviews but don't know where to start. There is so much to learn. Don't worry, this is why HiredInTech exists. First of all, we have assembled preparation plans, which you can take a look at. Choose one that you like based on your skills and timeframe. These plans have been created with a lot of thought behind them. They try to offer you a good mix of activities.
You can also try to construct a plan on your own or consult us to create a personalized plan for you. The shorter your timeframe is, the more important it is to have a good plan of action.
Mock interviews are a great way to get accustomed to the actual interview experience. We strongly recommend that you try to do a few before your real interviews. If you're unsure how to arrange that there are services like Pramp.com that offer this for free.
Finally, you can also browse the site and look at the preparation materials it offers. They are ordered logically and will give structure to your preparation.
After you've spent all that time working on your CV, you may wonder how much time people at the company will spend looking at it. The surprising answer is: around 30 seconds. And this has some important implications.
If your CV is really large, many pages, this is not going to work out well. If the CV has a bad structure, which makes it hard to read - this is also not good. There are probably two types of people who will look at the CV:
- The HR people who have to go through hundreds and maybe thousands of CVs. They can't be reading in details every CV. Instead they skim quickly. Due to their efficiency they need to make fast decisions.
- The tech people. After an HR person schedules an interview they send the CV to the tech people, who will interview the candidate. Usually a calendar event will be created and most likely 15-30 minutes prior to the interview they will look at the CV to get an idea about the candidate. Most likely they will also skim through as they also become efficient with time.
So, in summary, your CV will be looked at pretty quickly and this makes it even more important to prepare it very well. It must give all the important information and stand out.