Thanks to the current supply and demand imbalance in the Canadian job market for tech roles, advertised roles for engineers and program developers are being offered a higher than average annual salary. For those tech skilled job seekers looking to cash in on these opportunities, here are our top tips on impressing tech employers.
Dress for the tech sector
Techies are famously underdressed, some might say badly dressed with the hoodie and sneaker combination. When it comes to tech interviews the important thing is to strike a balance between smart and casual. If you’re unsure of what the right balance is, we suggest erring on the side of caution and go smartly dressed. Generally, you will not be penalised for wearing a suit to a job interview, it shows you mean business and are dressed to impress. However, if you’re interviewing for a trendy startup company, dressing over formally could damage your chances as it might show you’re not a good match for the company culture. Smart jeans and an ironed shirt are generally a safe and neutral combination for tech interviews.
Know the company
As mentioned in the previous point it is vital to know everything you can about the company before the interview. Use every resource available from networks and press coverage to their blog and LinkedIn to find out about their history, values and culture. Not only will this inform you how to dress but, from a technical prospective it will tell you how to prepare for the interview. What technology are they using? What technology should they be using? Turn up to the interview with as much information as possible and wow them with your relevant knowledge.
It is not uncommon for interviewees to nod along in agreement with whatever their interviewer says, but that makes for a very dull and, frankly, unimpressive interview.
More often than not, tech companies are trail blazing and disruptive. Think of the Google, Twitter and Facebooks of the world. They are looking for employees who really stand a head and shoulders above the competition and are prepare to launch the company into unchartered territory.
Simply nodding along and agreeing with everything the interviewer is saying is boring and unimpressive. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion, especially when it comes to new technologies. Show off your passion and know-how for the company and industry – it will definitely impress.
Know your stuff
Having an opinion is only valid you can back it up with in-depth knowledge and understanding on what you’re talking about. Use the job description as a guide for what the interviewer is likely to ask. If it mentions a specific method, software or technology make sure you know everything there is to know about that subject.
Get your resume right
Technological skills are easily quantifiable so do NOT over exaggerate your skills or experience. It will be very obvious very quickly whether you are lying or not. Also don’t neglect the non-technological aspects of your professional history. While interviewers do not want a 40-page biography, it is important to give them an idea of who you are and how you’ve come to be where you are. In addition, come prepared with examples of how your skills are valuable in real life situations.
Demonstrate your ability
Be sure to include actual links in your resume to current examples of your technological ability including websites you have created, some code you have online or your blog. The interviewer will likely have some questions about your technological decisions or elements of the functionality. This is your opportunity to show off your creation. It’s a good idea to bring a laptop or tablet to show off your work first-hand.