One Thousand Interviews: Five Lessons On How To Pass The First Stage

To date, I have interviewed one thousand candidates for Try Catch. And I’ve come across it all: the good, the bad and the exceptional. Everyone asks me what ‘the secret’ is to giving off the right impression. Although, unfortunately, there is no one golden rule, I can give some insights and tips to help you pass that first interview. These are the top 5 characteristics that I look for in a candidate:

  1. Be Prepared

First and foremost, it is highly important to be prepared before an interview. Fortunately for you, the Try Catch website is super easy to use and gives you a great insight into how we work, the companies we work with and what to expect by becoming one of our candidates. Take the time to have a browse through, it shows you can do your research and will help smooth the process once we get started. Also, before an interview, make sure you get yourself to a quiet place where you know you won’t be interrupted. Standing on a loud and busy street doesn’t exactly say ‘prepared’..

  1. Be Passionate

Nothing shines through in an interview more than passion. A coder who loves to code is the best kind of candidate. For example, when a candidate shows real enthusiasm for their code stack, takes courses online to improve, or dabbles in personal projects in their own time — it all stands out as a big plus! Especially to those who are in the beginning of their career, showing that you have the will to learn, grow and improve is key. Lack of experience can be made up for by professional dedication and commitment.

  1. Be Sure Of What You Want

The three danger words: “I don’t know”. Out of my one thousand interviews, it is surprising how many candidates didn’t have an answer to the easiest of all questions — “what is it that you’re looking for?”. Try Catch matches candidates to new job opportunities based on their personal preferences. The more thorough and detailed you can be in outlining these preferences, the clearer picture we will have of who would be a good fit for you. If you’re a Ruby on Rails developer who loves working in an Agile environment for fast-growing start-ups, then say so! In addition, the more concise you can be about ‘who you are’ and ‘what you want’ — the more confident, driven and self-assured you will come across to the interviewer.

  1. Be Professional, Be Polite

No matter how much experience or seniority you’ve got to your name, a polite and respectful attitude goes a long way. Whilst programming skills can be shown through a coding challenge or test; your personality is shown through your manner of conduct in an interview. Yes, companies want to hire the ‘best tech talent’ out there; but more importantly, they want to hire someone who would be a strong and engaging team player.

  1. Be Someone I Would Like To Work With

Finding a new job is never easy. Luckily, at Try Catch, we’re particularly apt to help you with this. As a candidate-driven company, our focus and priority is you. Not only do we have close relationships with the individual companies we work with (we know exactly what they’re looking for), we also have an excellent team of in-house experts as part of the Try Catch process. These experts know the industry just as well as you do, they share your professional interests and can help you — through guidance and feedback — with further technical stages. So what do I expect from you? Cooperation and transparency. That is all. With the right give-and-take mindset, we can work together to have you sitting at your new desk in no time.

Good Luck – and enjoy.

Founder at Try Catch

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