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Developer Careers Guide 17: Interview Guide: The top 2% of interviewees

As with everything in recruitment there are tricks that you can pull that will put you in the top 2% of the market. Here is a list of simple tactics that you can use to make you stick in people’s minds.

Demonstrations – If you have a piece of relevant work that would be of interest to the client and it is something that you could demonstrate on a computer, then take in a laptop. This is very effective with websites or applications that are difficult to explain. If you have some real code that you are proud of, then it’s a great touch to bring it along. Mention at the beginning that you have bought something along in case the employer wanted to see it.

Aftershave/Perfume – Spray something fresh on just before you enter. It is always pleasant to be greeted by someone that looks presentable but someone that smells nice too can really stick in your mind. Especially when compared to another candidate whose aroma was at the opposite end of the spectrum. Who would you rather work with all day? Obviously one spray is enough though – you do not want to be overpowering.

Take a copy of your CV – You never know if the client has spent the last five minutes frantically looking for a copy before you arrived. If you arrive with a fresh copy of your CV then it will be easy for you both to discuss parts of your career history and skills. And it shows you are efficient!

Ask for a drink of water – If you politely ask for a drink of water at the beginning of the interview (if you are not offered) it can show confidence. It is an opportunity for the interviewer to do something for you, which is another way of establishing rapport. It is also handy if after 90 minutes of talking your throat starts to feel dry and you cannot sell yourself as well as possible.

Ask to see the office – This is tricky and should only be attempted if you feel that you have struck up a rapport with the interviewer and you are feeling that a job offer is likely. If this is where you’re going to spend the bulk of your day you have every reason to want to see it. Ask to see where everything happens, even to meet the team if they have time. If the interview is going well then the interviewer will be more than happy to introduce you to the technical team. This can be a great chance to get one up on the other applicants, as it could be a chance to talk more in depth about your technical skills. This will also ensure the client knows that you are keen.

Write an e-mail afterwards – If you have taken the interviewer’s business card, use it. If you feel that the interview has gone well and you built a relationship with the interviewer, then they will be happy to hear from you. The best time to do this is once you have got home. Send a simple email to say something like: ‘Thank you for your time. Having considered the role I am extremely interested’. If you discussed anything of particular interest or have had any further thoughts or questions since leaving the interview then now is the time to mention them. If you didn’t get the business card then send a very polite mail back to the recruiter that set up the interview. Again this small thing could win you the job if the client is deciding between two very similar candidates.

The posts in the Developer Careers Guide from 1 – 17 cover all the key points that will give you the best chance of getting the job you want.

Do also check out the posts in other sections of the RecWorks blog, and look out for further occasional posts to the Developer Careers Guide.

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