You Landed a Job Interview — 8 Ways to Get Ready Now

Respond to the interview request, then check out these tools and tips. The post You Landed a Job Interview — 8 Ways to Get Ready Now appeared first on Codecademy Blog.

Apr 6, 2024 - 16:30
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You Landed a Job Interview — 8 Ways to Get Ready Now

Scoring a job interview is an accomplishment on its own — you should feel proud that your skills and experience got you in the door and one step closer to landing your dream role. So how do you respond when the opportunity for a job interview comes knocking? Ahead we’ll break down how to accept an interview offer and gear up for your next job interview. Use these steps as a guide to make sure you’ve covered all your bases. 

Be sure to check out our Career Center for more tools that can help your job search, including the new Interview Simulator in beta. This AI-powered feature simulates a job interview so you can get experience answering common interview questions on your own. The Interview Simulator is game changer when it comes to navigating the competitive job market today, and you can start using it now for free (Pro members can use the Interview Simulator up to five times a day).  

How to respond to an interview request 

In your response to an interview request, there are a few key points you want to hit: 

  • Express your excitement and gratitude 
  • Lock in the date, time, and location of the interview 
  • Confirm the format of the interview (in-person or virtual)  
  • Offer to send additional documents or details

Here’s an example email response for an interview request. Let’s pretend this is a person named Nayra applying for a job as a Junior System Engineer position at a startup company called Nosh Mish Mosh (you might recognize this fake company from one of our projects):  

Subject: Re: Interview Request for Junior System Engineer Position 

Dear Amelia, 

I hope this email finds you well. Thank you very much for reaching out to me regarding the Junior System Engineer position. I’m thrilled about the opportunity to interview for the role and to potentially contribute to the Nosh Mish Mosh team. 

I’m pleased to confirm I’m available for the Zoom interview scheduled for April 2nd at 3:00 pm ET. I look forward to our conversation and the opportunity to learn more about the role and discuss my qualifications. 

If there are any additional details or preparations needed from my end, please feel free to inform me. Thank you once again for considering my application. 

Warm regards, 

Nayra 

How to prepare for your job interview 

Research the company…  

Before stepping into your interview, take some time to delve into the company’s mission, leadership structure, product or service lineup, and its place against competitors in the market. Scour the latest news updates to catch wind of any recent developments or emerging trends in the industry that could be conversation fodder. For example, maybe the founder spoke on a tech panel recently, or a new product feature got some social media buzz.  

…and your interviewers 

Take some time to confirm the names and job titles of the people interviewing you (it’s okay to ask the recruiter for these details!). Sometimes a recruiter or hiring manager will coordinate interviews for other team members, so you’re not necessarily going to meet the person you correspond with about the position. 

Explore their LinkedIn profile to gain insights into their professional journey and background. Maybe your interviewer entered the field in an unconventional way and can talk about how they switched careers? Check how long they’ve worked there — if they’re a founding member who’s been there since the start, they’ll have different insight about the company than, say, a newbie who’s building out a new team. Both are valuable perspectives that can inform the type of questions you ask the interviewer (BTW, you should totally ask your own questions!).   

See if the interviewer has anything on their public-facing social media accounts or GitHub profile that you could ask about in an organic way. You don’t have to be creepy about it — the point of this kind of internet sleuthing is to find common ground so you can build rapport with your interviewer.  

Learn something new for free

Re-read the job description  

Go over the job description with a fine-tooth comb until you’ve internalized the expectations of the role. Review the must-have and desired technical skills and be ready to honestly talk about your experience with them. If you haven’t already, you can run your resume through our job-readiness checker to identify any knowledge gaps or blind spots. (Good to know: You can also use this tool before you even apply to a job).   

Let’s say they’re asking for C++ knowledge; they’re basically saying, “We need someone who can code this language fluently.” And if they mention JavaScript or another language as “desired,” they’re saying, “It would be awesome if you knew these too because we’ve got stuff written in them already, and it’ll be handy if you can jump in and help out.” Feeling rusty in a particular area? You might want to re-take one of our courses to brush up on a specific language or function.  

In the job description, you can also find clues about who you’d report to in this role and which team you’d be on. Imagine yourself in the position and taking on the day-to-day tasks — what roadblocks could you face? What additional skills do you have that aren’t on the job description, but could be a selling point? 

Try our Interview Simulator  

Skim common interview questions for the position so you know what to expect and can start thinking about your answers. On the blog we have lots of lists of common interview questions for specific roles and programming languages. When you’re ready, take our Interview Simulator for a spin and practice answering personalized, AI-powered interview questions. 

Practice answering interview questions using our Interview Simulator in beta.

With the Interview Simulator, you can tailor your interview scenario based on the job you’re pursuing, your level, and the type of company. After you provide details about your experience, the AI will present customized questions that mimic a real interview, and you can respond verbally or in writing. We’ll give you individualized feedback that pinpoints your strengths and areas for development. All you need to start using the Interview Simulator is a free Codecademy account. If you want full access to the Interview Simulator so you can use it up to five times a day, upgrade to a Pro or Plus plan.   

Make a list of your questions 

Your interviewer is going to be doing most of the questioning, but this is also an opportunity for you to ask questions about the job that may not be laid out in the job description. Bringing your own questions shows that you’re enthusiastic about the opportunity and have done your homework. If you get to the end of the interview and you’ve covered everything, a good open-ended question to ask a recruiter or hiring manager is: “What’s something you’re working on now that you’re excited about?” Here’s a list of more thoughtful questions you can ask an interviewer to learn more about the company and role. 

Do some introspection  

As you’re doing all this research about other people and organizations, don’t forget to reflect about your story and experience. One of the first things you’ll have to do in an interview is introduce yourself, so spend time thinking about how you’d frame your life and experience up until now. When you use the Interview Simulator, you’ll be asked an open-ended icebreaker question where you can introduce yourself and explain why you’re interested in the position. You can find more tips on how to answer the interview question “Tell me about yourself” on the blog.  

Think about why you want this job specifically compared to all the other ones you’re considering. What is it about the organization’s mission that resonates with you personally? How does your lived and professional experience make you uniquely qualified for the role?  

Get organized 

Print out copies of your resume to have on hand for reference, and make sure to bring along something to take notes with, so you can jot down any important points or questions that come up during the conversation. If you’re opting for a virtual interview, double-check your Zoom background to ensure it’s professional and distraction-free. If you’re job searching while currently employed, strategize how you’re going to carve out time for the interview — consider what explanation you might give your team leader if they ask for one.  

Lastly, do whatever helps you manage nerves — whether it’s practicing deep breathing exercises, hugging your cat, blasting Beyoncé, or simply taking a moment to center yourself. We’d recommend running through a mock interview with our Interview Simulator one more time and reading these inspirational quotes about coding.  

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The post You Landed a Job Interview — 8 Ways to Get Ready Now appeared first on Codecademy Blog.

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