Tips for doing well on OfferZen

These tips should help you deal with companies that send you interview requests and give you the best chance of getting an offer from a company.

  1. An interview request is NOT a Job Offer - an interview request is simply an indication that someone at the company who is in charge of hiring likes your profile and wants to start a conversation with you. They will be evaluating everything you do from the moment they send you the interview request and this will factor into whether or not they make you a final offer.
  2. Be VERY responsive - being slow to respond or “going quiet” makes it look like you’re not interested in a company when they send you an interview request. Companies expect a response within at most 48hours. If you aren’t immediately available let them know when you will respond in full - it’s better than just ignoring them.
  3. Be polite - when replying to interviews, you’re talking directly to the people at the company that are in charge of hiring you. They put a lot of time into interviewing profiles and reaching out to devs.
  4. If you’re interested, accept the interview - when you receive an interview request on OfferZen, if you’re interested in hearing more, accept the interview request to get the conversation started. You can sort out the finer details of when you’re interviewing and ask detailed questions about the position once the introduction is over.
  5. Set your availability calendar - make it as easy as possible for companies to schedule interviews and follow ups with you by selecting a few time slots you’ll be available in the next two weeks. You can set or update your calendar every time you accept an interview request, or on your calendar located in the sidebar. Your calendar will be displayed to all the companies whose interview requests you accept, so make sure to indicate multiple time slots.
  6. Don’t scare them away - save questions like “what sort of benefits does your company offer?” and awkward questions about their company once you’re already talking to them.
  7. Keep in contact with your Talent Advisor (they’re there to help) - ask them to help you out if you’re struggling with anything or need advice. Be sure to let them know if you are no longer looking for work or don’t want to receive interview requests.
  8. If a company isn’t responding to you, keep following up!

Preparing to Interview

Here are some tips to help you prepare for interviews.

Basic things to do before an interview

Reach out to the person who sent you the request on OfferZen and ask if there is anything you can do to prepare for the interview.

You can ask them things like:

  • Who will you be meeting?
  • Is parking available?
  • Should you do anything to prepare?
  • Contact details of the interviewers, in case you need to get hold of them urgently.
  • Ask for details about their interview process (if it’s not listed on their profile)
  • Dress code (if it’s not listed on their profile).

Research the company. OfferZen profile, Website, blogs, press, check out profiles of team on LinkedIn.

Always have questions prepared for them. Take them with you on a notepad to the interview. If you don’t have any questions for them, they'll assume you’re not interested. Remember that you’re interviewing the company too :)

Prepare questions to ask the interviewer

A standard set of questions to ask an interviewer? - There's a LONG list of questions in reply to this Stack Overflow article (scroll down and look for the Green Tick - which indicates the best response). The writer suggests picking 5-8 questions

10 Questions to Ask in an Interview for Developers - this is the sort of "cheat sheet", as picked by someone on the excellent site Lifehack :)

Be prepared to answer questions like...

These are common questions asked in interviews. It’s good to have some answers prepared prior to the interview.

  • Tell us about your current company and the work you do?
  • Why are you leaving your current company?
  • Share an example of an interpersonal conflict you overcame.
  • Tell us about ways in which you recognized bad practices and helped to introduce good practices?
  • Could you share a story about a past where you could have done things differently?
  • Tell us about a challenging project you have done? This should ideally be a work project. 
  • Choose something with highest real-world impact.
  • What do you do to keep up to date in your field?
  • What current developments in your field interest or excite you?

Whiteboard coding tips

If the interview is going to involved whiteboard coding you should do the following to prepare.

  • Practice coding outside of an IDE. On a piece of paper.
  • Brush up on your computer science theory. In particular common data structures and algorithms.
  • Always use the language you know best, not what you think will impress them the most.

The Interview

Some final tips to remember before your interviews.

Interview checklist

  • Make sure you arrive 15 minutes early.
  • If you’re doing the interview over Skype/phone. Make sure you are in a quiet place.
  • Take a notepad and pen.
  • Make sure you have questions prepared to ask them.

During the interview

  • Show Enthusiasm, and passion. Get excited about stuff. Show you're proud of what you've done, and that you're amped about what they're doing.
  • Never say bad things about current or past employers. If you do then always offer a constructive solution to how things could have been better.
  • Never argue with the interviewer.
  • Ask clarifying questions. Make sure you understand the problem or the question. Your interviewers will help you get to the answer.
  • Think out loud, Don’t go quiet. Let the interviewers know what you are thinking.
  • Don’t give up. Keep trying. If you get stuck, spell out your exact thought process and what you're trying to do next. Even if you don't solve a problem, being able to explain what's going on in your head counts for a lot.

Following up after the interview

Following up after each interview is a great way to show a company that you are interested in them. It also helps speed up the process. The easiest way of doing this is sending a quick message on OfferZen.

Thank them for their time, tell them you are keen to take things further and that you look forward to hearing from them.

If they don't respond, keep following up! Don't presume they're not interested.

Some useful blog posts on Technical interviewing

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