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Skyler
Skyler

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Interviews: questions to ask and how to present yourself

Hello! It's been a while on this blog. I just came back from Toronto, I feel very inspired and wanted to put down a few advices for you guys.

I just came back from Toronto, Canada!

I took some nice pictures and I feel a lot more β€œrefreshed” now! Looking forward to keep that energy going ☺️ pic.twitter.com/FbobmCbGyp

β€” Skyler (@skylerdevops) September 7, 2022

Today we talk interviews. How to present yourself, a few questions to ask. I will keep this brief so that you can easily pin this somewhere and refer to the main points.

Let's go!

How to prepare:

  • What are your main strengths? This is a mix of 1) looking at the job description and what they explicitly mention (refer to those qualities - if you have them!), 2) personal introspection. For example: I'm great at communicating with the Team. This helps me to establish a good report with everyone I work with.
  • Main accomplishments? What can you bring to the company? Again, try to refer to the job description. For example: I set up a Kubernetes cluster at my first job. I'm able to find solutions by myself, although I appreciate team work!
  • Finance: If you have any metric that is related to money, companies love that. For example: I created a script that would turn off the VM at night. Therefore, our bill went down by x %.

Here, it's really important to understand that you are selling yourself. It's about what you can bring to them, what value your addition to the team will make.

Questions

At the end of an interview, you should have a time allocated for questions for them. This is now **your **time to see if they are a good fit for you. You might need to change ASAP because of financial reasons, but if you can take your time, please do. Finding a company that ticks most, if not all, your boxes will go a lot further than a "quick, I just want to change ships".
Anyway, a few questions that I always ask:

  • What tech do they work with?
  • Is there an On-Call Rota?
  • Do they work with multiple timezones? (this mean you might need to stay later/come earlier)
  • Hybrid? If yes, how many days a week/month in the office?
  • Team/department structure/composition? This is very important if, for example, you are a woman and want to make sure you won't be the only one in the department...!
  • Are there any socials organised? Does the team participate?
  • Career progression,
  • What would make someone successful in this role,
  • How would you describe the culture of the company?

I understand this seems like a lot - but it isn't. You want to have this information before joining.
A few more questions I like, that I still think you should ask, although they seem more "nosey":

  • Why are they hiring? Why did the last person leave?
  • How do they deal with someone that under performs?
  • What is the main challenge for someone in this role in this company?
  • How do the manager of the team deal with unreasonable timeline or pushback? Again, those are situations you might find yourself in, or see a colleague in. You will want to know how your manager react before having signed a contract!

This is it for this article, I hope this helps you out in your next search! :)

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