Junior Interview - Revisited

10 August, 2021

So this is a post that I made back in 2017 and thought that it's a good time to re-share and re-update. So back in 2017 I interviewed for my first Junior Web Developer role and was expecting the worst.

I was expecting loads of technical questions and having to white board processes etc. I basically was bricking it before and a little bit during the interview. Now Interview processes at different companies might not be the same as my experience but I thought I'd share.

Expecting the worst, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the majority of the interview was a chat about what the company does and what they are looking for. There were also questions about what I wanted and them learning more about myself in a bit more detail. As a junior developer the company already understood I needed to learn more and wanted to mainly see what kind of person I was and if I was a good fit within the team.

I was honest with my answers and talked about my journey from working in a call centre to learning to code and the ambition that I had to become a web developer. I made it clear what I did and didn't know also, but I showed that I had a willingness and drive to learn and better myself. I cannot stress enough to anyone that honesty in these interviews is the key. If you don’t know something, be honest and say you don’t know. Make physical notes during the interview about things you don't understand or want to look up afterwards. As even if you don't get the job this is vital information that you can use. This shows them you are honest and have a keen interest to learn and develop as a person. Don’t lie about technical knowledge as it will always come back to bite you later on.

Take your time with your answers and it's ok to ask if you can come back to the question later. Remember an interview is for the company to get to know you and also for you to get to know them. Ask them questions too as you will be working there so need to know how things operate with them too. You have equally as much power as an interviewee asks the interviewer.

As I didn't have too many technical questions asked by the interviewer I would recommend to just be prepared and if in doubt again be honest and say you are unsure or don't know. Better to be upfront about something than muddling through an issue only to make it look worse. Also if the company doesn't appreciate your honesty and openness then this says something about the culture of the company itself.

Lastly, show you are keen about tech and talk about the things you are passionate about even if it's not relevant to the role, talk about what you have been working on or learning. Find common interest with the interviewer too to talk about breaking the ice. My interviewer was really into board games so we spoke about some of the games we played. Gauging this conversation well can help male the whole interview process more pleasant for everyone.

Remember rejection can happen, always ask for feedback if it does as this can only help you grow more. Also don't take rejection personally, which is difficult, but treat the experience positively and see the good, as they decided to interview you in the first place which means you are doing something right. Losing is sometimes winning.