How Developers Should Prep For A Phone Interview – Part 1 of 2

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 ·

Red Phone This came to me in a call a few days ago. Many developers I talk with are not prepared (haven’t even put any thought into it) for the initial phone screen with a recruiter or Human Resources representative. See my tweet here. The typical recruiter and HR representative have one goal – to see if you fit a “basic profile” given to them by the hiring manager. If you fit, then you can move one step up the latter.

Your duty is two fold: 1. To ignite the spark and get them interested in you and, 2. To describe your experiences and qualifications.

#1 Energy and Passion

Any decent screener can tell in the first minute if the candidate has passion / energy, “The Spark”.  For “The Spark” you’ve got to really Want it. You can’t be complacent. The first call is very important. The person on the other end of the phone will go the extra mile for an energetic candidate with great passionate even if they don’t have all the experience needed. Most hiring managers will do the same.

Here are a few things you can talk about and help show your interest.

  • Why are you excited about Software Development?
  • When did you realize you wanted to be a Developer?
  • Why did you choose your Degree?
  • What type of development are you interested in? Example – Web Dev, Games, Scientific, Business, eCommerce, Service Solutions, Web 2.0, Interactive Media, Social Media, Embedded, Cloud…
  • What type of Solutions to you like to work on? – Solving what problems?
  • What Technologies are you passionate about- .NET, Java, Ruby, PHP, C++, Flash, Silverlight…
  • Why did you respond to this position

You need to have these types of questions drilled into your brain. See my post on Know Thyself.  You can’t be thinking this stuff up on the spot and just winging it. If you fake it your interviewer will know. Take the time and be prepared.

I’ll post Part Two How to explain Experiences and Qualifications later this week…


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I'm not a blogger. So consume at your own risk.
Since 1995 I've been working with software developers helping them increase their value through technical training and connecting them to great employers. This blog is dedicated to those technical professionals that want to get the most of out their career. I'll answer questions I get daily, common misconceptions and provide direction, but it's up to you to take action.
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