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What To Expect In A Web Developer Interview At Fifteen

May 23, 2017 - fifteen

Interviews can be stressful.

We aren’t your typical agency. So we won’t ask you questions like “What are your strengths and weaknesses”. They’re rehearsed and don’t tell us much about you. We won’t ask you Google style questions like “Estimate the number of tennis balls that can fit into a plane”. What we will ask you are good, honest, questions that aren’t difficult to answer, but will give us as much information about you for the role as possible. Hopefully, by the end of it, you’ll really want to work for us and we’ll really want you to work for us too!

We’ve got a relaxed and fun vibe around here and that translates to our interviews too. You won’t be in a massive boardroom surrounded by 10 people firing questions at you from all directions trying to catch you out (been there, done that). We keep the number of interviewers’ light – only a couple of us. This supports our flexible approach to work and ideas. So, if you’ve got a suggestion on how to improve the team or workflow, there isn’t an enormous chain you have to go up to get it implemented. Just a quick chat and we’ll get it done.

Essentially all interviews boil down to these three things:

What have you done?

Here we’re looking for your work history and experience. Where you’ve worked before and your role there, did you implement any new practices to speed up productivity? Did you suggest everyone move over from CSS to SASS? That’s great! We’re looking for those types of people.

If you’re fresh out of university or getting started in the industry then have you created anything in your spare time? Showing us how interested you are in development will go a long way. Having an active GitHub account is also great. But let’s not get everyone into the practice of committing once a day just so it looks like we’re Eat, Sleep, Repeat coders. No one’s a winner there.

What sites have you developed and what are you most proud of and why? This is the big one for us. Having sites under your belt is the best way of impressing us and also lets us have a little snoop under the hood to see what you’re capable of.

What happens if you don’t have many sites or are just starting out? Get onto dribble and find some great UI design concepts, animations or website mock-ups and spend some time creating. Show us you are passionate and can really do the job. Going the extra step here will really set you apart.

dribbble

What do you know? 

Pretty self-explanatory here. What languages do you know, are you front-end, backend or full stack? If you were stuck in a backend role, but you really want to be pushing pixels let us know. Tell us if you’re currently, or planning to learn something new, the industry we chose is ever changing so you really should be constantly evolving. We love it when someone has a skill set we don’t have. Tell us what you can bring to the table. We may have someone that can do it but there’s no harm in bragging – that’s what interviews are after all.

Tell us what you’re passionate about. Are you really into CSS animations, can’t get enough of optimising websites or you just really love building complex portal systems? Speak up.

What are you like?

What do you get up to in your spare time: YouTube channel, Pokémon trainer, in a band or a spot of fishing? (that’s instant brownie points with our MD). We attend developer meetups regularly to meet fellow developers and listen to guest speakers talk about the industry. If you’re into that too, then that’s cool.

We also want to see if you’ll fit into our team. If you’re looking to come in and sit in the corner and not talk to anyone then we’re probably not the right fit for you. We want you to get stuck in and involved with the team to help push us forward. We have loads of social events here that we’d want you to enjoy and take part in (Did I mention we went to Ibiza?)

In conclusion

Some words of advice going into interviews, make sure you read the job spec before going in. If we ask you about something on there and you’ve never heard of it, it shows you haven’t looked at the job spec – or worse, you have, but not researched it properly.

Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But in actuality, our interviews don’t have to be that long. Our record for the shortest interview so far is 22 minutes in and out – hired.

If we sound like the sort of place you’d like to work then head over to our careers page, take a look and get in touch with us.

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