IT Job Interview Tips from MWDN Recruiters: How to Break the Ice and Get the Job

The first IT job interview tip is you simply can not be liked by everyone. However, from the outside, it may often seem that in the business environment everything is about making an exhibition of yourself. Some sources promote this idea so vigorously that they state you have only 90 seconds to make an impression. However, if it sounds ridiculous to you, we are with you on that. 

Competition in the job market is fierce and the candidate should impress immediately, but experienced recruiters know that the first minutes of an interview may often be distorted or at least don’t indicate that the person is unqualified. In the end, all people are different and the search for the right candidate takes a more profound approach, especially in the outsourcing environment where the candidate should be a perfect fit for both customer and vendor’s team.

No doubt, every IT company has its own opinion on that. That’s why we created this article to shed light on many aspects of our recruitment process for those who are genuinely interested in our company and may find this article before their shining moment in our interview. In short, here is everything on how we find the best minds and the coolest people behind our projects.

What’s Going On In the Job Market and How it Affects Global IT Hiring 

The turmoil in the global market continues to disrupt the IT job market and changes the rules for both recruiters and candidates who start or continue their journey in IT. Does it mean that job interviews are more stressful than ever? As always, every coin has two sides.

It’s hard to deny that on the one hand the global pandemic opened new career pathways and created a more flexible working environment. On the other hand, the escalation of the unemployment rate to 4.2% during this period can hardly be ignored. The thing is, in many ways, before the pandemic, many companies had somewhat laxed their hiring requirements, aiming to inflate their staff as much as possible. At the beginning of the pandemic, all these workers lost their jobs. Since then, companies have been somewhat more careful about hiring decisions.

At one point, this created a severe staffing shortage, which, according to Korn Ferry research, is projected to reach more than 85 million unfilled jobs by 2030 due to a huge talent shortage in the global market.

The US recorded 10.1 million job openings in 2022. Inevitably, it affected the cost per hire, which is now equivalent to $4,700.

On average, 118 people apply for a single job. However, only 20% of the applicants get to the interview round. However, even passing this milestone does it guarantee you the desired job. 

Job Interview Statistics

Job Interview Statistics | Source: Simplilearn

What is Expected From the Candidate Today

Language proficiency

Today, as IT becomes increasingly globalized, a completely different skill set is expected of a candidate than even a few years ago. In addition, deep proficiency and knowledge of at least several languages become a must even at entry positions. According to AIN research, professionals with above-average language skills are five times more likely to earn high salaries compared to those with entry-level skills. 

If we are talking about an outsourced company where developers from different countries cooperate with clients from different countries, then spoken English is indispensable. Also, today, even your local company, which is actively expanding, may have English-speaking management, and then the solution of all everyday tasks may switch to a foreign language. Most likely, it will be English, since it is international, but still, in this case, knowledge of the language at least at the Intermediate+ level.

As a company scales and becomes globalized, employees must have the necessary level of language skills to perform daily tasks and communicate with colleagues, which may now include foreigners. Some employees can quickly adapt and improve their language skills in a dynamic work environment. However, there are cases when an employee, even being a strong professional, gets out of business, because not knowing the language often prevents them from feeling part of the team.

Be prepared that a “language question” may arise during the interview, given that a certain job requires the potential employee to know several languages. To save time at the interview, you can arm yourself with a document confirming your English proficiency level, or  attach it to your resume.

An Extended Set of Job Skills

The same goes for programming languages if you’re applying for a developer position. According to the latest research, all programmers should aim to know at least 3 programming languages. Among the most popular programming languages in 2022 are Python, Java, JavaScript, C++, C#, C, TypeScript, PHP, Perl, and Ruby.

Top programming languages in 2022

Top programming languages in 2022 | Source: CodingNomads

Interpersonal skills and dedication

“In the outsourcing market, the hiring rules are changing dramatically, showing a very positive dynamic. Many companies, especially startups, are no longer interested in just getting a solution on a turnkey basis. Subcontractors are no longer just  instruments to get a quick result for a low price. Businesses are now more focused on finding a developer who will be a valuable and loyal part of their team and contribute to product development,”

says our VP of Business Development of MWDN Myakinkaya Natalia.

The average interview lasts on average 15 min. During this short period, the candidate must demonstrate developed communication and analytical skills, goal orientation and internal motivation for continuous learning, the ability to establish cooperation, and the ability to search for practical and out-of-the-box solutions.

In addition, almost every IT company now has its own mission, values, and team spirit. Therefore, when selecting candidates, recruiters also focus on the fact that people with the same attitude to work, communications, and life, in general, are gathered in one company.

This global trend requires not only deep proficiency but also great interpersonal skills from a candidate. Our recruiters at MWDN also put great emphasis on candidates’ soft skills along with their professional skills. During an interview, our recruiter specialist, Oksana Makarova, says:

“Recruiting in the outsourcing/outstaffing triangle is always challenging. Our job here is to align the requirements of all sides – ours, as a vendor, candidates, and customers. Each of the parties may sometimes have slightly excessive demands for the other. No doubt, we’re above all, concentrated on customers’ requirements. However, if, with all our experience, we see that the candidate can ideally complement the customer’s team, then we are definitely ready to fight for them and argue why the certain person may be a perfect fit for them. And we had such cases as a result customers were very happy not only about the quality but also productivity of the team. So yes, to gather the community of professionals united by a common goal and interest really matters.” 

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/oksana-m/

Aleksandra Studenikina, a colleague of Oksana as a recruiter in our company agrees with that adding:

“Above all, I’m looking for dedicated specialists who are passionate about what they do. That can easily be traced, even in small details. As the rule, they have other interests besides their work which is very important in multinational teams as open-minded people easily get in touch and perfectly fit the team. Once I had an interview with the guy, who with all passion and details told me about how he adjusted ecoflow until the very night. His enthusiasm was obvious. Even such small things as the wardrobe! Once the candidate even wore a tuxedo to an interview. It would seem like an outdated convention, but in reality, it also shows the serious attitude the person has before our meeting.” 

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/studenikina-aleksandra/ 

IT Job Interview Tips from MWDN Recruiters

Make It the Last Article You Read and Set Up the Proper Mindset

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A chapter ago, we gave you a lot of “intimidating statistics” about the fierce competition in the job market. However, even applying for your perfect dream job, don’t forget to relax in the process. Be philosophical about it, and remember that even if you fail, you have a nice chat and a chance to make a good impression to continue the communication in the future. Job interviews are always a lottery. It may sound like a cliche but you will get real-world experience and feedback on how to be awesome at your next interview. When interviewing in outsourcing companies, you can be liked by vendors but the client may have the other opinion. Getting a rejection from one side, you can set up a contact with another one and be next in the line for another project. Also, we suggest this article to be the last piece you read because tips are good but don’t make them frustrate you and stop you from being yourself which is the perfect recipe for any interview.

Preparation is Everything

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According to statistics, 47% of candidates get a rejection because they have a vague idea about the position and what the company does. Recruiters prove that it is always noticeable when people show no interest in the place where they are going to work.

Therefore, we strongly recommend that you research the company you are applying to. Find all the available information about the case studies of the company and the team where you are going to work. Not only can this help you structure your interview conversation, but it can also help you immediately identify questions to ask right from the start.

The typical info you may include:

  • What projects or products is the company working on?
  • In which subject areas? 
  • What technologies and methodologies do they use? 
  • What does the team do besides work?

Be Ready to Answer Basic Questions

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Asking questions is crucial, but the interview is not about just you. Preparing for the interview, be ready to answer a series of questions about your experience, your relationship with the previous employer, and even your personal features. 

At the interview, there is always a place for unexpected questions, but in the majority of interviews, you still should answer a block of general questions that simply cannot be omitted. Among the most asked question during interviews are:

  • Why did you apply for this position?
  • What do you know about us?
  • Why do you want this particular job?
  • What is your ideal work environment?
  • Why did you leave your previous job?

Prepare to Talk About Specific Accomplishments

Source: giphy

Ever more attention recruiters pay to the previous achievements and specific KPIs of the  potential employee. In this regard, a recommendation from a previous employer becomes a very strong bonus. Keep that in mind and remember about it even working in a previous position to collect all the necessary information in advance. 

Prepare to Describe Нour Work History Immediately 

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At the interview, the candidate can talk about past work experience or academic achievements. To make sure that the interview will not turn into a series of questions and answers, but look more like a natural conversation, it is better to immediately turn information about previous work experience into a full-fledged story. Don’t build it as a dry retelling of the facts of a resume, but as a truly personal story that includes a critical understanding of your experience — the lessons you learned from it, for example.

Be careful when talking about your former company. Even if the experience wasn’t positive, try to present the information as a valuable lesson or something that won’t ever happen again in your career.

Be Ready for a Task Task and Portfolio Discussion 

Source: giphy

Often, especially hiring developers, during an interview, candidates have to complete a series of tasks. Depending on the position for which the candidate is applying, these tasks can be given before or during the interview. In order not to be caught off guard, be prepared for it, first of all mentally, so that confusion or panic does not lead you astray.

Also, before the interview, the candidate may be asked for a portfolio of work. After reading it, the recruiter or hiring manager can ask you a series of questions about your portfolio. Try to give a detailed answer to each of these points. If during the test task, you are not confident in answering a question, be honest – it is normal to make mistakes.

Interview Tips 

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Have patience as the hiring process can take several weeks or even months. It all starts with a short interview with the recruiter but depending on the role you are applying for, you will meet not only the recruiter, but also the HR manager, your future manager, technical or domain leader, team members, and in small or product teams — with the co-founders of the company. Many IT companies work as outsourcing providers, so the final conversation with the customer is also not uncommon.

At each interview round, recruiters may ask you to tell the hiring manager and the client the same story about your experience. No matter how tired of telling this story you can be, every time it should sound like the first time — interesting and sincere.

Anastasia Kremenska, the recruiting specialist, considers this stage in the hiring process to be a turning point:

“This stage of the interview reveals different sides of the candidate. At MWDN, we try to minimize bureaucratic procedures and make the interview process smooth for candidates, but when a candidate immediately steps out of line in terms of polite communication, this is the first bell that they may have difficulties in communicating with the team. Of course, all people are different, so often, when considering a candidate for a vacancy, I always take into account who exactly a potential employee will have to work with — what kind of team, characters, and work dynamics are on the project. That way it is always easier to understand whether a person fits into them.”

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anastasia-kremenska/

Tips After Interview 

Source: giphy

After the interview, be patient, and remember one simple thing – your position and your team will come to you in any case. If you feel that the recruiter has taken too long to send feedback, then feel free to remind yourself with at least a short message in the series: “Hi, my name is Alex. I interviewed with you last week for the position of Junior Java Developer. I would like to know when we can expect an answer from you?.”

Anastasia Kremenska, also adds: “Sometimes the hiring process does not go as quickly as we would like it to be. However, we try our best to avoid delaying the review process from the client’s side. We help to speed up the process since both the candidate and two other sides should get a win-win result. However, in return, we also expect understanding and patience from the candidate.”

Summing Up

The IT recruiting process may often be complex and remind a circle of bureaucratic procedures. At MWDN, we try to make the process of recruiting candidates as stress-free and transparent as possible. We’re looking for gifted and professional developers and creating an environment for them where their talents can flourish even more; we try to make the workplace a corner where everyone can be honest and transparent with each other when working on the same goal.

Want to join our community of dedicated professionals? In this article, we’ve given you all the tips on how to make a good first impression at a job interview. Follow our career page and don’t hesitate to send us your CV to get to know each other better.

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