Two girls sent me an email this week - on the same day, with a very similar set of questions that I thought they're the same person.
In this post, I'd publish the second email, which was sent by Nathalie. She is a B.S. Info. Tech. student and just graduated this April.
In her email she said:
Hi! I just Graduated last April (2014). I was amazed how passionate you are in programming.
I am just beginning my journey to employment and tried to apply. Yesterday I received an email for an initial interview as a php developer, and to me it is an overwhelming chance. I would like to grab this opportunity to ask what usually happens during the initial interview as an applicant for php web developer?
Do companies give an exam and how difficult is it for a beginner, who is passionate, like me? I just want the job that's why I wanted to ask how it looks like.
(Sent on April 29, 2014 8:57PM)
First of all, I want to congratulate Nathalie on her graduation, as girls, we are a step closer to solving the issue of gender gap in the tech industry because of her. =) Now back to her email.
I have to admit that I'm not an expert on this subject, and I also failed in some interviews before while applying. But I have some practical tips that I can give you as a programmer.
I think that you're aware of the 3 basic parts of an interview (opening, body of interview and closing), if not I suggest that you research on this.
Truth is, the chances of being hired during an interview depends on your preparations way BEFORE the interview, which should MOSTLY involve reading I.T. articles and coding.
Take note that regardless of what position you're applying for, the interview is an opportunity to MARKET YOURSELF OR YOUR SKILLS. So try to give a good first impression.
I hope your communication skills are good as well, enough to express yourself. And if the interviewer asks you to take a hands-on coding exam, you should do it, because this will determine the level of your confidence as a programmer. Don't be shy/scared to ask if it's alright to use a coding manual, in case you need it. With regards to confidence in coding, you would only gain that IF you read and practice coding daily. There is no easy-way or short-cut to do this. Reading would be an essential/constant activity in this field.
Some questions that they could ask you are:
1. what tools or platforms are you using for web development?
2. Do you have a portfolio available online?
3. Are the projects posted on your portfolio accessible online?
4. Have you tried to use Linux?
5. Are you aware of the latest news/technologies/standars in web development?
The complexity of the coding exam, vary for each company. Sometimes there are written exams that test logic formulation. For coding exams, your potential superior just needs to see if you know how to process transactions on PHP level with database integration.
That's it. I hope I was able to answer your questions.
Goodluck with the interview Nathalie. Kick-ass!
For further web development inquiries go to my contact page to send me a message.