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What not to say when applying for a developer position

Published in the Random EN group
There are pros and cons to being a developer today. The job market in this area is quite large, but competition is also high. If a company has a reputation as an excellent employer, naturally many programmers will strive to get there. Therefore, as a developer, you need to be sure not only that your “skills” are up to the mark, but also that you can make a good impression in an interview. This means you shouldn't appear arrogant, ignorant, or inconsiderate.
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I am a management specialist and recruiting manager. Over the past couple of years, I have conducted more than 100 interviews with developers and paid attention to statements that discredit applicants. Even if they have an excellent resume and a well-done test assignment. In this note, I will share with you my observations so that at the next interview you have all the trump cards in your hands, and you do not lose “points” in the eyes of the employer.

1. Never say: “This is a stupid platform/technology/language—does anyone still use it?”

There is always a reason why some things were created a certain way, especially in the field of technology. Technology is developing at a rapid pace and everything is changing very quickly. Yes, in large organizations you will often encounter a large legacy code base. Of course, you can express your opinion, but it is better to do it softly and diplomatically. Don't be arrogant and don't mock those who are still using outdated technology for some reason. Unless you are suddenly ready to offer to do a complete refactoring and rewrite the entire legacy code base in a week. In this case, feel free to put forward your suggestions!

2. Avoid statements like this: “Code reviews are a waste of time. You just need to write good, clean code."

First of all, Code Review is a very useful thing. If you've never had any commercial experience with Code Review because you just finished studying or your previous company didn't use them, then you can say so. However, as a technical professional and developer, you should at least understand why and what this Code Review exists for. And it exists not only to determine the essence of the code. It is needed to share knowledge and also to ensure compliance with application writing standards and requirements.

3. Never say: “I would rather write from scratch than correct someone else’s mistakes.”

I've heard this so many times, and most of the time it's said by programmers who are working on new projects and their contract ends as soon as the project is released. Of course, it is understandable to want to start from scratch, creating things from scratch, using the best and latest technologies. However, this does not mean that they do better or better work than those who worked before them. You can learn a lot by fixing bugs while scaling and optimizing existing systems. And it doesn’t matter whose bugs these are, your own or other developers.
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4. Under no circumstances should you say: “Testing is not my job. Let the testers do this."

When asked in an interview about your approach to testing, don't imply that it's not your job. They say that you are only a programmer, that is, you develop various functions and build all sorts of things. In fact, it is your responsibility to check what you have created. Reviewing can be approached in different ways: you may not be using Test Driven Development (TDD), you may not be aware of the latest testing tools on the market, but either way you should review your code . If you don't do this, you are not a real developer. You just write code.

5. You cannot say: “I will prefer any option that suits my technical manager.”

The interviewer may ask you which platform/technology/tool ​​you would prefer in a given situation from those listed on your resume or those you have previously used. And he will ask you to justify your decision and indicate the advantages. Since you claim to have used them before, the recruiter expects you to understand the pros and cons of each. The person hiring you wants to understand how knowledgeable you are in the topic, what you liked, and where you found shortcomings. If you answer that you don’t care what to use, this is bad, because it shows that you have no opinion of your own, or that you are simply indifferent. The only thing that can be worse is that you lied in your CV and indicated something that you have never dealt with.

6. Don't say, "Sorry, I can't write code by hand on a piece of paper or on a whiteboard."

Writing code by hand on a whiteboard or piece of paper takes practice, but don't give up when you're asked to do it. If you've never done this before, be honest about it, but don't refuse just because you're afraid of making a syntax error.
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7. Never say: “I don’t have time to study. I only learn what I need to use in my work today.”

When working in technology, you should always be interested in the changes that happen on a daily basis. When you say that you don't have time to study, it only means that you don't have much interest in what's happening around you and in your own profession. This makes it clear to the interviewer that programming is just a way for you to make money, but you have no career ambitions.

8. Don’t say “I never want to use this platform/software/design pattern”

If you are asked a question about a certain software, design pattern, technology or application, it is because it is important to the position you are applying for. Let's say you're a front-end developer and you're asked what you think about Internet Explorer. Surely the recruiter already knows that most developers don’t like it, but he wants to understand what you think about using it, what exactly you highlight, etc. Why? Probably because it is one of the browsers supported by the company, and most likely, customers use it. If you say you never want to work with him, then you are not suitable for the position.

9. “I have never used your product(s).” You can't say that

This is very important if you want to work for a technology or product company. During such interviews, recruiters usually like to ask if you like their product, they want to get feedback, and share your experience of using it. If you are looking for work through an agency, then this is not so bad. But imagine being hired by a company that offers a free platform like LinkedIn, and you say you've never used LinkedIn before. Even if you haven’t really used the product before, spend time on it the night before the interview: read about it, try it out, analyze what technologies it can use, what it can do, and so on.
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10. You should never say: “It’s written on my resume, didn’t you read it?”

Of course, the recruiter has looked at your resume. Surely, he has read about your experience and certain projects and perhaps wants to learn more from you. Or the interviewer missed certain details of your CV. Regardless of the situation, your job in an interview is to answer questions of interest, not to tell the employer to read your resume more closely. This doesn't mean you have to memorize your resume and repeat it word for word, but what you say should match what's on your application. For example, if you indicate that you have used Spring MVC before and you are asked to go into detail about it, then you cannot say “Actually, I have not used it.”

11. “I have no questions. Are we done yet? This is a failure

This is a phrase that instantly reduces the impression of you to zero. Usually the interview ends with the phrase: “Do you have any questions about the position, the company, or anything else?” Job interviews are like a two-way street. You need to learn as much about the company as they learn about you. If you don’t have any questions and, moreover, you are in a hurry to leave the office, this indicates that you are not interested in either the vacancy or the company. So of course you can leave, but you are unlikely to be asked to return. I hope you learned something useful from this article and that your chances of landing a job at a great company have increased. Always remember that what you say characterizes you, and what you keep silent about speaks volumes. Thanks for reading! If you liked the article, please like it. You can follow me on Twitter , my blog , or subscribe to my newsletter . Author of the article Isabel Nyo Link to source: