The software development job market is highly competitive and only looks to get hotter in the future. This means you have to go the extra mile to stand out among your competition, so you are remembered for all the right reasons. A great resume, a well-crafted cover letter and top-notch interview skills are important, but there are some other effective tactics you can use to position yourself as the ideal developer for a hiring manager’s needs.
Show Total Alignment
Always study the job description when preparing for an interview. Come armed with anecdotes that speak directly to the skills and experience they are looking for. However, if you want to really stand out, go the extra mile to show you are also aligned with the company’s mission, vision, values and culture.
Cultural alignment is a critical success factor for any development job. No matter how skilled you may be, you won’t do your best work if you don’t believe in the company or if you feel you don’t fit in. Study the company’s website and social media profiles and read local business journal articles to get a feel for the company’s values and culture. Identify places where your values match up, and showcase them during your interview.
Ask Probing Questions
When given the floor to ask questions, most of your competitors will opt for standard questions like, “tell me about a typical day.” By asking probing questions, it show you’ve really thought about what it will be like to work at the company, and you’ll stand out as a thoughtful, prepared candidate.
Use questions like these to uncover important information about the job and show you go the extra mile:
- Is there anything about my experience or background that would prevent you from making me an offer?
- What types of people succeed here?
- What are the goals for this position for the first 30, 60 and 90 days?
- What is the performance review process?
- What are the biggest challenges facing this team today?
- What three things do you like most about the culture here?
- What is one area you’d improve about the culture, if you could?
Questions like these ensure you’re remembered while also helping you gather more information to make a strong choice if you do receive a job offer.
Write a Thank You Note
This should be basic, but many candidates fail to write a thank you note. Use the note to reinforce your interest in the role and highlight some of the positive aspects of the interview. Send a note to each person who interviewed you, and personalize it specifically to the individual.