Tips for Acing Your First Interview as A Developer

Tips for Acing Your First Interview as A Developer

November 25, 2022

6 minutes read

In the first and second quadrant of 2021, the United States witnessed a hike of 16% in the tech job posting. Conversely, the United Kingdom advertised software developer jobs at 23% in 2020 compared to 2019. In May 2022, the tech employment opportunities reached a new height of 623,627 jobs, with 2.2 million career possibilities. The tech industry is witnessing an extraordinary rise in demand for skilled professionals.

In Pakistan, the tech industry has seen exponential growth and demand for talent irrespective of gender in recent years. It has enormous potential to become a leader in technology innovation and sustainable economic development and is undoubtedly the go-to destination for outsourcing with skilled employees and affordable labor costs.

Due to this hiring boom, new and young talent needs proper guidance for their career development. Here we are with a few interview tips for young developers to help them ace their first job interview.

How is The Software Developer Interview Different from Other Job Interviews?

The interview journey of software developers varies from company to company. For instance, some companies prefer initial interviews by phone only. Later they invite the candidate for a technical face-to-face interview session followed by a coding challenge. But some software houses prefer video calls as the first interview, followed by whiteboard tests in a physical setting and behavioral assessment. Some even like to conduct a case study-based technical test.

Always remember that the first interview as a software developer without experience is a comprehensive process. So, you will need to prepare yourself for it.

Let’s get into the recruitment process.

Software Developer Recruitment Process

There are four different stages in the recruitment process of a software developer.

  • Stage # 1: Phone or Video Screening

It’s the initial interaction of a potential employee with the employer. Before meeting in person, through a video or phone call, the recruiter usually analyzes the software developer’s confidence, communication skills, and enthusiasm for the required position.

  • Stage # 2: Coding Tasks & Tests

A software developer’s most stressful stage is attempting a coding challenge. Some employers prefer remote coding tasks. They provide home-based coding assignments, allowing the developer to work at their pace. A coding challenge usually takes a few hours of work.

  • Stage # 3: Onsite Interview

It’s more like an actual tech interview, where the potential candidate meets the possible reporting manager and senior engineers. They ask technical and scenario-based questions to gauge knowledge, experience, and the ability to articulate. The onsite interview lasts from an hour to several hours, meeting multiple interviewers.

  • Stage # 4: Behavioral Assessment

Finally, during the onsite interview, a behavioral assessment is made to ensure the finalization of the hiring process. An interviewee faces hypothetical and value-based questions like what is their ideal working environment? Or Do you prefer working alone or in teams? Or What would you do if your teammates were not meeting expectations? For more examples, check here.

Through these, the employer tries to understand the candidate’s cognitive abilities and how they may function at times of stress and pressure.

Tips on How to Ace Your First Interview?

Worrying about the first interview as a software developer without experience is expected. Young developers are often anxious about how to prepare for a coding interview. In contrast, others who are confident with coding tasks found themselves worrying about how to prepare for a behavioral interview as a software developer.

So, we have compiled the top 10 tips for software developer interviews to provide guidance and support.

Tips Before the Interview

1. Do Extensive Research on the Company

The best idea to start is to search for the company. Try to understand the business structure, its background, and the products or services they offer. Try to get an insider’s perspective to know more details. Check GitHub for any coding challenges posted by your potential employer.

2. Practice Makes a Software Developer Perfect

The most successful software developer interview preps tips include practicing. Every developer must practice algorithms and data structures. The recommended time duration is at least 30 minutes of practice daily.

3. Anticipate the Reservations and Concerns of the Interviewer Beforehand

There are always many candidates lined up for a single position. Each candidate is unique in their way. Before an interview, scrutinize yourself and evaluate your skills, expertise, and possible career trajectory. If you lack the skills and expertise required for the position, prepare for it beforehand.

4. Be Specific About Yourself

Evaluate your key selling points and know why what makes you unique and different from other potential candidates. Justify your answer by sharing stories from your previous projects and jobs (if any) to give them specific examples of your skillset and exposure.

Tips During the Interview

5. Be Concise with Your Answers

An interviewer hates it when the interviewee starts beating around the bushes. Be concise with your answers by coming straight to the point! Though there is no exact timeframe, the more specific you are, the better impression you will make.

6. Handle Behavioral Questions Like A Pro!

Are you stuck on how to prepare for a behavioral interview as a software developer? Here is an essential tip! Choose STAR format for handling behavioral questions. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. For “Situation,” introduce the scene; for “Task,” share your responsibility in the situation. For the “Action” part, explain what actions you took and for the “Result,” share the achieved outcomes.

7. Prepare Your Self-Introduction Briefly

It’s the point where many candidates lose their confidence and give vague answers. Be brief and to the point when you are preparing to introduce yourself to the employer. Aim to fit your introduction into a 90 seconds window. You can opt for a longer time if your expertise and experience are more. However, be creative and authentic while sharing about yourself.

8. Be Honest About Your Experiences

Never lie about your experiences in the fright of losing the employment opportunity. Never bluff about your skills to create an impression; it will always backfire sooner or later!

Be honest and open about your experiences and skills. Share every relevant information truthfully.

9. Maintain Thoughtful Dialogue Throughout

Another essential software developer interview prep task is maintaining a dialogue with the interviewers. Always confirm the intention of the question instead of directly jumping to the answer. It will indicate that you are mentally present at the moment.

10. Take Time to Ask Questions

When it’s your turn to ask your employer questions, ask them about the company, working conditions, and other queries. It will indicate your enthusiasm for the position in the company. For instance, ask them about the environment of the company. Inquire about their HR policy for paid time off. Consider asking about the process of increments and bonuses, etc. And don’t forget to thank your interviewer before leaving. Courtesy always goes a long way!

What To Do Post-Interview?

The interview is over, and now you can relax. Unfortunately, that’s not how things work! There are many etiquettes you need to follow post-interview. First and foremost, write a thank you email within two days of your interview and iterate your keen interest in the position you were interviewed for. Later, try to keep in touch by doing a follow-up after a week if you don’t hear back from them.

If you are no longer interested in the company’s position, keep your demeanor professional and return their calls or emails. As a professional courtesy, decline their offer, and don’t forget to thank them for considering you.


Never forget that every interview is a learning opportunity. You will acquire innovative ideas and find new tools necessary for your journey as a developer. The interview phase is essential, and getting ready beforehand is vital.

You can get enrolled in different courses to practice your coding skills. There are multiple sessions for practicing the behavioral assessment phase as well. For better understanding, reach out to ConsulNet. We are helping fresh graduates acquire better tech industry positions through mentoring and practice sessions. Get in touch with our team to get proper guidance!