How to ace your Java Developer Interview
by Nicholas Phelps
Preparing for a Java interview can be stressful, and you’ll need to plan for several eventualities for it be a success. Fortunately, one of Pearson Frank’s top Java recruiters has put together the following tips to help you ace your next Java developer interview.
Do your Java homework
First and foremost, do your research on the latest trends and techniques involving the Java programming language. The software development industry is continually changing, so keep up to date with all the latest goings-on.
Interviewers want to know if you have a clear-cut understanding of software development principles. But the focal point of the interview will be Java itself, its standard libraries, relevant frameworks, and other tools used alongside the programming language.
Strong working knowledge of Java should be enough to get you through the first stages of an interview. But if you want to stand out from the crowd, focus your answers on the frameworks and databases the business deploys on their development floor.
If you’re struggling to pinpoint this information, read through the job specification, take a look at the company website, or get in touch with the recruiter who arranged the interview. Every detail that makes you more memorable could secure the role, so do everything you can to brush up on the right Java skills.
Make sure you understand the entire interview process
No two interviews are the same. Every company has a different way of doing things. Be sure to have a full understanding of the entire interview process, what you’re likely to be asked, and if there will be any technical elements.
You need to plan for every eventuality. Technical tests, coding reviews, and written exams all require different preparation techniques, so make sure you receive a complete brief outlining all aspects you’re likely to face in the interview.
Many businesses operate a two-stage interview policy which means you may be invited back to perform a technical assessment on a different day.
What you need to remember is although these situations can seem stressful, it gives businesses the opportunity to see how developers solve problems and react under pressure, and also benchmark your performance against the job specification.
Do more homework
This time on the company itself. Find out about the industry they operate in and the applications they develop. Most interviewers will take the time to ask what you know about their business, so be prepared for any questions they’re likely to throw your way.
A simple Google search should tell you whether they’ve won industry awards, their reputation in the sector, and recently featured in any positive PR campaigns. Demonstrating all of this extra knowledge shows your enthusiasm about the business you’re joining, which can stand out in the mind of an interviewer.
Remember to ask questions
Interviews are the perfect place for you to express any apprehensions you have about the company looking to acquire your services, so have a list of questions ready should the opportunity arise.
One of the common questions to ask in during a Java developer interview is what tech stack they use on their development floor. Every business is different, and by finding out this info before landing a role, you can improve your current skill level and hit the ground running on day one should you be offered the position.
You should also ask whether the interviewer has any concerns about your application. If they do, having strong answers to alleviate their reservations can help ease the way to the next stage of the interview.
This is also the perfect opportunity for you to ask about the next steps in the interview process. Depending on the response of the interviewer, you should be able to decipher how well you’ve done and whether you’ll be asked to attend the next stage.
The don’ts of an interview
We’ve covered the points that can help you walk into an interview and leave the room with a job, but here are a few pointers to help avoid a complete disaster.
When asked if you have any questions, do your best not to bring up your salary expectations as your first port of call. There is such a thing as bad timing, and although it’s something you’ll definitely want to ask, a technical interview isn’t always the right scenario to have this conversation.
Finding the right opportunity to pose those questions can be tricky, so if you get the chance to speak to a recruiter or HR professional within the business this could be the perfect time to ensure your salary expectations are met and the entire process runs smoothly.
You’ll also need to make sure you arrive on time. Turning up five minutes after your interview was scheduled can be extremely off-putting for an interviewer, so my advice is that it’s better to be an hour early than arrive late.
Taking note of these tips will help you breeze through your next Java interview. Remember to brush up on all your skills, plan ahead for technical tests, monitor the business performance, and you should land your dream Java role.
Nicholas Phelps is a Java team lead at niche IT recruiter Pearson Frank. Overseeing the hiring to Java developers, he has over 4 years’ experience in the Java marketplace.