How looks process of finding job as software developer part 10: FACE TO FACE INTERVIEW


This is a NOT a professional advice. It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet. It will contain many grammar mistakes. Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring. 



This is always a most important partThis is a time, where you can sell yourself and prove your value.


Do research about the company and read the latest news. If you are using good recruiters then they will give you information about the company and the latest news.


Gather information about interviewers from LinkedIn and use this information in the interview.
Let’s start with the most important part. BE ON TIME.  Only valid excuses are some sort of Armageddon or 1 nanometer of snow that caused havoc in public transport in London.


Face to face interview has many forms. It is the conversation stage, there is one important rule. Give the right type of answer to a person, who do the interview with you is :


  • Questions by the developer are technical and your answer should be .. technical as well. Some developers like to ask a tricky question, so make sure that you read articles about common tricky questions. If you struggle with question try to have fun, ask for clarification and be creative. If you don’t know because you never did multi-threading then .. just say it and trying to do an educated guess.
  • Questions by a business analyst, product owner or in general a non-technical people will ask about your skills to deliver a solution and explain them in an understandable way for a normal human. If you never had contact with this kind of person, I suggest practising a little bit. ( I failed badly in one interview with the business analyst as I wasn’t aware of ‘slang’ required to explain some stuff (for example what are trade-offs between specific template engines. I talk using technical terms but he was more interested about how this will speed up the process and so on). 

Questions can be about experience with technologies and methodologies you mentioned in the CV and are used in the company you are applying for. When you give answers then try to give some examples of how you use it and what is your real experience. Do NOT claim you are expert. Some of the questions are about to check your knowledge about language and technology and how did you use it in previous companies.

One of the stages is usually to do some code exercise. Simplify version of offline task or extension to the task you did. Rules from the chapter about tasks apply here too. It may be done in pseudo pair programming style. You write code with some guy who gave you more tasks. Speak what are you planning to do and why. Engage your pair in conversation about the solution.

So there are a few pieces of advice I have for you:

  • Read the question carefully and with understanding. If you don’t understand or you are not sure. ALWAYS ASK FOR CLARIFICATION.
  • Try to not interrupt the interviewer.
  • Take a breath, Think about question,’design’ answer and then do it.
  • Smile and treat this as a conversation with a business partner.
  • Never give up and fight to the end. Answer as best as you can and if you are not sure .. write this down anyway (and explain why you are not sure). Do not know the answer? Say what you don’t understand and say out loud what you think you will try in this situation.
  • Always try a teamwork approach.
  • Link your answer with your experience from work, assignments and etc.
  • When you provide a solution to your problem/task explain advantages and disadvantages.
  • Check what are the most important requirements in the job description and prepare you can talk about them on the interview.

Another thing that is worth mention. If you have a chance, try to ask them about various things to figure out, is company offer you a job that meets your requirements and it will make you happy to work there. If you care about the company you surprise them with ask questions like How your company is doing despite the global crisis (good question in 2009)? How your company is prepared to deal with Brexit?

If you still working and your interview is in the different city, then I have a few tips:

  1. Be on time!
  2. Try to have max 1 interviews per day (max 2), but have a plenty time between them as my one of my 45 minutes interview took 140 minutes|
  3. If face to face interview is the first contact with the company. I suggest having small chat before (phone screening) to make sure that this company is what you looking for and they think that you sound like a right person.
  4. Buy Powerpack to your mobile as you will discover how quickly a battery can disappear on that day!
  5. Do not think too much before Interview.


  • Be on time!
  • Be relaxed but don’t drugs or alcohol.  It is not a good idea to look like you have epilepsy. I understand your excitement and determination but treat this interview as chat with your colleague at the official meeting, not like a teenage girl who saw Justin Binliner, Bieder or whatever his surname is.
  • THINK, before you answer! After a question, think about the question and then answer.
  • Have answers ready for the common questions.  Always remember these question and try to prepare an answer for them so it will make future interviews go smoothly. (You will quickly collect a set of common questions). For example: What you will do if you won big money in the lottery?