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Both pros on the interview circuit and engineers just getting started can benefit from taking a step back to these five basic interviewing tips.

We’re lucky to get face-to-face with some amazing talent, and we’ve seen some pretty experienced developers stumble by not being prepared to make the right impression with a hiring manager.

So, we put our heads together at Triple Crown to remind you of these essential interviewing tactics to remember before heading into your next interview.

1. Research the company.

Interviews are a two-way street. The hiring manager wants to know more about you, and you’re there to see if you actually want the job. While tech talent is in the driver’s seat in today’s market, that doesn’t mean you’re the only car on the road. Some companies may be out to woo you, but they need to be wowed right back.

Be sure to walk into an interview able to talk about the company, why you want to work there and what questions they can answer to help you understand how you’ll make the business thrive. You don’t need to recite the company’s stock stats or history, but understanding its business, products and purpose will go a long way.

2. Learn about the position.

Read the job description, in full, and get a sense for why you would succeed in the position. It’s OK – you can use your on-site resume as a cheat sheet. Be prepared to speak about your skills and experience in a way that makes it a no-brainer to hire you. The goal is for you to walk the hiring manager through your experiences and help him/her map up your qualities to the organization’s idea of the right-fit candidate for the job.

3. Get to know the person interviewing you.

It might seem a little creepy at first, but looking up the person interviewing you (i.e., a recruiter or hiring manager) on LinkedIn and Google before you meet is a great way to prepare for an interview. Learn about their own experience, where they fit into the organization, what activities they’re into and where they went to school.

Even better, finding common ground or a shared experience can help you break the ice. Plus, feeling like you already know someone makes it easier to settle into the conversation and present your best self.

4. Plan how to get there.

Forget the “give yourself 15 extra minutes” adage. Take the time to plan out the day leading up to your interview. Know what outfit you’re wearing, get it pressed and set it out. Plot your route, know alternative routes and check Google Maps for what times of day to expect traffic. Make sure you have gas in your car, figure out where you’ll park and if you’ll need to pay a meter if there’s no on-site parking.

Finally, give yourself enough time to get there – with the few extra minutes you need to settle and put your game face on.

5. Know what to say.

What’s the first thing an interviewer will ask? Tell me about yourself! Customize and refine your one- and three-minute elevator pitches on what makes you an ideal candidate for this company and this role. Use this quick bit to reveal what you’ve done, where you are today and where you’d like to take your career (and this business) tomorrow. Keep it brief, energetic and reflective of your personality.

Once you’re done with your introduction, keep in mind a few more pointers:

  • Refrain from bashing former employers or co-workers, even when talking about challenges you’ve faced at work.
  • Be honest about your background (no overselling your way into a job you can’t do) and be aware that a manager will know if you’re the right fit and just need time to ramp up.
  • Review and be familiar with what’s on your resume. If a manager wants to know more about a specific experience, you should be able to speak authentically about it and not search your memory for valuable bits.
  • Share your personality. While you’ll obviously want to speak professionally, don’t be afraid to be you. At the end of the day, the hiring manager wants to know the person, not the suit. Let your true personality shine.

Ready to put your interview skills to the test? Email me to learn how we work with some of the best companies in the U.S. – and get an inside track on their tech opportunities.