Communication Before the Interview
Recruiters are your friends
Most of your contact before an interview will be with the recruiter (and sometimes a separate coordinator).
With respect to the interviews, recruiters are your friends. I recommend framing your interactions with them with the mindset that they want you to succeed. This means that you should ask them questions that will help you be successful!
Questions to ask
Before your interviews, there are a bunch of questions you should probably ask your recruiters. Here is a non-exhaustive list for both on-site and virtual interviews:
On-site or virtual interviews
- Ask about dress code if they haven't told you already
- Ask what interview rounds you'll have. Behavioral, leetcode, practical coding, technical knowledge, values? Many people are surprised to hear that you can ask this and a lot of the time the recruiter will tell you what rounds you'll have. They may even tell you the order of these rounds.
- Ask if you can use your preferred language for the coding rounds (assuming you have coding rounds). Generally the answer is yes, but it's also possible the company has a specific language or framework they want you to use.
- Ask if you can use the Internet for practical coding rounds.
- Confirm time and location. If you'll be traveling by plane or other company-paid mode of transportation, confirm logistics and a point-of-contact.
- Confirm interview a couple days in advance to make sure nothing has changed.
- Ask about what video software will be used. Download whatever software will be used and test it out days in advance.
- If there is a coding portion, ask how that's going to be conducted: will you be developing locally and screen-sharing? Or will you be using a shared, online environment like CodeSandbox? Whatever the answer, make sure you practice using that setup.
Be a good person
I have seen far too many candidates self-sabotage by being rude or impolite. Being a good person doesn't just count in the interview rounds—it counts when interacting with recruiters as well. Treating someone with respect is the right thing to do, but it has the added benefit of giving you a better chance to get the job. Consider two candidates with identical technical skills, but one is a really nice person who seems great to work with and another came off as a bit of a jerk. Who would get the offer?
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