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Cracking the Code: Interview Strategies for Landing Software Roles in Ireland

Cracking the Code: Interview Strategies for Landing Software Roles in Ireland

Cracking the Code: Interview Strategies for Landing Software Roles in Ireland

Posted on 15 March 2024

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Ireland is a veritable goldmine of opportunities for a software engineer. Not only is the tech sector booming despite an apparent downturn but there are so many other industries where software roles are essential. 

Take the life sciences sector for example. Cities like Limerick, Waterford, and Limerick have some incredible opportunities outside of Dublin. And yes, business is booming. 

At Software Placements, we’re inundated with requests to fill software roles in Ireland. And to make sure that any potential candidates for these roles are well-prepared, we have a few tips that we share ahead of interviews. We’ve gone ahead and pulled all those tips together to put them in this handy guide. 

Keep your finger on the pulse of Industry Trends

Tech is an ever-evolving field, with new languages, frameworks, and methodologies coming at us hard and fast. You need to stay on top of all of these developments even if it’s just on a basic knowledge level. An interviewer won’t expect you to be an expert on every aspect of the tech industry, but they will expect you to be able to talk about them at the very least. 

You probably do this already, but follow industry blogs, attend meetups, and participate in online forums where possible. Showing that you not only have a knowledge of but are genuinely interested in developments is a standout personality trait that speaks volumes about your dedication to your work. 

Practise Whiteboarding and Coding Challenges

Love them or hate them, whiteboarding sessions are the perfect opportunity for an interviewer to quickly test your skills and knowledge. So start off by doing it at home and bring a friend or colleague on board to act out the part of the interviewer. The idea here is to not only complete the whiteboard challenge but to clearly explain your process and keep the interviewer involved and engaged at all times. That means talking through your process and thinking out loud.

Don’t worry too much about coming up with the wrong ideas during the process. After all, the whole purpose is to see how you manage the challenge and arrive at the right solution. 

Showcase Your Work on Open Source Projects

If you have yet to participate in or contribute to an open-source project then now is the time to start. This is a great chance to show your coding skills in a real-world environment that can be highly critical of any mistakes. If your work is accepted by fellow developers on an open-source project, there’s really no greater way of showing that your skills are up to a challenge. 

But it’s not just about showcasing those all important software skills. This is also a chance to collaborate with other developers and see different working methods and thought processes in action. This may give you a few pointers on how to improve your own skills and could help with your whiteboard challenge. 

Get that Portfolio Ready

It shouldn’t need to be said because you likely already have a portfolio of all your work. But we will say that you need to keep this updated with ALL of your wins and positive results no matter how big or how seemingly small. 

Ideally though, you’ll choose to highlight projects that demonstrate a wide range of skills, such as web development, mobile app development, or data analysis. You’ll need to be prepared to discuss your contributions, challenges overcome, and lessons learned during the interview. And remember, while it’s not just about the presentation, it does help if your work samples are well presented. 

Practice Behavioural Interview Questions

There are scores of YouTube videos online giving great examples of behavioural questions so we won’t start listing them out here. But we will remind you that while the premise and goal of these questions often remains the same, the questions or language used can be changed to throw you off guard. 

Practice responding to common behavioural questions using the STAR method, focusing on specific situations, tasks, actions, and results. Be yourself when answering and let your personality shine through. But perhaps the best advice we can give here is to expect the unexpected. 

Think About Cultural Fit

So cultural fit is hugely important and we’re not going to lie, it’s something you cannot fake. And even if you could, would you really want to? No one wants to work in an environment where they cannot be themselves. So we’d advise you to look at the company’s socials, read Glassdoor reviews, and maybe even chat with anyone who has worked there before. 

Once you have a good understanding of the company culture, you’ll know yourself if you’re a good fit. And if that's the case, just be yourself and like we said earlier, let that personality and your soft skills shine through. If you’re a good fit for the culture, you won’t even need to try. 

Always Follow Up

You don’t want to be the annoying candidate, but a nice follow-up email after an interview is far from annoying. In fact, it could set you apart if you hit the right tone. Say thanks for the opportunity to interview and reiterate your interest in the role – assuming that you are still interested, that is. 

But don’t send a generic email. Sit down and write one based on how the interview went and maybe even mention a key point that you may have forgotten during the interview. One email is enough especially if it’s a genuine email. This shows the interviewer that you’re serious about the role and ready for round two! 

While there may be plenty of software jobs in Ireland, that doesn’t mean they’re easy to get. You’ll need to keep these tips in mind and prepare for your interview as if you were taking your finals at university… without the 2am cramming sessions of course. If you’re interested in talking to us about the software roles in Ireland that we are currently recruiting for, get in touch today and let’s see if you’re a good fit.

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