29. 07. 2022

Just accepted an offer for your dream job and wondering how best to approach handing in your resignation?

​If you are reading this my guess is that you have just secured a brand-new role, so a huge congratulations are in order – exciting times ahead! Obviously securing a job offer for your dream position is incredibly exciting but, understandably, sometimes that excitement can be overshadowed by the looming prospect of having to break the news to your current employer that you are leaving them.It’s almost never the easiest of tasks to give the news of your departure to your manager but as it’s an unavoidable task on the road to the next step in your career, so here are some tips to make the process as smooth as possible for all parties.Time is of the essenceThis is key to you, your current employer, and your future employer. Obviously, your new company will be keen to have you join them as soon as possible and get stuck into your on-boarding process and your current employer will appreciate you giving them the courtesy of as much time as possible to find your replacement. It would always be the “dream” situation if they had sufficient time to find a new colleague who could join whilst you are still there so there could be a hand-over process and whilst this is not always possible, ensuring you’ve given as much notice as possible will keep everyone happy!​Counter-offersThis is a tricky one; sometimes when you let your company know that you’re leaving them they are all of a sudden and (often all too late) desperate to show how important you are as an employee and will present a counter-offer to you. This can be tempting as, after all, increased responsibilities or earnings are always exciting but accepting a counter-offer can actually be extremely damaging in the long-term and set you back further in your career. Realistically, you were looking for a new opportunity for a reason and though the immediate prospect of a salary increase or promotion can be attractive, the long-term reality is that you’re likely to be left with regret for not having taken the new opportunity that provided you with what you were missing. Statistically, 80% of candidates who accept a counter-offer from their current employer actually end up leaving within 6 months after realising that their original reasons for looking are still valid and haven’t truly been addressed. As unfair as it may be, as soon as your company know you were interviewing elsewhere, a level of trust is often lost and your employer may be suspicious that you are interviewing again whenever you take time off work. Lastly, it can also damage your relationship with the other company if you accept an offer and then retract it, putting you in a disadvantaged position if you want to work with them in the future.​Honesty is the best policyIt can be tempting, and may seem like the easiest option, when asked why you’re leaving to simply say something generic along the lines of “I loved it here but just wanted a fresh challenge” and in some cases this might be true, but often there is a bigger reason behind closed doors. In reality, you are doing your employer a disservice to not share your honest reasons behind your motivation to leave as it can actually help the company to realise areas where they’re potentially not doing so well and their short-comings and how they can better support and retain staff in future. Think about what made you look elsewhere, was it down to the remuneration, lack of training or perhaps there were a lack of opportunities to advance your career? Respectfully and constructively sharing these insights with employers can really help them to improve. That said, be sure to also share everything you have gained from your time there and thank them for the opportunity that they gave to you, which leads me onto my next point...​Always be professionalSometimes it can be tempting once you have already secured a new role to let your professionalism go slightly out of the window, particularly if your reason for leaving is down to a negative relationship or unfair treatment in the workplace. This is never a good idea, namely because you never truly know who knows another professional in the industry, negative information could be passed on and come back to bite you in your career down the line so do not burn bridges and always remain professional as it puts you in the best position.​Get excited!Once the task of handing in your resignation is complete, make sure you give yourself some time to celebrate your imminent new chapter! When times are “normal”, it is always a great idea to attend any social functions that you may be invited to with your new employer so you can begin to integrate with the team and get to know your new colleagues. That way, the first day will not be so daunting and there will already be a few familiar faces!I hope these tips help in some way to make the process of moving onto the next step in your career as smooth as possible. Most of all, it’s important that you don’t feel anxious or guilty about resigning – always prioritize your happiness, job satisfaction and personal/professional development above all!
29. 07. 2022

​Preparing for a Coding Assessment

It can be frightening to take a coding test and with good reason! Whether it is to get an interview or if it is the final step to landing the job, most of the time these assessments are make or break to move on with the interview to offer process. But with enough preparation, you can ace the interview and move one step closer to getting your ideal job.​How to Get ReadyMajority of the time in today’s virtual world, whether it is for an entry level or especially a senior level position, some type of assessment will be involved such as: Codility, CodeSignal, HackerRank, a company created live test, etc. There are a few things you should do to get ready if you're applying for a development job at a company that uses a coding test.​Do not Over Think but Take nothing for GrantedDon't underestimate how challenging a coding interview will be or expect that your abilities will be sufficient as the first step in effectively preparing for one always expect the unexpected. At the same time try not to over think and cause yourself anxiety or stress before it is time to take it, as this can cause you to second guess yourself and/or go against your gut which can waste time especially in cases of a timed test. Coding interviews are intended to test you as much as possible, regardless of how skilled a developer you may be. These kinds of interviews provide the business with insight into your thought process such as troubleshooting and problem-solving issues that may arise in a real-life environment, how you approach challenges, and if you simply perceive the obvious underlying problems, in addition to evaluating your basic coding skills as it pertains to the job you are or might be interviewing for.​Get to Know the BusinessFinding out as much information as you can about the business is another crucial step.1.      What specific software or services do they focus on?2.      What are the job details such as programming languages, Databases and frameworks are they developing with?3.      On what projects is the business now engaged and have you had any past experience working on a similar project?4.      What is their industry and what businesses do they collaborate with?​Take time to look the company up on LinkedIn, google, YouTube even. Do you have any colleagues (former or present) who knows about them or knows someone currently working there? Get to know the backgrounds of the team and know who you are interviewing with.   Get the basics down.Frequently, a coding test would require you to perform supposedly simple tasks like modifying/debugging code or creating an algorithm that, in most cases, you could find online for free especially with YouTube, Google, even Tik-Tok, it should be fairly simple to find articles and videos from industry veterans who are hiring managers themselves. These activities are typically designed to see how you approach and tackle the challenge. They are testing you to see if you would approach the situation simply or overthink it. ​Practice (Write out your Code)I know I keep bringing up Google and YouTube quite often, but none the less they are great tools for knowledge. Visual learners can watch countless videos on YouTube on preparing for assessments. With Google you have access to hundreds if not thousands of free practice tests you can take beforehand, so it is very important you find time to practice. The more relaxed you are going into an assessment, the better the chance you have in passing. Another great way to practice is your past or current colleagues. If you have worked in the industry for years and are interviewing for a better opportunity reach out to some of your connections (past co-workers or even managers) for tips or even, ask them if they themselves use an assessment in their hiring process. If you are new to the industry reach out to your friends or former classmates who recently got a job or are interviewing themselves. This is a great way to get real life expectations of what may be involved in a coding assessment whether it is for an internal “Live Test” and especially for a platform like Codility or HackerRank.While the test is on the computer, most companies will require you to write your code out during the interview.​In ConclusionTherefore, go into each coding exam fully aware of how crucial it is to the business. Even if the interviewer tries to reassure you by suggesting the outcome won't be determined by the results, they probably will. The business ultimately wants to know that you can deliver on your promises, and there is rarely a better way to do this than to demonstrate your ability to deliver.Most importantly eliminate any doubt and stress, and the best way to do this is to arm yourself beforehand with as much knowledge and practice before your interview. The more comfortable and confident you are, the more successful you will be in passing an assessment. Despite the difficulties, you can master your coding interview and get one step closer to your goal with a little homework, research, and preparation.
27. 07. 2022

Video Interview Preparation - Tips & Tricks

​As businesses across the globe are forced to transition to a remote and digital workforce, so are interviews.  Zoom, Skype, Teams and other video conferencing tools are becoming today’s interviewing norm. The truth is, whether you’re an interview guru or just jumping back into the job market, technical issues and unexpected trip-ups are now more possible than ever before.  So be prepared. Put yourself in the best situation to ensure you crush your video interview.Below are a handful of tips and tricks gathered from recruiters, hiring managers, candidates and industry professionals to put you in the best position possible:​PREPARE YOUR TECHNOLOGYIn an ideal, even typical situation, you would be sitting across the table from your recruiter or hiring manager.  However, with today’s circumstances, video conferencing is the next best thing.  With this, comes different video platforms; you should check to see if you need to create an account, download an app, or insert a password.  Additionally, be sure to test your connection prior to the interview.  You don’t want your first impression to be that you were late because you couldn’t figure out the platform.​Test your camera and mic– nothing else can start an interview on the wrong foot, than a webcam or mic malfunction.  You don’t want to be the “Can you hear me? Can you hear me now?” interviewee.​This one seems simple, but is commonly one that is forgotten…charge your device!  Whether you are taking the interview on your phone or computer, be sure you are sufficiently charged or if possible, plug into a power source.​DRESS THE PARTYou should stilldress to impress!  This helps to not only boost confidence, but will also leave a strong first impression.  Plan to wear the same clothes you’d wear if you were meeting in-person…yes this includes pants.  We have all heard the jokes about taking video calls in your underwear, but don’t let that be you.  Most likely, the interviewer(s) will only see your face and shoulders, but you should be prepared.​BODY LANGUAGE AND SPEECHVideo interviews can be uncomfortable and seem unnatural, but do your best to be yourself and get your personality across.  Be mindful of your posture, remember to nod and be engaged, try not to fidget, and don’t forget to smile!  Gesture with your hands as you normally would and don’t feel restricted or stiff just because you are talking to a computer screen.​Do your best to speak clearly and deliberately.  Issues with internet and connection can occur and this can cause delays or sound quality issues.  So be adaptable and do your best to ensure your audience is understanding you.  Try pausing momentarily before responding, as there can be a delay and cause you to talk over one another.​Eye contact.  This one can be a bit more challenging depending on your computer/webcam set up, how many interviewers are on the call or how the platform displays the video.  Your impulse is typically to look at the face on the screen or be distracted by yourself. ​A few helpful tips:Look at the camera as much as you can (this will give the appearance of making eye contact)Place a sticky note over yourself on your screen as to not be distractedPosition your camera at eye-level for the most flattering and straight forward anglePractice! (remember it doesn’t come natural to look at the camera rather than the people on the screen)​BE CONSCIOUS OF YOUR ENVIRONMENTBeware of any potential distractions such as family, friends or pets. Try to ensure you have privacy and won’t be interrupted or distracted.Turn your camera on before your interview and evaluate your background and lighting.  Have a professional, clean and clutter-free background within the frame. And don’t forget to check your lighting, no one wants to join an interview and realize you are so backlit, it looks like you’re taking the call from a dungeon.​If the lighting isn’t favorable:Try facing a window to get natural lightSet up a light or two behind the screen to brighten yourself and backgroundIncrease the brightness on your screen to add some illumination to your face​BE ADAPTABLEIt’s important to remember that technical issues or distractions can and do happen, even if you prepare.  Things can take place on your end or the interviewers, they are in the same situation as you and working to do what they can to give you the best interview experience. Be patient and be understanding.​DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW UPThis will always be a best practice for any type of interview.  Remember to leave a strong impression and send a thank you note to the interviewer(s)