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  • Writer's pictureTim Buchalka

How to Sell Yourself in a Job Interview

What are some great tips that you can adapt to get your first programming interview? Let’s talk about that today.

Today’s tip is all about, how to get your first programming interview. A question that I get asked often is, “Tim, how do I actually get to that first interview.”

One of the big things you need to realize is to just keep in mind that when you are writing an application letter, it’s all about the employer. It’s not about you. So in other words, if you think about it, the employer is looking to find someone to solve a particular problem. They have identified that they have got a position for a programmer to perform a function. Now, they don’t really care too much about you as a person. I’m sorry to say that, but that’s the reality.

They’ve got needs, they’ve got a situation where they need a problem solved, with a programmer, and they’re looking for a programmer. So if you write a resume and a job application, it’s all about you and how your goals are to do x, y, z, that’s not gonna be helpful to you. What you wanna do is make sure you align yourself to what the employer is wanting to do and what the employer needs.

A lot of that information you can glean from the job requirements. So, a lot of places that when you go for a job they’ve got some sort of job requirements process, or a letter, or a document outlining the type of programmer, or the responsibilities and so forth. So, It’s up to you as a person who wants this job, to find that information and to craft your interview letter, and even your resume in some cases to make sure that you’re actually meeting that criteria.

But you don’t want to lie obviously and you obviously want to tell the truth. But you want to make sure that what is very prevalent and very prominent in your application is that you can basically solve these problems for the employer. Critically important to make it all about the employer and not about you.

Now just to give you an idea that in the past, what I would have done is, I’ve had programming positions, where I’ve actually asked people to apply for a particular job to help me in various jobs, either as a contracting role or in my company in the past. And I have had letters that have been simply, “Yes Tim, I’d love to work with you, let’s connect.” They go in the bin, that’s the reality, and that will happen to you if you’re sending out a letter like that to a prospective employer. If you’re not giving them a reason to want to read on to your application, and to read your resume, and to talk to you, there are so many people out there to choose from, they’re gonna move on to the next person.

So it’s critically important that you make sure that you address the criteria and think of it from the employer’s perspective. Now, obviously this is only a quick video, and it hasn’t got into a lot of other detail about some of the other things you need to think about, but I’ll be following up with those in additional videos/blog posts.

I hope that helped. If you’ve got any questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

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