Fannie  Zemlak

Fannie Zemlak


Your Greatest Strength in a Job Interview Is Efficiency

Job interview being conducted at a table, discussing efficiency as your greatest strength.

You sense the interview is coming to an end, the questions are getting sparse, and it’s difficult to gauge your potential.

This dream job could come to fruition, but there is a weight on you. Sitting across the table in silence, your mind wanders to how all the moisture from your mouth found its way under your arms. At that moment, the silence is broken and your focus is redirected.

“What is your greatest strength?”

You’ve been there — sitting in a job interview as they roll through their list of questions trying to determine if you’re the candidate they seek.

In one way or another, they always question your strength. Sometimes, they outright ask you about it. Other times, it may be tucked under explaining how you overcame a difficult work situation or how your workflow sets you apart.

In response, it can be easy to default to your passion, reliability, consistency, or patience with others. You might be a self-starter or great at keeping yourself motivated. Or maybe you stay calm and composed during high-stress situations.

Those are all commendable traits, but the answer companies are looking for is efficiency.

Regardless of the position — barista, designer, cashier, mid-level management, sales — you need to be efficient. You see, efficiency is a strength that directly impacts the company. If you can master peak performance using minimal resources, you‘re bound to achieve the highest-level output. Or as business translates it, profit.

Now you’re thinking, “Sure, I’m good at my job and even clock in and out on time.” That’s not the efficiency that’s going to set you apart from John in accounting. You need to analyze your tasks, break them down, and reorganize them for optimal production, time, money, and resource usage without being asked.

Here’s an everyday example.You’re cooking a tasty, dependable dinner: spaghetti. Let’s say you start by putting garlic bread in the oven and placing your pasta in boiling water. You begin cooking down your tomato sauce. Then you realize you now have to brown your meat in a separate pan. By the end, your pasta is overcooked, your bread is burnt, and you’ve dirtied more dishes than necessary.

Now, what if we took that simple process, broke down each part, and rearranged it to make it more efficient? Typically, you start by browning the meat. Then add your diced tomatoes and spices to create your sauce. While that’s cooking down, boil your pasta and throw some garlic bread in the oven for the last eight minutes. Voilà, dinner is served. Hot, timely, and with minimal dishes.

Obviously, this is a natural trait for me. Yes, I’m the girl who loads the dishwasher and puts groceries on the checkout belt in a specific way. With that said, it’s a trait that can be learned and easily exercised in your day-to-day. How can you cook dinner faster, organize your fridge better, and get more housework done during your already busy schedule?

Now apply that same concept to your job. How can you design wireframes more effectively, make three lattes in the time it takes Sally to make one, or manage your team to exemplify their individual strengths?

When you prove your efficiency, you can win interviews, become an asset, and confidently ask for raises.

So next time you’re asked what your strength is, respond with efficiency — and show them why.

#self-improvement #startup #programming #business #work

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Your Greatest Strength in a Job Interview Is Efficiency
Brain  Crist

Brain Crist


BEING HONEST an essential UX interview tip

In this article, I share what I think is one of the best tips when it comes to design interviews.

As a junior UX designer, I’ve been asked a few times by my peers: what is the most essential UX interview tip I have?

Well, to this question I have a very simple answer,** just be honest**… well, this might sound like a no brainer, but it seems to me that not many junior designers know about it or want to apply it.

I had the chance to speak with a few designers and I discovered that some tend towards being a little bit insincere when going through interviews for design positions. It’s normal to be intimidated when going through an interview process and you might want to act as if you have more experience than you have to secure the job.

Well, I’m here to suggest that that’s not the right approach. I fact, recruiters know in advance that as a junior designer you won’t have many years worth of experience so instead of being insincere it’s better to show up with an open mindset and being honest.

A mindset of learning and improving is always welcomed and valued in today’s world. Simple answers like “I might not know X because I’ve haven’t had the chance to get at it but I can learn it as I’m an avid Lerner” go a long way with recruiters.

Put yourself on your recruiter’s shoes, would you rather employ someone “that answers to 90% of the requirements’’ but doesn’t show a growth mindset, or would you employ someone “that answers to 70% of the requirements’’ but shows it’s the thirst for learning and improving?

That’s not to say that you’ll show up with no qualifications at all. You still have to have a certain level of expertise. “Don’t be the guy with 30hrs of experience using Sketch and 1hr of prototyping experience calling himself a UX designer”.

Some skills can be rapidly learned with just a little bit of discipline and will so don’t be afraid to answer with a no if you haven’t had experience with certain techniques due to lack of opportunity of doing so, for example. It’s always easier to learn something new than being perceived as untrustworthy because you said you were qualified to do something but you finally weren’t.

keep in mind that being sincere is always the way… not just during job interviews but in life. Anytime you’re being insincere to achieve something, most probably, the lie will end catching you back and having the opposite effect you wanted it to have.

Anyway, I’ll stop with my “life lessons” and I’ll wish you a very successful interview.

Hopefully, this little advice does help you.

#design-interview #job-interview #system-design-interview #job-interview-tips #ux-interview

Alayna  Rippin

Alayna Rippin


5 Simple Job Interview Tips

Disclaimer: this reflects my personal opinions, not those of my employer.

Over the last few years, I have interviewed hundreds of candidates for positions in Software Engineering, Software Engineering Management, Product and Product Marketing Management, Technology Evangelism, and others. It has always bothered me how many people accidentally sabotage themselves, making entirely avoidable mistakes in the early stages of interviews and phone screens, preventing interviewers from getting to know those candidates better, forcing the premature end of the process for them.

I call these mistakes avoidable because not making them is entirely under the interviewee’s control, having nothing to do with aptitude, competence, interviewer having a bad day, or not being fit for a certain position. If you can avoid them (and you can!), then you are already standing out from the crowd, for being able to make your “elevator pitch” in a way that assures interviewers that you’ll be able to handle yourself in a loop with their peers and managers.

Without further ado, this is how you can do better in your job interview:

A short introduction is a short introduction!

Not an invitation for you to read through your resume. So when asked by the interviewer to give “a quick introduction so we can get started”, do just that. Time it to 90 seconds or less. This is about who you are, not (yet) about what you have done. Let’s mock it:

Interviewer: “My name is X, I have been at this company for 5 years, doing X, Y, Z, and prior to this I spent most of my career doing mobile development, now I’m managing this team and am the hiring manager for this position.”

You: “My name is Y, I started in 19xx, when I was born, then went to school, where I learned how to read (…) then I had the opportunity to learn Docker, which I think is the future with Kubernetes, AI, and the Blockchain.”

WRONG. This is what you have done, not who you are.

You: “My name is Y, I’m an Engineer/Marketer/Product person, I’ve graduated from X, been in this market for 5 years, most recently at company Y, and I love being at the intersection of product and engineering, and that’s why I applied for the position”.

Speaking of time

Don’t talk too much, or for too long. If you have been talking for 5-6 minutes without pause, your interviewer is probably already distracted and unable to piece your story together to a coherent whole. Keep answers short and to the point, make pauses, ask if the interviewer has questions, continuously check back to see if the person is still with you. If not, it’s probably time to stop talking.

A couple of extra tips here: if the company interviewing you requires that people take notes about your answers, you can pay attention to when the interviewer has stopped typing. It probably means you are adding nothing to your answer, so change gears. A second cue is that, for video interviews (or live, like in the good ole days), if the person you’re talking to has gone static, not reacting to anything you said, that’s a good sign that you should stop talking.

What’s your motivation?

“Why did you apply for this position?” is considered by many the easiest question in an interview. Well, I have news for you: it isn’t.

There are many ways to answer this question in a way that will immediately raise suspicion in a good interviewer that you don’t know what position you’re applying for, which may be a terminal mistake in a selection process.

Here are some bad answers:

  • “Because company X is a great company!” - Yes, it is, but it also might have thousands of job openings, so you’re essentially saying you’d happy to have any of those jobs.
  • “Technology is a great sector to be in right now” - A variation on the previous point, it tells nothing about your interest in this position.
  • “Because it’s not very hands-on, from the job description” - Even if the position is not hands-on (and those are becoming rare in all sectors), describing your motivation on a negative/lacking/glad-I-don’t-have-to-do-that way sends a bad sign that you are not interested in how things are built, only in the results.

Some good ones:

  • “Because the job description says that I would be doing high-impact work with healthcare partners, including leading ones, and that’s something I’m passionate about”
  • “I am very passionate about mobile development in Swift and also UX, and looking at your company’s products, I see that you have great care for your user experience, and I’ve been looking for a position where I can excel in both”

#interview #interview-tips #interviewing #job-search #tech-jobs #communication #recruiting #hr

Wiley  Mayer

Wiley Mayer


How to Prepare for a Coding Interview in 8 Weeks

As of this writing, the market is tough. We’ve been hit hard with a deadly

pandemic that left thousands of people unemployed. It’s layoffs everywhere and the companies are being conservative when it comes to


Companies are not willing to hire people with no experience or people who they’ve to train.

Your first job in tech is the toughest, you’re competing

with virtually every new college grad and anyone who completed a boot

camp. I know it can be hard to even land an interview, for someone to

give you a chance to talk and demonstrate you could be valuable


Now, the chance of you getting an interview totally depends on how your resume compares to the job description. The more relevant it is to the

skills required, the better your chances of getting an interview.

To build your resume, I’d recommend It’s a nice read to follow the principles when it comes to building a tech resume.

Over the past few months, I’ve been collecting resources like videos,

websites, and taking notes to prepare for coding interviews.

In that process, I made an 8 weeks study guide curated of important data

structure resources to prepare for tech interviews and honestly this

study guide was helpful to me to know what to study every day and in

following a routine for my job search.

Why 8 weeks?

If you’re serious about preparing for a tech interview then 8 weeks is the

minimum to be given to prepare thoroughly for a tech interview. I know

there are few who would cram up pools of content in a week or two. But, I

believe that is not a realistic or sensible approach.

Tech interviews can be intense and most companies expect you to solve problems or go through a data structure topic in detail.

Now, My study guide with resources will eat up the entire blog space. So,

Instead of straight-up dumping down the content all together, I racked

my brains on how to deliver the content in the most effective way

possible to ensure the habit of consistency and dedication stays intact

during the interview preparation process.

In this blog post, I would give you what to cover each week. If you’re

interested to know what resources to refer to when covering each topic then I’d recommend subscribing to the newsletter in which you’ll receive one email daily about the concept and the resources to practice.

If you believe you can find resources to relevant topics on your own then

here’s how you should plan to cover each topic every week.

#coding-interviews #software-development #job-interview #job-search #coding #latest-tech-stories #coding-interview-tips #coding-job-interview-advice

Kolby  Wyman

Kolby Wyman


Acing a Data Science Job Interview

During my time as a Data Scientist, I had the chance to interview my fair share of candidates for data-related roles. While doing this, I started noticing a pattern: some kinds of (simple) mistakes were overwhelmingly frequent among candidates! In striking disagreement with a famous quote by Tolstoy, it seems to me, “most unhappy mistakes in case studies look alike”.

In my mind, I started picturing the kind of candidate that I would hire in a heartbeat. No, not a Rockstar/Guru/Evangelist with 12 years of professional experience managing Kubernetes clusters and working with Hadoop/Spark, while simultaneously contributing to TensorFlow’s development, obtaining 2 PhDs, and publishing at least 3 Deep Learning papers per year. Nope; I would just instantly be struck by a person who at least does not make the kind of mistakes I am about to describe… And I can imagine the same happening in other companies, with other interviewers.

Although this is a personal and quite opinionated list, I hope these few tips and tricks can be of some help to people at the start of their data science career! I am putting here only the more DS-related things that came to my mind, but of course writing Pythonic, readable, and expressive code is also something that will please immensely whomever is interviewing you!

#data-science #job-interview-tips #job-interview-preparation #job-interview