How to pass an interview without an academic background?

11 replies
Hey guys,

I'll be having an interview for my first serious job (a remote Javascript position) and I'm not sure I'm up to the task. I get terrified at interviews and there's always a question that seems like any decent developer should know, but I get stumped. Things like bubble sort, big O notation, etc. I worked on many websites in the past (5 yrs experience) but I don't have an academic background.

I was wondering if you guys could help me with tips on how to pass interviews and brush up my skills. My friends referred me to this forum.

PS: The interview is for a software outsourcing company called BairesDev,

Do any of you have any experience with this company and its interview process?

Thanks a lot and sorry for the bad english!
#academic #background #interview #pass
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  • Profile picture of the author unihawk
    I have interviewed hundreds of people and have been interviewed several times.

    I have hired people that I like personally over those with more experience and education. This is because I'm going to have to spend 40 hours a week with this person. 99% of the time it was a great decision.

    Things you can do to be the most likable candidate:

    First, get a copy of Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends And Influence People. Then read it cover to cover.

    Next, think of answers that are in story format (people love stories). For example:

    Question - What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?

    Poor answer - I worked on the OnStar application that are in GM cars.

    Good answer - I spent 2 years working on the OnStar application that is in GM cars with a team of 8 other engineers. I took the initiative to coordinate development between everyone in the department. It was very difficult at times getting all the development to work together, but I was able to overcome this by using the project management skills I have learned...

    And lastly: LIE! I don't mean lie about your education, experience or anything that can be found out. I mean embellish your story answers. Like in the above example you could add that you received a bonus for your good work or that you were given more responsibility due to your performance.

    I hope this helps. Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
      Don't lie. Be 100% upfront and honest. Unless you can fool People, they will be able to tell if you're lying or not.
      Signature
      "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by terrie7 View Post

    Hey guys,

    I'll be having an interview for my first serious job (a remote Javascript position) and I'm not sure I'm up to the task. I get terrified at interviews and there's always a question that seems like any decent developer should know, but I get stumped. Things like bubble sort, big O notation, etc. I worked on many websites in the past (5 yrs experience) but I don't have an academic background.

    I was wondering if you guys could help me with tips on how to pass interviews and brush up my skills. My friends referred me to this forum.

    PS: The interview is for a software outsourcing company called BairesDev,

    Do any of you have any experience with this company and its interview process?

    Thanks a lot and sorry for the bad english!
    It can be a REMOTE job, so your personality may not be as important as your confidence in your results.

    First, make sure you know the company up and down, front and back. Watch every youtube video, visit every page, and find out all you can about them.

    Then, when you know everything you can about them, present yourself with confidence, and if education does come up (it may not), then you ask for a trial or probation, being confident you can do the jobs.

    GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author cearionmarie
    Do you have prior experience in the same field? If so, you can show them your experience. On my first interview, I've had to watch YouTube tutorials on how to win it, you might want to try that too as there are usually questions like "why should I hire you", prepare for that.
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    Cearion Uy - Marketing Advisor
    www.influencerauditor.com

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  • Profile picture of the author Medon
    An interview doesn't just test the academic aspect. It looks at so many things: how you are groomed, communication, etc. Also, if you don't know anything, don't was time moving in circles a straight answer like I have no idea can help you secure the job.
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  • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
    same as with an academic background - lie
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  • Profile picture of the author JUnderwood
    When I was recruiting staff. I hired people who also did not have an academic education, but they had an excellent work experience. That was enough for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author MaxFeerden
    Not always need an academic education. Basically everyone pays attention to the experience, communication and knowledge in the field.
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    • Profile picture of the author Huenelde
      I totally agree with you. Experience is important.
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  • Profile picture of the author WF- Enzo
    Administrator
    Be upfront and tell the employer your ins and outs. Since you mentioned it'd be a remote job, make sure your audio and video works well and won't get choppy. Make sure you ready everything about the company, especially its history, core business, and its people. Also helps to show them a portfolio of the programmes you've coded or helped created.


    Originally Posted by terrie7 View Post

    Hey guys,

    I'll be having an interview for my first serious job (a remote Javascript position) and I'm not sure I'm up to the task. I get terrified at interviews and there's always a question that seems like any decent developer should know, but I get stumped. Things like bubble sort, big O notation, etc. I worked on many websites in the past (5 yrs experience) but I don't have an academic background.

    I was wondering if you guys could help me with tips on how to pass interviews and brush up my skills. My friends referred me to this forum.

    PS: The interview is for a software outsourcing company called BairesDev,

    Do any of you have any experience with this company and its interview process?

    Thanks a lot and sorry for the bad english!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11527804].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sgalla414
    You could be top of your class, straight A, BOOK smart individual but that doesn't mean you have commonsense, ingenuity or that you are trainable. Grades are part of a bigger picture. You can test well but still have zero social skills and when you're working in a collaborative environment that all comes into play. Don't let the fact that you dont have formal training make you feel like you aren't as skilled as someone who does.
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