Interviewing for a Web Developer Job
One of the many jobs that have been in demand recently is that of a web developer. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that "Employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations" (Web Developers and Digital Designers: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).
As people and brands want to expand their reach and connect with others, we have reached a point where many people want to own a customized and specific website to serve a particular purpose. This is where web developers step in. A web developer can work on many different aspects of a website, but in general, their role is to build and maintain a website that fits their client's needs.
With web developers becoming more in demand, there is an opportunity for them to see an increase in salary over time. Additionally, similar to working on a movie, becoming a web developer comes with the added benefit of watching someone's dreams and ideas come to life. Though this does seem like a desirable position, it can be challenging to enter this area of the workforce. When it comes to getting hired as a web developer, many requirements and expectations must be met if one hopes to be hired. Suppose one does not meet a certain number of conditions, such as years of experience or a master's degree. In that case, there are still ways that they can demonstrate their usefulness and succeed in an interview for a web developer position.
Becoming a web developer does not require proficiency in every coding language. Though there may be times when you must build every part of a website, there are also times when you could end up only working on one portion of a website, such as the front-end or back-end. The amount of coding knowledge you must possess to be considered hirable depends on the position you are applying for. Before applying for a web developer job, you should check the specific needs and determine whether you can succeed. Many coding languages have a crossover or similar qualities, such as HTML and CSS. One of the best skills you can possess is using your knowledge of one language to help you learn a new language.
If you can show that you understand the basics of how programming works and websites are built, you will raise your chance of succeeding in an interview. All jobs have a certain amount of training that they will provide to new hires. If you may not be overly familiar with a particular language but show that you can learn it, you will once again be raising your chances of getting hired as a web developer. Demonstrating your knowledge of website development is one of the things that recruiters are looking for in candidates and can make up for any flaws that may have occurred within the interview. Showing that you can code at a high level can bypass some of the other typical requirements, such as having a bachelor's or master's degree in computer science.
Having strong communication skills is one of the essential parts of doing well in a web developer interview. Though you want to ensure that you remember the proper way to write a code, it can be acceptable and sometimes even encouraged to approach a piece of code uniquely or creatively. However, this problem comes when you cannot explain why or how you choose to write a portion of the code. When you work as a web developer, you work in a group with other web developers and work on the same website as a team. If your team cannot follow how you wrote a code section and cannot explain it yourself, you could interfere with others' ability to work on the website.
Preparing for the Interview
If you feel you have all the necessary skills and qualifications to apply for a web developer job, the next step is to prepare for the interview. Like with any other discussion, you want to make sure that you research the company you are applying for and the type of work the position will be performing. Once you have focused on the specific area that you believe will be discussed the most, it is also essential to reinforce your general understanding to remember all of the primary, fundamental aspects of building a website. When you put all your effort into one particular area, there is a possibility that you can get tunnel vision and forget how to perform a simple task elsewhere, which will end up reflecting poorly on your web development ability.
During a web developer interview, there is a high chance that you will be given a problem or technical question that you will need to answer. While in an interview, Elena Roig, web developer at Solodev, described that "They made me code a page with specific parameters and without internet access so that I couldn't search for additional resources". While it is important to remember to practice writing code and knowing how to do so without any outside resources, an excellent way to make sure that you are prepared for specific questions or problems is to do research beforehand. When listing an available position, companies will often state the preferred coding language desired by applicants, guiding you on what kind of questions you can expect during the interview.
Although you will be interviewing for a web developer position and need to know technical coding information, who you are is an aspect that can impact your chance of success. There will most likely be a behavioral or personal portion of the interview where the interviewer will ask about your outlook on subjects and some of your personal history. This is done to ensure that you will fit in with the rest of the company, something that the company values since it decreases the chance of running into interferences that slow down production. You can look up the company to get an idea of the subjects it may value, but you should do your best to answer openly and honestly for this interview portion. You do not want to lie about the type of person you are to get hired because you might place yourself in a workplace environment that gets in the way of your success.
One of the reasons it is essential to have excellent communication skills during a web developer interview is because it allows you to demonstrate that you are confident and excited about your work. When you walk away from the interview, you feel that you did your best to demonstrate your ability and left the recruiter with a good impression. Suppose two people are interviewed for the same website development position and possess the same capacity, but one seems more excited and enthusiastic about the work. In that case, they are more likely to leave a better impression than the other once the interview has concluded. Additionally, those with more robust communication skills can bring up different aspects of web development that they are familiar with that may not have been brought up, making them more desirable as potential new hires.
Whether you are more robust at coding or communicating, it is good to focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses. You don't want to experience the feeling of an interview going downhill and being stumped on what to say or do. For example, if you are unsure about how to solve a problem given to you, don't just sit there stuck and say that you have no idea what to do. Instead, in this scenario, you should communicate some ideas you have to articulate to the interviewer that you are unsure but passionate about finding the answer appropriately. When you speak about your decisions while you code, it allows the interviewer to understand how you think and assess whether or not you will succeed in the role.
It is essential for those who interview for a web developer job to remember that the company is not only determining if you can code at a high level but will improve the overall company. One of the ways that you can make yourself stand out from the others who are interviewing for the same position is to show that you have more to offer than simply writing the required code. This type of expression is beneficial for those with experience in other areas but a short history of web development. For example, if someone possesses years of experience as a manager, they would be seen as someone who has proven to lead and discuss work in a group. This is an added skill that other candidates might not possess, and it may end up being the difference between getting hired or not.
As attractive as a web developer may seem, it is a very competitive area of work and requires excellent preparation to show your value. With more people in the world creating more content online, there is no question why the demand for web developers is on the rise. This is a very specialized field that requires the knowledge of specific languages and how to express oneself to succeed clearly. With enough time spent using coding languages and understanding how websites function, anyone can learn the required amount of information to hire a web developer. Successfully preparing and approaching the interview can significantly affect whether someone gets hired as a web developer.