When the time tells you need to change your job, you start to look around. The first action can be
a. going to a job board, like monster or totatljob, which will help you to understand the market needs and rates.
b. ask friends if they have a job at their companies.
Andy Lester on his book Land The Tech Job You Love was referring a stastical data which tells that percentage of people getting jobs from job boards was %11. The rest of %89 people are finding jobs through communication.
Whatever the way you prefer, you need to analyse yourself, and to decide what will make you happy is the main goal of this article.
A. Before the Interview
a. Updating your cv
Reread your CV, would you find it clear, and easy to read if your were a hiring manager?
Make sure you describe the roles and responsibilities you have been involved in, what value you have added to your previous jobs The technologies you have worked with is not going to add points towards you if they are standing alone without explanation. Make sure the use of those technologies were solutions to certain problems. It does verify you know what you are doing, and you face a similar problem in future, you know how to take action.
b. List what makes you happy
I find three important things about a job: the people you work with, the projects you are involved in, and your role. Tell yourself what kind of people you like to work with. The culture of the companies decide the communication between the employees. So it can be formal or informal communication going on. Decide on which end you feel more comfortable.
The projects can be short or long, client based projects or internal projects. Depending on your experience, you can identify where you are comfortable.
c. List the items why you need a change, i.e. the things you do not want to do at your next job.
Write down all technologies, projects, problems. Being aware of them will help you during the interview process.
B. During the Interview
Aaron Erickson on his book Nomadic Developer got detailed explanation about the his experience through consultancy companies he has been involved in for years, and he categorizes the firms into seven, talking about positive and negative side effects, namely seven deadly firms. He has nice tips about the interview questions. Here I will list the ones that I see as important,
a. Human-based factors
– How do they learn new technologies [Do they attend/create any seminars, trainings, events internal?]
– Are they motivated to take certifications/go to external events/seminars [Devweek, QCon, Techdays]?
– How do they share what they have learnt about the business, projects, experiences internally [Do you have any wiki, sharepoint, internal site/structure to share/store documentation]
– How do they communicate/are motivated? [team events, afternoon teas/beer nights, teambuilding events]
– What would they want change if they were given a chance to improve one thing?
b. System-based factors:
– Do they a competitor product/company doing similar projects in the market [If yes what kind of analytics they use?]
– How do they improve your products/processes, any regular feedback session with clients/team members?
– What would their clients [internal or external] suggest as the best improvement for the project,
– Are they implementing any process like Scrum or kanban? As version controlling system, what are you using? How regularly code deployments happen?
– Do they have a mature process for project lifecycles?
– Do they have a roadmap for the technologies they will use and projects they want to start/finish?
So, you can have the idea of the company, where you can feel you can add value and be happy together. As Andy Lester says,
It is a relationship, being open and honest will make the relationship long lasting.