How to Apply to Tech Jobs During a Pandemic
We recently hosted a lecture for Computer Science students at Boise State University about finding and applying for jobs during this unprecedented time. We talked about what to look for in a company, ways to stand out, and how to interview remotely and thought it might be helpful to share a few of those tips here as well.
If you’re a soon-to-be or recent computer science graduate, here are a few things to keep in mind when applying to tech jobs during a pandemic:
Companies are Still Hiring
A lot of things are changing in the world right now, but many companies are still searching for new talent.
- Keep an eye on job openings on sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Stack Overflow
- Look directly at company career pages to see an accurate list of openings
- Get a sense of the culture from the company website and social media accounts as well as Glassdoor reviews
- Understand the company’s core values and how they operate
What to Look for In a Company
Pay attention to how companies are treating employees during the pandemic; it’s a good indicator of culture and how they value employees. For example, if they are capable of working remotely, are they? What benefits do they offer? This is always important, but especially right now.
At Jelli, we were fully remote within two days and quickly implemented new processes and tools. Since going remote, our operations team has introduced virtual team building resources and opportunities like workouts, wine tastings, game nights, and trivia.
Tips for Interviewing Remotely
Helpful Tips to Know
- Test your interview software to make sure you can log in without issues
- Know the job/role you are interviewing for
- Do your research on the company (projects, history, culture, etc.)
- Make sure you know the Tech Stack that the company uses
- Jelli’s Stack: Java, MySQL, EmberJS hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Update your resume so it accurately shows what you’ve worked on and ensure you can speak to everything listed on it
- Stay positive and don’t talk negatively about previous companies or projects
- Speak clearly and precisely when responding to questions
- Ask questions about the company and its future direction
- Follow up with interviewers by sending a quick thank you email
Sharing Projects You’ve Worked On
First, we want to remind you that it’s okay if you have limited experience — as a new or recent graduate, employers know and expect that. As such, it’s important not to attempt to make it look like you’ve done more than you have.
When you’re sharing projects, one of the most helpful things for recruiters and hiring managers is to include clear, concise summaries. You don’t need to share too many granular details when talking about projects during interviews either. Ask yourself. “What would a seasoned engineer want to know about this project?”
- Make sure you lay out the problem you solved: without knowing the problem, the solution won’t make as much sense
- Include a link to your GitHub page/projects you are proud of: be sure to clean them up and add documentation (Readme, and inline)
Zoom (or other video software) Interviewing Etiquette
- Make sure you are in a place that is clean and presentable with limited distractions
- Dress professionally (doesn’t have to be shirt and tie)
- Dial-in for your interview on time
- Do not look at your mobile phone or smartwatch at any time during the interview
Don’t forget this is your interview, too! Feel free to ask questions and guide some of the conversations. If you’re feeling nervous, consider pausing for a breath and asking a question. Or, if you are unsure if you heard the question correctly, you can always ask the interviewer to repeat themselves so you are able to answer more thoughtfully.
If you’re interested in working at Jelli, please keep an eye on our careers page for an up-to-date list of current openings and be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn. Congratulations, Class of 2020! We can’t wait to meet you!