What to expect during a JavaScript interview: 9 tips by the Godel JavaScript team

Interviewing can often be filled with anxieties, which makes it difficult for the candidate to answer to the best of their ability. Despite detailed job descriptions, it’s not always clear what the company expects of you. Knowing what to expect in advance could eliminate false fears and gives the candidate more opportunity to successfully pass the interview. We spoke to some of the interviewers from the Godel JavaScript Division and asked them to talk about their 9 top tips about what impresses them.

1. We will interview a company, not a specific project

Godel adheres to the practice of inviting a person to the company, not a project. During the interview, we try to find out the interests and desires of the person in order to understand whether they align with the values ​​and needs of Godel. In an Agile environment, the requirements are constantly changing. It is difficult to develop a clear, structured plan such as, “in X months, project Y will need a person with Z skills”. During the interview, we talk about the current vacancies and the position so the candidate has an idea of ​​the technical stack and the responsibilities that await them.

In most cases, we do not conduct project interviews – our customers trust our choice. This is almost always a conversation at the level of mentality fit. Technical interviews are conducted on 15-20% of all projects.

2. Knowledge of JavaScript basics is important

Knowledge of JavaScript basics takes precedence over knowledge of a highly specialised framework. Since we are interviewing a person in a company, it is important to be prepared for changing conditions. Nevertheless, when choosing a project, first, we consider the specialisation of a person in frameworks/libraries.

3. Be sure to mention the technologies you’re good at.

One or two technical specialists and a Talent Acquisition Manager are always present at the interview. The interview usually lasts around 1.5-2 hours. During this time, it is impossible to ask absolutely everything (it would take a whole working day), therefore, we ask the most important questions.

The purpose of the interview is to compare the skills of the candidate to what we require in the JavaScript division. In the interview process, we primarily focus on the candidate’s CV, trying to ask questions and give tasks in accordance with the knowledge and skills specified in the resume. We also pay attention to their soft skills as they are just as important as technical skills. If the interview is in Russian, we will also check their English skills.

It’s worth mentioning the technologies that you are interested in and which you are strong in. For example, let’s say for the last five years you have been programming robots in NodeJS – this is definitely worth mentioning. The TA Manager determines how well the candidate and the company fit together – their decision has the same weight as the decision of the technician.

4. Don’t know how to answer the question? Try your best to answer it.

A good interview is when the questions are all answered to the best of the candidate’s ability. We do not aim to find flaws with our candidates, we always try and find the positives. I’m glad when a candidate does not know the answer, but tries to reason, and this reasoning does not boil down to “I Googled it”. It’s great if they explain things in their own words – in this case, the interview could be considered successful.

5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

The ideal candidate is a person with an inquiring mind, passionate about the profession, experiments, constantly develops, asks questions, plunges into a new company and tasks, expresses an opinion on how they would implement a solution. With regard to technical skills and knowledge, you can understand absolutely any mistake – we are all human.

6. Feel free to ask questions

Ten points to Gryffindor if the candidate asks questions! Helpful questions are those that help figure out what their responsibilities will be in a new position and it all depends on the role. A normal question from a middle developer is about whether he will have a mentor or a lead on the project. But it would be strange to hear such a question from a senior with ten years of experience. Examples of good questions are, “What criteria do you decide in 3, 6, 12 months that I am doing a good job?”, “Does the company have a community?”, “What about overtime?”.

7. We mainly invite you to work in the areas of React, React + NodeJS, Angular + NodeJS, NodeJS or Angular

The list of projects for candidates and employees is constantly updated, but in the past few years the main direction has been React, which right now it occupies 70-80% of all projects. There is NodeJS (40-50% of projects), maybe a React + NodeJS project, Angular + NodeJS or just NodeJS. Angular is another 15-20%, a small proportion of projects in Vue JS or Vanilla JS.

In terms of team structure, we try to have at least two JavaScript developers in the team. So, each of them has the opportunity to seek advice and learn new things.

8. You will know the result of the interview within three days

If the interview at Godel is not the first, and less than a year has passed since the last one, we give preliminary feedback as quickly as possible. Over the past three years, we have made an offer several times during the interview, and the JavaScript division hosts more than 100 interviews a year. At the request of the candidate, we can leave feedback with recommendations after the interview.

After the interview, an IFU (Interview Follow-Up) is competed within 24 hours, which describes the strengths and growth areas of the candidate with examples (ideally STAR). We try to provide feedback as soon as possible regardless of the result and if we need time, we will inform the candidate about it.

9. Probationary period – with rare exceptions

If after the interview, questions or comments arise, but we like the candidate, we suggest that they go through a trial period which is three months. After the trial period expires, the Talent Manager checks whether there is progress on these points and decides on the person’s further work in the company.

If you want to try yourself as a JavaScript developer at Godel, email: careers@godeltech.com