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The right technique – how to ace your next interview

Female electrical engineer being interviewed

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Holly Davis joined Wise as an internal talent manager in 2022, bringing with her almost eight years of experience working in recruitment-based roles.

Passionate about opening the doors to a career in tech for as many people as possible, Holly from Wise shares her advice on how to prepare for a successful interview.

Holly Davis, Talent Manager at Wise

HOW CAN I BEST DEMONSTRATE MY SKILLS DURING AN INTERVIEW?

Interviews aren’t designed to trick you and most interviewers, including myself, will make sure to give you the opportunity to show why you’re the perfect fit.

While questions will always vary slightly depending on the role and company you’re applying for, interviews have two main purposes: to get to know you as a person and find out more about your experience. This way, we can make sure you have the skills we need for the role, and the right personality for our company culture.

Technical ability can be harder to put into words, so we’d always encourage candidates to think beforehand about any past projects they’ve completed, so they can tell us about them. Make sure to explain clearly what skills you used, for example any coding languages and software, as well as any hurdles you encountered and how you arrived at the final outcome.

For roles which require specific skills, such as a Software Engineer, many places, including Wise, provide coding tests as part of the recruitment process which enables candidates to show us their skills to the best of their ability.

WHAT IF I DON’T ALREADY HAVE ALL THE SKILLS I MIGHT NEED?

With any role, especially one with specialised technical elements, a certain level of understanding and ability is always preferable. However, that doesn’t mean we expect every candidate to be a pro in everything straight away.

We take pride in the culture and atmosphere we’ve created at Wise, and we understand that non-technical skills can be equally important. Having good communication skills, being a team-player and allowing yourself to think creatively are all vital aspects of most roles.

Everyone has to start somewhere and sometimes learning on the job is a great way to do that. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new and even the most senior team members will often find themselves coming across new ways to improve and streamline their work. As long as you’re happy to explore new technologies and step out of your comfort zone, working closely with a like-minded, supportive team is a great way to learn new skills while enjoying what you’re doing.

HOW CAN I MAKE MYSELF STAND OUT FROM OTHER CANDIDATES?

Make sure your CV clearly demonstrates all your skills and experience, as well as any qualifications you have and be prepared to explain these in detail – even if the experience isn’t technical, it’s still valid.

It’s also important to tailor your responses to the role you’re applying for and not be too generic. If you’re applying for a senior role, such as Chief Technology Officer, highlight any programme delivery experience you have, as well as examples of leadership, problem solving and department management. For roles such as Frontend Software Engineer, make it clear what projects you’ve worked on – even if these are personal ones, it’s important to share the coding and creative skills you have.

Finally, make sure you let your personality shine through. Especially when you’re starting out in your career or applying for a role which will see you using new technologies you might not be familiar with, proving that you’re eager and willing to learn is an incredibly important part of any interview. 

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