Please Ask Interview Questions

I’m in the process of hiring a Senior Full-Stack Developer – apply if you want to have a dream job in development! – and a few other positions at my company, This is reminding me of a strange trend: interviewees not asking any questions of the interviewers and their company.

Always Ask Questions

I don’t know why someone would not ask questions in an interview. The whole point of an interview is for us to get to know each other. To find out if we will be a good fit for each other. If this will be a good working relationship – the goal of every hiring manager and you.

Yet, I am often surprised by how many people don’t have questions or are reluctant to ask questions in an interview.

Questions Show Interest

When you ask a question about the role, the team, and the company, you hsould that you are interested in the position, and you want it to be a good fit, vs. just a job.

You should be asking a list of questions about how this role fits into your career goals, and just your day-to-day work wants. Every question is a good one, and helps you and the hiring manager learn about each other.

Questions Show Preparation

When you ask questions, you show the hiring manager that you’ve given thought to this role, this team, and this organization. It shows that you care about this job – not just any job.

When you ask detailed questions, that’s when the hiring manager knows you’ve done your homework, that you are a detailed person who cares about your work and will be prepared on a daily basis.

Questions Show You Care

Above all, questions show that you care about the time your spending thinking about this job and the time the hiring manager is spending on you. So your questions are not a waste of time. In fact, they are just the opposite – they are the key to winning your new job.

So do yourself, and your potential employer a favor – ask questions at your interviews.

Thanks,
Wayan

Apply! Apply! Apply!

Welcome to the great jobs cornucopia of 2019! Every January (and October), there comes a bumper crop of job opportunities as teams look at their workload for the year, get their annual budgets approved, and move ahead with hiring,

This year is no different.

There are over 30 job opportunities listed below and we’re getting a few emails a day about new ones. Of course you’re applying to all that look relevant and interesting.

Did you start applying now? Or back in October?

That’s not a trick question, but one of preparation and planning. Did you do your research on companies you want to work for? On teams within those companies that interest you? 

Did you do informational interviews already?

If you did, then you may already be ahead of everyone else. You may already know the hiring team. That job description may already be written for you. 

And you may already be on your way to a new job!

Good luck!
Wayan

Is a Post-ICT4D World is Coming?

I’m finding great unease in recent conversations with leading technology for development practitioners in Washington, DC and elsewhere. They are all nervous about where the international development industry is headed, if ICT4D has a long-term future within it, and what they should do next.

What to Worry About?

There were three general themes that I found people worrying about when it came to their ICT4D career as part of the international development community:

  • Reduced Government Funding: US, UK, and other governments are reducing funding, which is dropping overall funding rates.
  • Shift to In-Country Expertise: more and more work is moving to host country nationals – as it should.
  • Competing Private Sector Solutions: the private sector has finally realized there is money to be made in developing countries.

What Will You Do About It?

If we are entering a musical chairs of shrinking jobs for international ICT4D practitioners (which I think is debatable), then what should a digital development practitioner do about it?

First, and foremost, if you are a competent host country national with quality technology skills, try to get a third-country national position now, while they still exist. This is your fastest route to greater pay and promotions in any country.

Then enjoy the ride as you are head-hunted from one job to the next for another 20 years across multiple developing countries. I think your career will be long and prosperous.

5 Options for International ICT4D Experts

For the international ICT4D expert, I have five options for you to consider if you’re worried about the future of international development writ large, and our sub-sector specifically.

Yes, this is where you have to click over to the ICTworks post Is a Post-ICT4D World is Coming? What Will You Do About It? for more details. Oh, and you should probably subscribe to ICTworks, if you haven’t already.

Good luck!
Wayan

Today Starts 2019 Job Hunt!

I know, you’re thinking this is Thanksgiving week in the USA and the start of the holiday season that slows down the job hunt. Some people even think it’s time to take a holiday from searching for a new job.

Do Not Be Fooled!

Today is the very start of the 2019 job hunt. Why? Because Jan 1 is the start of the new fiscal year for many organizations. That’s when budgets are live and teams start to post job ads for new staff.

You do not want to wait till Jan 1, and then blindly send in CVs. You’ll be dumped into the waves of responses sent to HR and get lost in the crowd.

Get Ahead Now

Start your job search today if you want a new job in 2019. Start researching the companies you want to work for, the roles you want to fill, and the colleagues you want to have.

Then ramp up your informational interviews. You should be meeting with at least 2-3 new people a week to build your network. You want someone you’ve met with to have you in mind when they are helping write the job description of your dream job.

Be Ready for Jan 1

That way, when the wave of job ads appears in early January, you’re not scrambling. You already know the ad is coming out, you’ve already talked with the hiring team, and you’re already ahead of everyone who took the holidays off.

Good luck!
Wayan

Please Practice the Interview

Interviews are hard. Like a first date, you don’t always know what to expect, and often you don’t know who is going to be in the room or what mood they will be in.

Yet the interview is what makes or breaks your chance at a new job. It is the most high-risk moment in your job search.

Do not leave it to chance

Before the interview, research who you think you will be talking with. Look them up on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google – wherever you can find them to better learn about their interests and background.

Make a list of questions they might ask you – and be creative. Expect them to ask about your history, but what about skills or issues in your field? Or industry bodies and initiatives? Or even recent organizational accomplishments?

Then practice interview questions with your friends. Best to do it with friends who are strong enough to tell you when you’re messing up, but kind enough to give you support and guidance so you’ll improve.

Practice in-person and remote interviews

You may be interviewing in person, but these days interviews over the phone or video call are becoming more common.

Learn how to roll with questions when you only have a disembodied voice coming over the line, as much as when you’re in the room.

Also, figure out which type of interview you prefer – in-person, voice, video – and push for that option. Key to success is feeling comfortable from the start.

Now practice your interview again

Seriously, please practice your interview multiple times until you’ve memorized certain responses and your friends can’t fluster you with odd questions.

Interviews are the key to getting from a CV to an offer letter. Don’t leave them to chance – practice, practice, practice.

Thanks,
Wayan