How To Be A Rockstar Candidate: Part 1

Part one of two on how to be a standout LaunchCode apprenticeship candidate. 

What We’re Looking For

Getting your first job in tech can be a very tough prospect if you don’t have a computer science degree from a top university. The process can overwhelming, and it’s very difficult to know where you stand. LaunchCode helps you navigate this process so that you can spend more time focusing on increasing your skills instead of filling out applications.

There are 4 key traits that we look for in a LaunchCode candidate: drive, passion, aptitude and skills.

The goal of the candidate engagement team at LaunchCode is to help prepare our candidates for apprenticeships. We do this by determining where you are with your current skills, identify areas for improvement, help you play to your strengths, and what makes you unique as a candidate. In this post, we want to outline what we are looking for (and also, what we aren’t) in LaunchCode candidates.

There are 4 key traits that we look for in a LaunchCode candidate: drive, passion, aptitude and skills. We list these qualities in order for a reason. We believe that if you have the drive, passion and aptitude, then the skills will come; it is only a matter of time. Here’s a bit about what these key traits mean to us.

Drive

This is your ability to plan things out and then work through your plan until completion. We love to see candidates who can detail a specific plan of how they are going to learn their coding skills and build projects. Another great way to show drive is to talk about how you worked through the bugs and completed your coding projects.

Top Tip: We always want to see your stuff. Don’t tell us how you learned Django, SHOW us how you learned Django and used it in your project!

Passion

Passion can be difficult to quantify. We look for an individual’s commitment to the process of getting a job in tech. A very simple example of this could be a scenario such as, “my friends are going out to the movies tonight, but I am going to stay in and finish working through my JavaScript course.” A more extreme example of this would be something like, “I am quitting my full-time job so that I can focus all of my time on learning to code”. We always enjoy talking to people about how much they love technology!

Aptitude

Very simply, here we are looking for a candidate to show their ability to learn new material in a concise and efficient way. For example, you just took a course on Spring-MVC. A great way to demonstrate your newfound knowledge of Spring would be to implement Spring into a new project.

Top Tip: We love seeing your GitHub account. Adding your GitHub account to your application can help us review your code and provide you with the best advice possible on steps forward.

Skills

We review the code to each individual’s answers and look for problem solving ability, not necessarily perfect scores.

Skills are the last thing we look for in a candidate. If you have the three traits listed above, we will do what we can to help you gain the skills to get an apprenticeship. What we are looking for in your skills is a strong comfort level with one core language. We assess this by reviewing your coding project built out in this language and working through live-coding problems with you.

Top Tip: The HackerRank coding puzzle is not all-important. We review the code to each individual’s answers and look for problem solving ability, not necessarily perfect scores.

More Important

• An updated resume outlining your skills and projects
• A GitHub account showing your code
• Genuinely nice candidates
• Involvement with a local coding community
• Good communication skills

Less Important

• A CS degree
• A different type of degree
• Going to a fancy school
• Using the newest and coolest tech product
• Who you know

 

Head on over to part two of this series to get all the info on how to ace the technical testing and live coding interview portion!

 

Happy coding!

By Rakeem, Sally & Paul of the Candidate Engagement Team

  

 

 

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