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Android Developer Interview Preparation Series | Part 1 – Landing an Interview

If you want to switch careers as an Android Developer or you’re just beginning with Android Development. This comprehensive guide will help you land that dream interview you’ve always wanted. 

A lot is spoken about how to prepare for an android developer interview preparation, but not a lot about how to land an interview. 

Landing an interview at the best startups and that too for coveted development roles can be challenging. It’d take some good resume building for you to stand out among the rest of the applicants.

No matter how good an engineer you are, if you’re not able to reflect that in your application, you won’t have much luck landing an interview. It gets especially harder if you’re not from one of those elite colleges (like me :P). 

So, given below is some of my advice after having successfully landed interviews at some of the best startups and having cleared some of them. These are no hidden secrets or rocket science, they’re all trivial. But that’s why they’re mostly overlooked. 

I’ll try and highlight all of them so you can make your application stand out among the others 🙂

Read the part 2 here: https://ayusch.com/android-developer-interview-questions-preparation/

 

1. Getting Started

Let’s first begin by answering the why. Why do you want to become an Android Developer? For me it was all about seeing something I built, being used first hand. I liked working on the frontend and especially mobile.

What’s the reason you want to apply for an Android Developer role? If it’s because you’re really passionate about mobile dev? Is it because it offers a bright future ahead? 

If that is so, so be it. It’ll help you in your application phase as well as during the interview. Many companies have fields such as “Why do you think you’ll be a fit for this role?”

This question is bound to pop-up, either during the application phase or any round of interviews further. 

You can write something generic, picked up online. But recruiters can smell that. They deal with hundreds of job applications and can figure out the generic responses and personalised ones. And believe me, after having taken some of the interviews myself, I can say that being original, helps a lot!

For beginners who are learning android development, for people in college, this is more of an obligatory thing. Freshers or new grads are mostly open to new areas (unless they firmly know their interest and are focused on it). 

So, start thinking about why you want to become an Android Developer and pen down your reasons. 

 

2. Building Your Profile (Resume)

Your resume is the first thing a recruiter would notice about you. You should have a resume that’s easy to scan and highlights all the relevant information about you. You can follow this article by Indeed on some generic resume building advice.

But since we’re talking about landing an Android Development interview, here are some targeted tips: 

    1. Show your interest in this field: Have some side projects that you’re working on or are already live. It can be an app on the PlayStore/ some articles you’ve written/ any contributions to the open source community.If you don’t have any I suggest starting out as early as possible.Especially if you’re a beginner and have no experience to showcase, your side projects come in handy.

 

    1. Take up an internship in Android Development (beginners): I completed several internships in Android Development before I started working full time. I made sure that these were in the domain of Android Development, which was my eventual goal.Landing an internship is easier than a Job because as an intern, people don’t expect you to have expertise/deep knowledge of the tech stack.This can be a really helpful pointer in your resume. The interviewers know that you’ve worked on Android before and can pick up the pace quite early.

 

    1. There’s always loads of work to be done, and if a candidate already has experience with the tech stack, it’s always a huge plus! It benefits the company as they don’t have to spend time training you.

 

  1. Be active on platforms such as LinkedIn: While this might sound out of scope for this section, believe me, it’s one of the most important things I’ll talk about. Some of the interviews I’ve landed have been a direct result of the fact that I was active on LinkedIn.Some of my posts that were received well, eventually led to recruiters noticing it and reaching out to connect.Eventually they’ll end up asking if I was looking for a job change.Think of this as your online resume. Post good relevant stuff online.Build a complete and up-to-date profile. And start connecting with people in your domain more and more.Even if recruiters don’t have an opening right away, they’ll have you at the back of their minds in case an opportunity knocks.

 

3. Hunting for a job

I’ve heard people constantly complain about lack of jobs and how difficult the market is. How android is going to fade away in a short time (due to flutter/react native and what not XD). This stuff boggles my mind.

I look online and see hundreds of quality job openings waiting for candidates to apply. Whether it be on LinkedIn, AngelList, naukri.com, indeed etc…

The problem isn’t that there aren’t any jobs in Android Dev, but that people don’t know where to look. There are many good platforms online that have genuine job postings. Some of them I use are: 

  1. LinkedIn: When I was looking out for internships, I used to message at least 20 – 25 recruiters of the companies that I was rooting for.If you run out of the list of recruiters, start connecting with the people who work there and ask them for a referral. Contrary to the popular belief most people are willing to help. They’ll either tell you that there’s no opening or they’ll ask for your resume.* PRO TIP:Never say “hi”, “how are you”, “how was your day”, etc.. Begin with a simple Hello and mention your purpose of contacting them. If you’re asking for a referral, send them a link to the job and your resume. No one has time to have a casual conversation with you in the middle of a workday 🙂
  2. AngelList: This is my next favourite. Because of all the remote opportunities it offers. There are many companies looking to hire people to work remotely. Many initial stage startups post openings here.
  3. InstaHyre: They are a good upcoming platform and have a lot of good postings from good startups.
  4. Naukri.com/Indeed.com: If you run out of listings from all the options above (which is highly unlikely if you take the time out to apply to each of them), then you should have a look at these websites.

Apart from everything mentioned above, here’s one tip I want you to have a look at. This is how I begin all of my internship/job searches.

  1. Make a list of the companies you wanna go for: How I do that is I take out my phone and have a look at all the apps that I use on a daily basis.Apart from the big names, there’s some such as Headspace, Medium, Quora, Slack, Pinterest  which I use daily. These are some of very coveted startups where people want to work at.
  2. The hunt: Finally, go to google and type “<company name> careers”. Almost all the companies today have a dedicated careers section on their homepage. This is a great conversion tool for companies, driving a lot of organic applicants.

    For example, if I wanted to apply for a Job at headspace I’d go to google and type: Headspace Careers. It’ll be the first link that pops up. Go inside and check out if they have any relevant openings for Android Developers (or for your desired tech stack).

This is a very effective approach that I’ve been following from the start. I almost always receive a reply by this route, either negative or positive. This is one trivial tip that many don’t use/know or talk about but can go a long way in your job hunt.

 

4. The Application

This is probably the easiest part of the whole android developer interview process.

Just make sure that you provide as much information as possible about yourself. Make sure to fill out fields such as “Why do you want to work at <company name>”. 

These fields are generally non-mandatory but it’s a good chance to show your enthusiasm. Taking some time out to research about the company and why you’d want to work there can help you in your interview process as well.

Before you hit that submit button, make sure that you’ve checked your application thoroughly for any spelling mistakes. Use a tool such as grammarly which’ll help you avoid grammatical mistakes as well. Spelling errors can leave a bad impression on the recruiter portraying you as someone who doesn’t care enough.

To summarise, here are the steps that you can follow to increase the chances of landing an interview as an android developer:

  • Know why you want to build a career as an android developer and be true about it.
  • Build your portfolio by having side projects, being active in the community, being active on LinkedIn. Build your online presence.
  • Know where to look for jobs. Take a look at the company’s career’s page, LinkedIn, AngelList and so on.
  • Proof read your application before you apply.

At this juncture, you’ve done all you could’ve in your job hunt. You can only wait for the reply (while of course preparing for the interviews). Here are some resources that might help:

  1. Android Weekly – Free weekly Android & Kotlin development newsletter
  2. AndroidVille
  3. MindOrks | Learn Android Development from the best tutorial

Don’t lose heart if you don’t get a positive reply, or even a reply from the company. I’ve faced a lot of rejection emails and become immune to them. It’s a part of the process. 

Companies may reject your application not because you lack in skill, but maybe because they found a better matching candidate. Such as a candidate in their location for whom they wouldn’t have to pay relocation, a more experienced candidate, the opening closed due to some unwarranted situation (like the current outbreak).

Next: Read the next part here: Preparing for the interview, list of 13 android developer interview questions.

 

5. Conclusion

This was the first part of the android developer interview series of post that I’m about to write. It deals with how to get an interview as an android developer. 

Now once you’ve landed the interview, you’ll need some structure to prepare for the interviews. In the next article, I’ll discuss how to prepare for android developer interview questions. Some standard questions asked in the interview and some good resources to prepare.

So stay tuned!

 

 

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