Advice for Graduate Web Developer Interview (PHP/MySQL)

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by JD, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. JD

    JD Guest


    I have an interview next week for a graduate position in Web Development.
    The job spec requires PHP / MySQL & HTML as essential.

    I've never had an IT-related interview before and I'm looking for advice and

    Are they any good (ideally UK-related) websites that will give me some
    useful information, or even any tips from yourselves who have applied for an
    IT position.

    Many thanks
    JD, Jul 11, 2004
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  2. JD

    Jim Berwick Guest

    Do you know these skills? I "know" PHP, MySQL and HTML in that I can throw
    together a PHP application that can take your name and email address, add
    it to a table, or search for a name or email address, or email people from
    the table, etc, but I don't really "know" PHP and MySQL at the level an
    employer would want.
    Um, have lots of demonstrations of your work? Like, walk in and say "Go to
    <url> and you can see the web based inventory management appliation that I
    developed as a demonstration of my skills". Going into an interview saying
    "Um, yeah, I can do PHP" without any demos is pointless and you will not
    even be considered for the job.
    Jim Berwick, Jul 11, 2004
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  3. JD

    Hamman Guest

    Set a laptop up with IIS, PHP and MySQL and tell them to code a basic
    solution to a problem. A guestbook would be a suitable thing to do, and it
    should take no more than 5mins if they know what theyre doing.

    Hamman, Jul 11, 2004
  4. JD

    Duane Arnold Guest

    You should look the interviewer in the eye and give a strong and confident

    Upon greeting the interviewer, you should thank them for taking the time to
    have you come in for the interview.

    You should be very confident in the interview process about your abilities
    and tell the interviewer why you think you're the right person for the job.

    If you can, bring in a couple examples of your work to show your abilities
    or if you have a Web site up of the things you have done show it to the

    Try to turn the tables in the interview process by asking a couple of
    questions like the following:

    1) Just what are the job requirements and what is expected of you to
    perform the job?

    2) Are program specifications written so that the developer knows the scope
    of a project and what are the requirements?

    3) Does the IT department have a development, test, and production staging
    environment and how does a program move from one environment to the next?

    4) What is the work atmosphere like? Is it a pressure environment?

    They like it when the interviewee turns the table and ask a few questions
    about how things are done.

    And above all be confident and *dress for success*. I mean that. If you
    have to go out and buy a new suite or sport coat and dress pants and a new
    pair of shoes, you should do it. If you have the abilities, the confidence
    and *dress for success*, you'll come out on top. It has never failed me. :)

    Duane :)
    Duane Arnold, Jul 11, 2004
  5. JD

    Al C. Guest

    Tell them to go to and tell them that you were one of
    the developers on it. (JUST JOKING!) :) <G>

    Not always true. It all depends on the supply and demand with respect to the
    available labor force. If I were looking for a PHP guy/gal and a VBscript/ASP
    guy came in and impressed me with his knowledge about web-based apps and
    convinced me s/he could pick up PHP is short order, and if the labor force
    was "thin" on PHP people, I would take a chance and hire the person on a
    "probation basis" and see if they would work his/her butt off to learn PHP
    and be productive in a week or two.

    It's not the language that is difficult. It's understanding how to piece
    together a solid, secure, applicaiton in a stateless environment that is the
    key. I think THAT'S what you want to sell at the interview.

    The person behind the desk is not as interested in what you know about PHP as
    he is in your ability to solve HIS problem. Find out what his PROBLEM is and
    figure out how to address it. Is his project behind schedule? Then emphasize
    how fast you can learn, work, absorb, etc. Is is project facing a
    technological challange? Impress him or her with you problem solving
    abilities. Is the manager looking for someone to replace him so that he can
    move up? Impress him with your people skills.

    There is a lot more to getting a job than meeting the silly laundry list of
    requirements that the HR dept. writes. A lot more.

    Al Canton, President
    Adams-Blake Company, Inc.
    JAYA123 - the new web-based total-office system for the
    small biz. Order entry, billing, bookkeeping, etc. for $14.95
    a month. Everyone says "It's cool as a moose!!"
    See why at: ('ja-eye-ah' means
    'victory' in Sanskrit.)
    Al C., Jul 11, 2004
  6. That's a nice twist: having the applicant give the prospective employers an
    exam. If you manage this, let us know how it works, and whether or not
    you allowed them to continue working for the company or if you fired them
    for not passing. :)
    Blinky the Shark, Jul 11, 2004
  7. JD

    JD Guest

    Thanks Al...

    Those are some very useful comments which i'll take on board :)
    Its useful to get feedback from professionals such as yourself.

    Thanks again
    JD, Jul 11, 2004
  8. JD

    Duane Arnold Guest

    Going into an interview saying
    Someone coming right out of school is not going to know how to do it. If
    they don't have the technical expertise to do it off the top of the bat
    (experience), then they must be trained by someone within the company a
    (mentor) on the how to(s). That would be understood by the person giving
    the technical interview. What you say does come in to play but what the
    Project Lead is looking for is someone who is smart has some technical
    knowledge and can be trained.

    This person is not someone with prior work experience in the field that a
    Project Lead would be expecting someone to have that kind of expertise.
    The person needs to sell his ability to learn new things quickly and is
    willing to work hard and work with others effectively.
    The recommendation of the HR person who gives the initial interview
    before the candidate moves on to the techical person or persons for that
    part of the interview process carries some weight.

    Duane :)
    Duane Arnold, Jul 11, 2004
  9. A) Find out what the department/company does that is looking to hire you.

    B) In your interview demonstrate your knowledge of what they do (better yet,
    ask more questions about it, show *interest* in their needs) and then
    relate how your skills could be put to good use in said department.

    They already know you are a PHP/Database guy from your resume, what they
    want to know is can you implement your wisdom/skills to satisfy thier
    department/company needs.

    Larry Anderson, Jul 11, 2004
  10. JD

    Rupe Guest

    First off *everyone* wears a sharp suit and does that
    'look-in-the-eye-firm-handshake' mullarkey - you must *do more*.

    Buy this book:

    Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions
    Martin John Yate

    and swot the answers. OK, not directly IT related but you will get a good
    feel of how to turn a clever, impossible-to-answer question into something
    more useful - *do not bullshit* they will get you in a corner and *you will

    Also covered is how to use other 'back door' techniques to make them put
    your CV at the top.

    I have been for a few ints. in my time (ooh me bones), and beleive me
    professional interviewers can be proper smug bastards!! - prepare for the
    worst! (a good trick is making you think the interview is nearly over, and
    then they start again - in depth!).

    They are looking for a graduate, not Einstein, so you have that in your
    favor. What Al. C. says above is very good advice - can you solve problems
    and where's the evidence? (here's one: how can you get the browser to cache
    an image stored in a database?) Everyone knows a graduate knows bugger all -
    so sell your ass off and don't be a limp-biscuit or a knowall-geek, you only
    have one chance.

    And keep a sense of humour - everyone likes a sense of humour!

    Rupe, Jul 12, 2004
  11. JD

    Scraggy Guest

    You are delusing yourself. On two counts, no less.

    Delousing or Deluding?

    if you unjistifiably feel attacked,

    Is this a lampoon of an Arthur Bostrom character?

    We have a right to know.
    Scraggy, Jul 13, 2004
  12. JD

    Jay uu Guest

    Ok heres wat to do

    First forget everything to do with php and mysql crap

    Second look up snowbording and learn as much as you can, Have a few lesson
    if you can cos you have to convice the IT manager that you are really into

    Third lookup a few big snowbording locations and reserch on wats there. (
    So when the IT bloke sais he's bin to such and such you can ask him wat the
    slops are like or say "yer they supposed to have really good lift there" you
    get my point

    Jay uu, Jul 13, 2004
  13. JD

    relic Guest

    but, oh so honest.
    relic, Jul 18, 2004
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