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Are you looking to step foot into the world of programming? Do you want to build your SQL skills to have a career in analytics? If you are an undergraduate or a beginner and non –programmer willing to learn to program, then you must start your career path with learning online.

There are various courses available today, however, it is essential for a beginner and a non-programmer to start from the foundations. The clarity of the beginner concepts is a must that builds the knowledge required to master coding skills in further stages of the learning path. The need for theoretical and practical knowledge is of utmost importance and finding the right combination in an online course tends to be confusing especially for beginners and people without a technical background.

With the increasing technical course offering on the online platform, competitors try to outdo one another, thus the type of courses vary from what is being mentioned in the course content. Some platforms provide a lot of theory or a lot of practical information without covering the foundations and this creates a lack of clarity among beginners and many learners don’t find the right motivation to complete the course and stop.

If you are looking for a course that builds solid foundations, then look no further as this course called Free SQL 101 Class Bootcamp Beginners Intro to SQL NYC on Udemy is the one that stands out among other offerings for a beginner course on SQL 101.  This course is designed as a Bootcamp that targets beginners and non-programmers. The foundational course introduces concepts of group by, joins, and in-built functions. Since this course is focused on hands-on experience, you can expect to master your skills in quick time.

 

What to Expect from the Course?

SQL 101 Bootcamp course is a beginner-oriented course that is based on the SQL classes conducted for analytics in New York City (NYC). The course is designed by Shivgan Joshi, who is an experienced professional and has taught various boot camps in NYC.

The major topics are covered that will let you gain deeper insight into the field of analytics using SQL. This is the foundation you should be looking to build if you are aspiring for a career in analytics. With the knowledge of SQL, you can be assured to understand the concepts of data analytics that are common in R and Python programming as well. Here is a general outline that will help you understand what concepts will be covered in the entire duration of the course.

  • Able to create DB design for daily tasks from data used in Excel.
  • To be able to understand how to perform analytical steps in SQL.
  • Clarity of concepts on data wrangling using Group, joins, and Union and how to acquire data in the appropriate format.
  • Learn to use new tools to derive meaningful insights from data.
  • Excel-based functions for SQL commands.
  • Common terms used in data analytics remain similar for languages like Python, R, and SQL.
  • Understand how SQL is required as a solution and overcoming the limitation of excel for analytics.
  • Learn the concepts of SQL server database.
  • To understand how search conditions are used in a simple query.
  • Organizing the data from a query before being displayed as output.
  • Usage of New York City data for compiling on SQL.
  • Learn how to use various functions for computation.

 

About the Instructor

The course is designed and taught by an expert tutor, Shivgan Joshi who is based out of New York City. He has developed several courses for boot camps in the field of data analytics. The courses that have been created have a unique approach and centers around portfolio or themes related to work in Manhattan. It varies from the repetitive mode of courses that are being offered by tutors with a fixed set of a syllabus that is being followed.

The possible outcome of such a format is producing capable professionals that can also have an opportunity in the NYC employment market. There is a focus on letting learners build their GitHub portfolio. He has also been a part of the Python SQL Bootcamp coding classes in New York that focused on affordable and cost-effective machine learning technology.

The instructor runs free classes across New York and India. He has been associated with several online courses such as SQL 101, Python 101, Big Data Science for beginners. Shivgan Joshi is an active blogger on two platforms, namely learnpythondatasciencenyc.site and bigdatascienceblockchainnyc.site.

Related: Udemy Review 

 

What are the primary contents of the course?

Section 1. Introduction

Introduction and Outcome of the Course

This is the first section of the course with a general overview of what will be covered. The tutor specifies the need for running the codes as per the examples in every lecture.

The primary task to get started is to design a very simple table for understanding purposes. On the completion of how to create a table, it further focuses on what can be done with the data. The idea behind this approach is to make the learners adapt the most basic operations in SQL such as the creation of a table. Furthermore, the concepts of what can be done with the data, and what should not be done are explored.  The need for understanding data wrangling using group, joints, and union for having the data in the appropriate format is covered.

The factors related to linking different things in the framework and reasons for automating and non-sequel are also introduced. The similar concepts that are related to Python and SAS are also explained well.

Versions and Flavours of SQL available

The second part of the introduction section delves into the different versions and flavors of SQL that is available in the market today. It is explained how companies like Microsoft and other private companies and open source companies are using SQL. The most common SQL distribution comes from Microsoft and has successfully built their SQL software and management studios along with GeoEye. You are then introduced to Oracle which is a private company that has its own Oracle SQL. Although SQL is managed by Oracle, it is open source and free.

The popularity of SQL has been because of its availability in the open-source community. The growing usage of postscripts SQL is equivalent to the competitor’s offerings in the market. It is further explained that MYSQL and post-collapse is open source and managed by Microsoft. Several companies in the market need analytics and the supply chain has a huge demand for such professionals. Such companies prefer SQL by Oracle for their mode of operations. MySQL is mostly used for web development

SQL Job Roles and Job Available

This section explains the different job roles available in the SQL job sector. The job roles vary from dedicated positions as data warehousing and data mining experts, business intelligence analysts, etc. Although there are increasing job roles in the field of analytics, the tutor focused on data analytics and business intelligence roles being the first path of an analytics career.

Section 2. Database Fundamentals and Hands-on

Run SQL Online at Fiddle and other Ephemeral Websites

The second two begins with the implementation of MySQL followed by sharing links to three websites to run the codes and have support for SQL Server. It is demonstrated how to create a table and switch between different databases. The possibility of selecting different languages and certain limitations of Oracle SQL. There was a description of how SQL can minimize the cost of storing data that results in having efficiency in the business.

Creating your First Table

This section follows the process of creating a database and determining the structure of it. There is a necessity for ensuring what you want at your table. After the creation of the table, it is explained how to perform analytics and do predictive analysis from the data. It is explained with an example of people who are attending his session and how to add their details to a table.

The example is simplified as it is demonstrated how to write the code and even allows them to copy his code and pasting his code for better understanding.  It is followed by adding schema and the relevant process. Overall, the chapter touches upon the concepts of creating a database.

There was a need for small database attendees, which was followed by copy and pasting a code from the resource available. The command allows us to see what is there inside the table and in the UPI. It was also clarified that a semicolon is a must when there are multiple statements. Another common mistake is related to copy some data.

Create Table

This is the third part in section two of the course. It is an example to practice your skills. You need to code to create the table with the instructions provided. The instructions are to play with the code, remove columns, add columns, skip values for columns, and put in Nulls. There is a video that follows in the next section that also demonstrates how to code for this example. It starts with creating a database for attendees, deciding the data and columns to be added, how many tables needed, and normalization. Finally, to perform analytics, preferably predictive analytics, and to study the errors.

Language Basics, Color Coding, and Table Structure

The final part of section two is related to language basic and two types of data. An explanation of what is a Boolean integer and character Boolean. It is highlighted how single quotes and double quotes can be used and how to convert into a number. The meaning of color conventions namely blue for important parts being capitalized, resolved keyword in green is explained in detail to understand how it works if there is an error.

Section 3. Data Analytics in SQL

Filtering and Selection

The topics on filtering and selection are explained with an example that needed to follow along and code to practice the skills. Other topics were covered with a quick introduction of casting, concatenation, and case statement.

Group by, Joins and Union

The remaining parts in section three covered the topics on Group by, joins and union. The GROUP BY clause is used for collaboration along with the SELECT statement to arrange data into identical groups. It is important to note that a GROUP BY clause always follows the WHERE clause in a SELECT statement.

A join clause is used for combining rows from other tables based on a related column between those tables. On the other hand, the UNION clause combines the results set of two more SELECT statements. These were some of the important concepts that were covered in this section with a follow-along example to enhance the coding skills.

Section 4. Takeaways from the course

SQL vs Excel

  • SQL is a language whereas Excel is a program. It is essential to understand this basic difference.
  • Excel can be used only after the icon is clicked and the program runs. SQL is used to interact with database programs such as Oracle, MySQL, and Microsoft SQL Server.
  • Excel is used as a spreadsheet tool that allows you to save your data on the computer. It can be organized in a tabular format including columns and rows. The location of the file is locally stored on your computer. It is involved in direct interaction with the user of the file. You can make changes as per your requirements, however, the result is the inconvenience of tracking those changes made if multiple users are collaborating.
  • SQL is a programming language that is responsible for interaction with the database. The queries are written and sent in SQL to the relevant database. On receiving the queries, the database sends the results of the request or the changes made. The convenience of performing a query is easy collaboration and traceable. It is possible to track to see who has made the changes and to which table. Users can share useful information about the queries with one another for collaboration. It is easier and faster to work with SQL when you are aware of the syntax. Data manipulation is faster as compared to Excel. Another important aspect is the availability of syntax in the form of the English language, thus making it the easiest to learn.

Features of SQL and Excel

Excel

  • The datasets are smaller in comparison with SQL. It ranges between one million rows and anything beyond will likely slow down your computer.
  • The entry of data is done manually.
  • The structure is entirely flexible. Any cell can consist of any data type.
  • The data can be graphically visualized.
  • Spell-check options are available.
  • To work on projects independently is highly possible.

SQL

  • The datasets are larger and mainly depend on the software and database. It does not slow down as Excel does.
  • SQL is very strict on the types of data and users are restricted if any wrong entry of the type of data entered. This makes the structure more rigid in comparison to Excel.
  • Collaboration with other users is possible.
  • The data can be processed for further analysis in other software,
  • Sharable queries.
  • The data is traceable and auditing is possible, hence it is more secure.

Additional information about SQL and Excel have been provided. There are important questions that have been provided that are essential for a beginner to understand. Some of the questions that have been listed out by the instructor are discussed in the following section.

  •  Which function in SQL performs similarly to Vlookup?

Joins and more specifically left Join.

  • How can we perform Group by in Excel?

By using Pivot table commands.

  • What does the Pivot table mean?

A pivot table provides the summarization of the data of a more extensive table such as sums, average, and other statistics results.

  • What is Power BI and Cubes?

Power BI and Cubes let us perform all the join and Group by functionalities. It is mainly used as a holistic approach for performing analytics for company data in a complex environment.

 

Important Interview Questions by the instructor

Firstly, the tutor emphasizes remembering important terms such that if anyone asks a question, you should be able to identify the function that will be used for that particular question.

For example, if a person asks about the average salary, you should know which function to be performed henceforth. The importance of understanding the difference between join, Group by, and union which is among the most used functions in SQL. The queries to perform filtering and remainder are essential and need to be understood correctly.

The final section of the course covers future work and a project that needs you to calculate the average salary of the class, calculate the average salary of all financial sectors, calculate the average age of all the sectors, put across every name in the rating, take columns and create new columns. Additional resource files have been provided on ten queries for SQL 101 and the SQL quiz.

 

Benefits of this course

Learning Path

The major advantage of taking this course on SQL 101 is the learning path for a beginner and non-programmers. It is a difficult step especially for a non-programmer to find the right learning path when an individual is willing to switch careers. Hence, this course is well-suited for them as well as beginners who are looking to enhance their skills with some background knowledge about computer science. The course is well-crafted as it introduces all the core concepts in SQL and differentiates between SQL and Excel and related options in each that performs the same functions.

The benefit of having hands-on experience is essential to build your coding skills and it always begins from the core concepts. There are simplified examples and a follow-along approach. Another added advantage is the duration of each of the sections being short and easy to understand. The instructor also provides key questions and references to practice your skills and a final project at the end of the course.  There is also additional information on interview questions and the primary difference between SQL and Excel.

Certification

The course will also provide certification of completion. The course is a free tutorial available on Udemy. However, you can have access to online content, certification, and direct access to the instructor for Q&A, and direct reply from the instructor.

It is important to note that access to online content is available for the free version and remaining options from the paid version are not offered. There are additional courses provided by the instructor that are extensive and advanced level. You can have paid access to it on mastering the beginner skills.

Learning Community

You will get access to the learning community on Udemy that comprises students and tutors. The benefit of the community is that important resources and tips are being shared on the forum. Additionally, you can post your questions and get support from experienced personnel which will enrich your learning experience.

Hands-on Approach

The course specifically follows a hands-on approach. This course is designed to provide sufficient exposure to writing queries and understanding the concepts that are being taught theoretically. A hands-on approach lets you grasp the concept much faster.

If you are looking to step foot in the world of technology, then having hands-on experience is the most desired skill set that an employer looks for in an individual. Thus, you are guaranteed to build them in this course. The course is a perfect balance of theory and practical knowledge and provides crucial information on interview questions and additional resources as well.

 

Who is the course most suited for?

The course is well-suited for absolute beginners and non-programmers. It is well-designed with a strong focus on building a hands-on experience. If you are looking to begin your career in the field of analytics and look to step into data science in the future, then set the right foundations is crucial. SQL is closely related to the business analytics field and you can be assured of a career as a business analyst if you master the skills of SQL.

The knowledge of SQL is helpful to understand the concepts of data science much easily as certain terms are similar to that of SQL.It is a valuable investment of your time if you take up the course and get your first exposure to the world of analytics.

People leave their jobs for a whole host of reasons, from landing a higher-paid position, lack of job satisfaction, for better company benefits or just for a change of scenery. Others leave because they no longer believe in the company or they don’t get along with their team and decide that the position is no longer a good fit for them.

 

Handing In Your Two Weeks Notice

Handing in your resignation letter to your current employer after taking on a new role can present a variety of emotions for different individuals. Sometimes it is done with regret and other times with triumph, however it can also be an intimidating experience for some. What some people do not realize is that getting this process right can be essentially important!

Why Do We Have Notice Periods?

Often laid out in your initial contract, your notice period is an agreed amount of time between the employer and employee in which you must let the company know their intentions to resign. This agreed time is the same period when employers can inform staff that their employment relationship has been terminated.

In short, giving two weeks notice of impending resignation is generally good practice. It gives the employer time to hire someone new and begin their handover processes. Often human resources departments will require a formal resignation letter to begin offboarding processes and to retrieve financial backing to put out advertising materials and begin interviewing.

If you leave without giving notice, you could be leaving your company short-staffed at a difficult time or in the middle of on-going projects that have deadlines.

In the event that you leave your company without giving two weeks notice it can often turn the relationship sour, it also means the company could possibly sue you for breaching your contract. This is often unlikely due to the high legal costs not being worth it.

Remember that you will want to call on your previous employers for references and if they let the hiring manager for your new role know that you didn’t give notice it could tarnish your reputation or even endanger your job opportunity. Burning bridges with your current employer is risky, you may want to call on them as potential clients or even for career opportunities in the future.

How Long Should A Notice Period Be?

This time frame is often two weeks notice but can be more depending on your organization or your position within that company. Your notice period must be in writing in your employment contract or else in theory you do not need to give any notice. It may also differ depending on the contract you have.

Full-time, part-time and casual employment notice periods can differ, it might be best to consult your company’s staff handbook or online resources. If you leave without completing your notice period, employers do not have to give you your salary for any notice you have not worked.

When you hand in your notice you should also consider your commitments at the time of your resignation.

Will there be an extensive handover because of large projects currently underway? Will your timing conflict with the annual leave of your colleagues and leave your employer short-staffed at an inconvenient time?

In general, you should give as much notice as possible and consider the two-week notice period in your contract as a minimal amount of time. If you wish to extend your notice period as a good will gesture most employers will be open to it.

Notice periods differ from country to country as well as the company to company. For example, for some IT jobs in Asian countries, you may be expected to serve between 1-3 months’ notice.

 

Informal Resignation

You should give your manager a heads up that you are planning on resigning prior to handing in your formal notice. Namely, as a form of respect, you don’t want to blindside them by sampling handing in a letter.

This isn’t always the case if the relationship is a complex one or you are quitting the role due to tensions in the workplace but, it is best to mention to your manager that you are intending to leave. Some places may even respect you more if you let them know you are intending to apply for a role.

 

Drafting Your Letter

You should never send your resignation via text or via email, or worse, verbally. You should always hand in your formal resignation via a letter, often employers consider a signed letter addressed to them in an envelope as the most professional way to resign. Your letter should be brief, space out, with perfect grammar and spelling.

How to Begin

The letter doesn’t have to be over-elaborate and you don’t have to give any details or explanation as to why you have come to your decision. Date and address are important, even if you are handing it over to your employer you should date and address your resignation the same way you would send a letter in the post.

This is important for Human Resources staff to log your resignation in their system. Having the printed date of the day you handed the letter over is evidence that you gave notice of your resignation. Your letter should include the job title of the role you are vacating and the date with which you intend as your final day at the company. The beginning should read;

Dear (Employers name),

I am writing to inform you that I will be resigning from my current job as (Your current role) at (Company Name). As per my contracts’ notice period conditions, my last day of work will be (date of your last day).’

Say Thank You

Your letter can also be a way to express your thanks for everything you have experienced and learned while you have worked in your role. You could thank your boss for everything they have done for you and for giving you the opportunity in the first place.

For Example;

‘I would like to express my thanks for all of the support I have received from you and also from the entire team. I have learned so many new skills and have achieved so much alongside all of you. Thank you for giving me this opportunity and I hope we can keep in touch. It has been my pleasure to have worked with you all.’

Granted, not everyone will be sad to leave their role and progress to new things, sometimes people need to leave the company for other reasons. Never hand in a negative letter with all the reasons why you wanted to leave. You can still be glad to go and be appreciative of having had the job. Allow the good times you had with the company to dictate the tone of your letter, you might need or want a reference from them for future employment opportunities.

Discuss Transition

If you are happy to discuss the transition period in your letter, you can do so. You can offer to help in the interim until they find someone new, obviously depending on when your new role needs you to start.

Extending an offer of support will be greatly appreciated and your manager will likely give you a glowing reference. If you are in the middle of a project you should endeavor to complete all of your current tasks and time your resignation well, so your departure doesn’t have a negative impact on the company’s project. You are unlikely to be looked on fondly if you significantly disrupted important projects because of your timing.

For instance;

I would like to offer my support should you need someone to help with training or handover in the interim. I endeavor to have completed all of my current tasks and projects before the end of my two weeks notice period.

Sign Off

End with ‘Kind Regards,’ and sign your letter with your handwritten signature rather than an electronic signature. Then print your name below and your resignation letter is complete.

 

Two Weeks Notice Letter Template

Please see below for the perfect notice letter template.

(Today’s date)

Name of Manager

Name of Company

Company Address

To whom it may concern (manager)

I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from my current job as (Your current role) at (Company Name). As per my contracts’ notice period conditions, my last day of work will be (date of your last day).’

Upon my departure, all of my projects will be completed in full, and I am more than happy to help in terms of training or handovers when you hire my replacement. 

I would like to express my thanks for all of the support I have received from you and also from the entire team. I have learned so many new skills and have achieved so much alongside all of you. Thank you for giving me this opportunity and I hope we can keep in touch. It has been my pleasure to have worked with you all.

I will fondly look back on my time here at (company name). I am so thankful that you gave me this opportunity and it has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside all of you.

Many Kind Regards,

(Sign Here)

(Print Name)

Make sure your resignation letter is formatted properly. Use Arial font or Times New Roman with eleven or twelve for text size and spaced paragraphs.

What Not To Include

Now that we know what to include lets discuss what you should never put in your resume. You do not need to give your employer a full job description of your new role and why it is much better or higher-paid than where you currently work.

Also do not express any pessimism that suggests your spell with the corporation was disappointing, even if it has been. Ensure you do not suggest your reason for leaving was because of your co-workers, even if it was. Rather you could say that you have simply decided to move in another direction.

Just because you didn’t fit in or get along with your colleagues, is not reason enough to slate them to your manager. Remember that people often move in the same occupational circles, you never know who your new manager could bump into from your old job. However, it is a delicate balance, by being overtly positive you could come across as disingenuous.

Ask someone you trust to proofread your resignation to check for mistakes and grammar, you don’t want to make any embarrassing mistakes with a letter that can remain on your employment record for life. Never ridicule or patronize the company or the services it provides. Suggesting you are moving on to bigger and better things won’t be taken well.

 

Be Prepared

You could also receive a counter offer in terms of your notice period. You should also be ready for what could be a negative response, having to hire for a position when you took the time to train a staff member can be stressful. That being said most companies will be supportive of your decision and wish you well.

The corporation could potentially come back to you with a range of options. Your manager might entreaty that you work a longer notice period, depending on your circumstances you may be open to this to help out so they can hire someone new.

They could also suggest that you take leave with immediate effect, if this happens you can ask for an explanation but be conscious that the organization must still reimburse you for your predetermined notice period.

Please Stay!

They may also offer you a new contract with a new position and a higher pay rate to stay. If you have made a significant impact at your company and your team doesn’t want to lose you, they will sometimes offer you a better deal. It will then be up to you to decide what the best for your career is.

Can I Have My Holiday Leave When I Am On My Notice Period?

Companies are within their rights to ask that you take your holiday leave for your notice period rather than them giving you it in the form of a pay-out. Most organizations will include a part like this in your contract.

Although, you can also suggest that you take a vacation instead of working your notice period but employers can refuse to grant you leave.

Garden Leave

Your employer could suggest you steer clear of the building during your notice period, either by working from home or not working at all and still receiving full pay. This could be because you may have a conflict of interest and you’ve been hired by the company’s competition or for security purposes.

Employees could be asked to take garden leave because they have been exposed to sensitive information, documentation or company secrets. Bankers and financial employees experience this situation more than most.

 

Other Things To Consider

Internal Resignation Letter

Your resignation letter will differ if your new role is an internal role. Even though you aren’t leaving your company, if you are transferring between teams and departments, you will still need to give a notice period for your current job.

You should check with your manager and ask if they need a formal resignation. Also, speak to HR to ensure that your company benefits will remain on-going and they don’t pay out your holidays to you.

You will still need to follow most of the steps of a standard resignation by including the job title and the date of your last day before your transfer. Once again, thank your manager and team members for the guidance, support and opportunities that have been afforded to you.

Even though you may be stepping up within the company you may still have to work with and see your soon-to-be ex-manager and coworkers. Therefore, if you are intending to leave you should probably discuss it with them first.

They may even offer to speak to the hiring manager on your behalf to explain why you would be such a great candidate for the role. Or they may look over your resume and cover letter for you and offer suggestions on how to improve it.

Transferring teams is always a little more awkward as you are definitely going to see and speak to these people again and in turn, they can easily contact your new manager consequently you should consider your move carefully.

Will I Still Get Sick Pay?

You will still be entitled to all the terms of your contract until the final day of your notice period. If sick pay and company insurance was a part of your employment conditions, it will remain so until you leave. Your holiday pay should also be paid out at the end of your contract.

Can I Still Be Dismissed If I Have Handed My Notice In?

As your contract conditions remain the same throughout your notice period you can still be dismissed and disciplined throughout your notice period. If you are causing disruption or your behavior warrants disciplinary action your employer can react in the same way they would if you weren’t leaving.

It is up to the employer as to whether or not dismissing you is worth it but remember that you will likely need them for a reference in the future, it is, therefore, best to resign gracefully.

Have You Signed A Contract?

You should also ensure that you have a formal job offer in writing from your new manager before handing in your notice in case your new employment falls through.

Don’t jump the gun and quit your stable working conditions for an ambiguous offer that is yet to make it to writing. Verbal offers aren’t binding, and you don’t want to place yourself in the embarrassing position where you resign and then have to ask for your job back.

When To Hand It Over?

You should ask to meet with your manager for a one on one to hand over your resignation letter, you can then email them a copy later if they need a digital version for HR.

If they haven’t been forewarned you want to make it as comfortable as possible when you do hand your notice in. Never hand your letter in when you are amongst a crowd or in a meeting with others, you can’t be sure of the reaction it may evoke.

Be Careful While Notifying Your Colleagues

Your manager might inform your coworkers in your next team meeting that you are leaving but consider sending them an email yourself.

You might want to send a goodbye message since your letter will only be seen by Human Resources and your manager. Making an effort with your colleagues before you leave will be respected and you will be signing off on a positive note.

I No Longer Want To Resign

It happens! If you have had a sudden change of heart or your new offer falls through you may wish to detract your resignation. It will be at your employer’s discretion if they choose to allow you to keep your job.

In reality, it depends on the situation of your departure and if they have begun the hiring process which comes with financial costs. Some companies prepare for this rare eventuality with a cooling-off period before they begin to look for someone new, this is usually the case if the resignation was sudden.

 

You Can Always Ask

You can always refer to the human resources team if you need to know the best course of action when it comes to your resignation.

If you feel uncomfortable taking advice from those loyal to the company you could also visit a recruitment consultant who will be able to offer you advice with regard to the length of your notice period and what you should say in your letter.

If your employer takes your two weeks notice badly and dismisses you on the spot without good reason you can take legal action.

Particularly if you are refused pay for your notice period but you should always look at your contract and company policy before you hand in your notice.

What is a Behavioural Interview?

A behavioural interview is a little different from a standard traditional interview in terms of the questions being more competency based. This form of interviewing has gained great popularity in recent years and is otherwise known as the STAR interview. The format is a technique used by recruiters to gather all the relevant information about a specific capability that the job requires.

The objective of this interview technique is to ensure the candidate will be the best fit for the team they are joining and the role that they will be undertaking. Behavioural interviews can help to determine the on-job behaviour that an applicant may display when placed in certain situations. 

Companies frequently combine this technique with more traditional questions to determine how applicants approach complex situations and to help determine the extent of their problem-solving skills. Interviewers then reserve the more traditional questions, such as, ‘How would your teammates describe you?’ to determine how candidates view themselves. 

The reason why this technique of behavioural interview questions is popular with recruiters is because candidates give the panel an inside look at their past professional behaviour. A perfect method for assessing the applicant’s ability to collaborate and adapt to new teams, situations and more.

 

How to Prepare for a Behavioural Interview

It is important for candidates to understand what kind of questions they may be coming up against. Unlike traditional interview questions the wording of behavioural questions can be a little more ambiguous. The perfect candidate will answer the question with specifics and depth. These types of interviews aren’t the kind you can walk straight into and begin talking. Some companies will even let you know that this will be the interview style so candidates can better prepare themselves. 

Interview Preparation: The Basics

Research the Company

Do as much background research as you can on the company where you are being interviewed. Even behavioural interviews will focus on what you can bring to the company and if you can fit in with the ethos of the organization. So you must expect some value based questions during the interview. It also allows you to tailor your answers to the companies’ needs. Most companies will ask you why you want to work there and if it is evident that candidates haven’t done their homework it will be taken as a sign of indifference to securing the role. 

Make Note of the Skills Required

A great behavioural interview tip is that your answer should be perfectly candid and natural. By giving specifics about skills you have already put into practice in your professional career, your answer should sound organic. 

Job descriptions in advertisements give a wealth of information that can be adopted into your answers for the behavioural interview questions. Place emphasis on the employer’s desired skills when you approach each scenario presented to you and stress your experience, especially when it corresponds with the attributes the recruiters are seeking.

Practice

The key to shaking off interview nerves is through practice. Many Interviewees think practice means writing notes and questions on what they expect to be asked and then writing their answers.

Practice your answers with someone who is happy to offer constructive criticism and can give professional guidance if required. Completing practice runs before your job interview will help to get your skills up to speed and help you to effectively convey exactly what you have intended to say. 

Have Questions for the Panel

Career guidance professionals recommend crafting a number of questions that you can ask the hiring manager at the end of the job interview. If you are stuck you can always ask what the next steps are in the hiring process and when you will be likely to hear back.

However, it is much more interesting to have a few questions about the company ethos and culture or the role you are applying for. Turning up with no questions at all suggests a lack of interest and will often be taken as such. 

Have a list of References

Having references on your resume or a list to pass on in an interview can be useful as it means this step can be completed quickly and the recruiter can move forward with the hiring process should you be chosen for the role. Choose at least two references from two different roles so the employers can speak to whoever they consider the most relevant contact. Also consider that the recruiter will follow up on the claims you have made in your answers to their questions so try to be candid in your responses.

What kind of questions might be asked in a Behavioural Interview?

These questions vary in terms of difficulty and depth, some can be very specific, and others leave room for the interviewee to talk about a range of skills and attributes they have. Most employers will pick questions with the desired response in mind.

Questions you may be asked:

Tell us about a time you had to deal with a difficult customer and how you resolved the situation.

This question is designed to gauge problem-solving and customer service skills as well as how well the candidate performs under pressure and main respectful communication with the customers. The recruiter wants to understand how well applicants can manage a hostile environment and if they know when they should defer the issue to their superior. 

Tell us about a time when you have failed and how you handled it.

This question can help the company gauge how well the interviewee deals with underperforming or how they react when things aren’t going right for them. It helps employers gain an understanding of the applicants’ personality and how ambitious they might be, as well as what their own definition of failure might be.

This question gives insight into how quickly candidates can bounce back from stressful situations and whether or not they learn from their mistakes. It is a very personal question and only a candidate can assess what they consider to be a failure. 

Tell us about a time you took a leadership role. What was the end result?

These types of questions assess leadership capabilities and style. The candidate’s answer will help the panel determine what kind of leadership style the applicant uses and whether that will fit in well with the company’s ideals and practices. It also determines if this style worked for the candidate in the past and in what way it was successful. This is the opportunity for applicants who wish to take another step in their career showcase their leadership qualities.

Tell us about a time when you went above and beyond.

The panel wants to hear how dedicated candidates are to their role and how they will stand out within the organization for their career development. This is also a good way to get an idea of the interviewee’s personality and how prepared they are to go the extra mile to please the company’s clients or customers. Examples from volunteer work and other personal projects are often deemed as acceptable answers to this question. 

Describe a project you worked on as part of a team.

This is a question that appears in most interviews to determine if the applicant is a team player or if they work better autonomously. Often employers want someone who can do both. Recruiters want an in-depth example of how the team operated and the candidate’s role within that team, whether they displayed leadership qualities or were able to follow directions and collaborate with their team members.

 

How to answer Behaviour based Interview Questions

The only way to truly ace a behaviour based interview is to prepare for it. Maintain positive body language while you face the hiring manager for an interview. There are a variety of ways to prepare yourself, but a proven method is by practicing answers in the STAR format. By doing so, the candidates’ responses answer every aspect of the question but with depth, highlighting their experience and skills along the way. 

What does STAR stand for?

S – Situation

The hiring manager will expect to hear about specific situations the applicant has previously faced.

T – Task

Describing the task helps the interview panel to understand the applicant’s responsibility in that situation. Giving them an idea of what the interviewee’s duties were in their previous role.

A – Action

By explaining the action, the candidate is discussing which steps they took throughout the situation. This helps employers understand applicants’ concept of procedures and their thought processes when faced with certain circumstances.

R- Result

By sharing the outcome, the panel gets an idea of what impact the interviewee’s actions had on the overall situation. 

Adopting this method brings shape to the answer providing a narrative that is easily followed but also compelling. Setting the scene allows the recruitment team to put themselves in the same position and makes them think if they would respond to the situation in the same way. It helps determine if candidates are a good fit in the company and help the interviewee to remain on track.

 

Answering Behavioural Interview Questions Using STAR

Choose the Right Situation

The starting point for answering these questions with the STAR methodology is by ensuring the anecdote you select is an appropriate scenario that has taken place in your life. It will likely be evident to employers if candidates are making the situation up. By choosing something from your professional history you will be able to elaborate easily, should the panel ask for further details. 

Pick a scenario that had a positive outcome. If you do get asked about a project that resulted in failure, be sure to end on a high note. Talk about what you learned from that experience and the changes you would make should you find yourself in the same situation. 

Behavioural questions are completely unpredictable but if you practice enough using the STAR method, you will be able to adapt the structure to any scenario to shape your answer. It’s smart to have a few scenarios that you can easily shape to several questions. That way you aren’t completely blindsided by every question. 

If you need to take a few seconds to gather your thoughts so you can give a good answer, do not be afraid to ask for a moment to think. Interview panels would rather applicants consider their questions and develop an answer instead of going off on a tangent and not answering the question at all. 

Be Concise When Discussing Your Task

With these kinds of questions, it is very easy to veer off track but by adopting the STAR method you can answer the question in depth and leave out all the unnecessary details that you might otherwise include when telling a story. 

Paint a clear picture of the scenario you were in and emphasis the role you played that helped to achieve the result. You should focus on having one or two sentences for each point of your STAR answer.

When it comes to discussing your task, highlight your responsibilities at the time to let the employer know exactly where you fit in within the scenario. 

Highlight Your Actions

By highlighting the actions you took specifically, the panel will get a sense of how your mind works and the go-to processes you use in certain scenarios. This is the point where applicants can really showcase their skills and attributes by highlighting the role they played to help achieve the outcome.

Discuss your problem-solving skills and the steps you took to get there. Be precise about the methods or strategies you devised to ensure you reached your target. Or which software you used to help develop a plan.  

Emphasize the Result

Emphasize your part in the end result of the situation you presented. Be specific, even adding in key facts and figures to highlight how much of an impact you truly made. 

Rather than saying, ‘Sales increased because of the changes I made,’ you could say, ‘Sales increased by 23% over that financial year due to the social media program I implemented

This is because we managed to reach 2,000 more potential clients than the previous year.’  

Guidance states that hiring managers are exceptionally fond of this method of questioning, so you have likely come across it before. Avoid giving vague answers or fabricating stories altogether as it will often be picked up on.

They will keep asking you for specific details on your approach to past situations and the results of your efforts until they feel they have heard all there is to hear. Questions, such as:

  • What were you thinking at that point?
  • What was your next step?
  • Give us more details on that, please.
  • How did you manage to get the support?
  • How effective was the process of decision-making?
  • How did you achieve the goals?

 

Examples of STAR Answers

Diverting back to the ‘Questions you may be asked,’ section here are a few examples of good STAR answers to some of those questions. 

  • Tell us about a time you had to deal with a difficult customer and how you resolved the situation.

Situation – It was Christmas and we were very busy at the café. An angry customer wanted to use two different sets of vouchers for their purchases and they were becoming irate at a team member.

Task – As a team leader, I had to point out the clear company policy printed on the vouchers that stated they could not be used in conjunction with another offer.

Action – Using my communications skills, I interjected before the exchange became too heated and calmly made the customer aware of the policy printed on the vouchers. I informed them that they would not be able to use both vouchers at the same time.

I empathized with them that this was inconvenient but explained why it was the company policy. I let the customer know that although they couldn’t use both vouchers on their café purchase that one of their vouchers could be used in our clothing section instead, giving them a discount on the gifts they were shopping for. 

Result The customer left happy as they weren’t aware that one of the vouchers would give them a discount on their shopping. They explained that they were just stressed because of the holidays and pressure to spend money. The customer thanked me for doing such a good job at a difficult time of the year and left a great review online praising the customer service in our café. 

  • Tell us about a time you took a leadership role. What was the role and the end result?

Situation – I got asked to participate in a new project as a team coordinator which was a step up from my usual role. 

Task My task was to give support and guidance to a team of twenty people who were conducting audits throughout our business. 

Action – I drew up a OneNote which was a one stop shop for my team to get all the answers they would need for frequently asked questions. I fielded questions from my team and was in constant contact with my team members. I checked in throughout the day with those who found the task a little more daunting than others. I also requested that each team member send me daily statistics updates at the end of every day so I could see how we were tracking, which I consolidated into a report for the project manager. 

Result We finished the project in record time, by completing 230 audits in under two weeks. I received special recognition from the project manager who was thankful for my contribution. My team completed the most audits and even though they faced challenges throughout the task they felt supported and valued because of my efforts. The task helped me to discover leadership qualities I didn’t know I had which have led me to apply for this role. 

  • Tell us about a time when you went above and beyond.

SituationI was helping a colleague organize a workshop and the staff member had a lot of admin tasks to complete for the day.

TaskI volunteered to help any way I could, and they asked if I could do the tedious task of making the name badges for the 120 attendees.

ActionI made the name badges within a few hours through Microsoft Word but I also colour coordinated them so they were grouped into the tables they would be sitting at throughout the workshop.

I then arranged them alphabetically so they would be easy to find when laid out on the table. I packed them into easy to carry boxes so they could be transported to the venue.

ResultMy colleague was really grateful for the help and was so thankful that I helped with the time-consuming task. Our management loved the color-coded labels for each table and expressed delight at the level of organization.

Everyone found their seat quickly because the badges were in alphabetical order. Such a small gesture made the simple process of attendees finding their seat and name tags so much more efficient. 

 

Master the Technique

As you can see from the above examples the STAR method is a really effective way of answering behavioural interview questions in a concise and structured way.

The Situation and Task points are often brief with the Action and Results points giving the recruiter a more detailed insight into the scenario.  

Preparing for interviews is a great method of self-assessment. Even if you are only considering applying for a new role, think through how you would answer behaviour based interview questions to get the role. It is a great form of introspection and will leave you well prepared for the more traditional job interview formats. 

Most high-profile recruitment companies will use this form of interviewing if you are applying for a big organization through them so you can expect a few of these questions from the panel.

The rise of the behavioural interview is largely due to a shift in what companies’ value in today’s society.

Nearly anyone can learn how to run a computer program and craft an email but not everyone has the soft skills to work well under pressure, work with diverse groups of people or prioritize tasks to meet deadlines. 

Are you an undergraduate or a rookie in the programming world? Curious to know why is Python the buzzword in the field of technology? Do you want to have a career as a programmer?

If you are looking for a career in the most exciting domains with challenging job roles, then the coding expertise using Python is a must. A career as a data scientist, machine learning engineer, or simply a Python programmer offers you ample opportunities. These are some aspiring careers with the highest pay scale in the technical industry. The critical point is to identify the best way to get started.

There are various online courses. However, it is not easy to choose from them. It can be unclear for aspirants who have minimal knowledge of how to proceed and select the courses that are either too advanced or don’t offer what is being proposed. Therefore, navigating through the ideal beginner’s course is mandatory.

A very useful course is available on Udemy for beginners looking to hone their skills in Python. It’s called Introduction to Python Programming: A Quick and Easy Intro into Python Programming. This online course is designed with a simplistic approach while covering all the foundations of Python. Many aspirants have found it useful to build a solid foundation in Python programming with this course.

The course is equivalent to a one-stop solution for all the foundation concepts you need to learn to get started with Python. The course begins with Python’s basics along with the concepts of strings, variables, and the various data types that are available. The lessons further extend to covering the topics related to loops and conditions used in Python and know-how of file manipulation and functions. This will cover the entire basics of Python thoroughly.

 

What is Python Programming?

Python is considered one of the fastest-growing programming languages that allow you to work quickly and integrate systems effectively. It is a high-level, object-oriented language that will bring down your developmental time. It is user friendly and easy to learn and use that can be used for both small tasks and complex computations.

Today, Python programming has found its implementations across industries such as scientific computing, research, web development, data science, medical imaging, system automation, automotive industry, finance, computer graphics, and astrophysics, among several other domains of prominence. The list continues to add more sectors preferring Python for its problem-solving purposes. There are a broad scope and diverse opportunities for all the aspirants aiming for a successful career in these industries.

In the introductory course, you will uncover important information on how to run Python and the installation guide, followed by Python’s basics and essential concepts that are very easy to follow. There are no prerequisite programming skills required for the course. All you need is access to a computer and get started to climb the ladder of success.

Python Innovations

There is support for cross-platforms. The vast majority of plugins from different sources or third parties have considered Python a powerful platform for software development in multiple industries. The scope of a Python developer has broadened with multi-disciplines requiring Python for their business operations. In today’s environment of rapid growth technologies, enterprises have adapted and included these technologies to conduct their services successfully.

Industrial innovations with the likes of search engine recommendations, risk analytics for the finance industry, forecast of demand for sales and marketing to the Internet of things, big data, machine learning, natural language processing, smart electric grids, robotics to healthcare, Python forms the core of the programming language involved behind these innovations.

This is a list of popular products and services developed using Python.

  • Netflix
  • Dropbox
  • Instagram
  • Spotify
  • Uber

Python powers tech giants like Google search engine, Mozilla, YouTube, Reddit, and many others. A career in Python broadens your ideas and skills as a developer as you deep dive into a world of innovations. Thus, enhancing your coding skills with an online course is essential. An online coding course on Python introduces the major concepts and basic coding examples to get started.

It is worth noting that, being a skilled Python programmer, you are likely in line to be hired by such top companies seeking Python programming skills.

Related: Udemy Review 

 

What kind of Content Does the Course Offer?

Welcome and Jumpstart Python Programming

The course begins with a quick introduction of the instructor and his journey into the programming world. The introduction is always helpful as it gave insight into the instructor’s background and what to expect in the course’s upcoming lectures. At the end of the section, some resources are provided related to Python’s additional help from his platform called TheCodex. While the course on Udemy covers only the fundamentals, the Codex platform offers a more comprehensive study along with beginner-friendly projects for further practice.

Getting Started with Python

There was a smooth transition from the introduction to the first section that deals with Python’s installation and an additional explanation of Python IDE and its alternative, such as PyCharm. It was also mentioned how you could avail the PyCharm free premium version for students only. For those who are not students, it was informed that there is a possibility of downloading the community version.

The PyCharm interface and starting a new project is displayed stepwise. A simple project with “Hello World” was shown. The reason for selecting PyCharm as a choice of IDE by the instructor is because Python IDE is very functional, as stated by him. On the contrary, PyCharm provides many productivity features and provides intelligent code completion, on the fly error checking, quick fix possibilities, and easy navigation of a project.

Variables and Multiple Assignment

The second part introduces variables. This section defines variables and their initialization. It begins with defining variables as memory locations to store values. It was further shown by compiling an easy- to follow the example. The example is a basic example of keeping the matter in a variable. The value in this example is related to the age of a person. The example is further extended by showing how to store a sentence in a variable. Another additional part is defined as how to create a new variable for multiple assignments in a single line. The compilation was displayed on the console while guiding where to type the code.

Arithmetic Operators and Strings

This section dealt with arithmetic operators’ concepts that allow performing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and modulus functionalities. How they can be applied to variables was explained with a follow-along example. Strings are known to be very popular in Python programming that has been discussed as well. It is possible to create strings by enclosing the required characters in quotes.

The examples demonstrated the implementation of addition and multiplication to strings. The concept of splicing was introduced along with the possibility of obtaining the segment of strings and characters using a format. Splicing, referred to as splice function, is the part of several in-built functions in the Python library. The purpose of splicing enables to partition an image in width and height. The space that remains after the partition is filled by the available background color. The concept of splicing was also shown with an example.

Placeholders in Strings

Placeholders in strings are used to refer to a variable that needs to be used. Each placeholder signifies a data type, and a percent is used to indicate what type of string it is in command. The concept was demonstrated using an example for single and multiple variables, respectively.

Lists in Python

Generally, what do you think of a list? It is a set of items placed in order with a set of values assigned to it from a given index. The same concept is used for the Python list, which is covered in this lesson. Lists are considered similar to arrays that contain different types of variables without a limit. It is a comma-separated value between square brackets that provides access to any of the index items. The concepts of lists were covered that included what plans are and how to create them. Although several usages of the list, a quick introduction of the list was provided with a simplified example.

Introduction to dictionaries

The lesson focuses on the introductory concept of a Python dictionary that includes a key and value when dealing with sorting. The dictionary definition is explained as the data type that works similarly as arrays, but it consists of keys and values instead of indexes. It is also explained that the values stored in a dictionary can be accessed with a key that can be in any object, such as a string or a number.

The related concepts on associated values, updating the values, using a key, and performing deletion in the dictionary were covered. An important idea was highlighted, stating that repeating a dictionary is not considered a proper programming practice in a dictionary.

Tuples

A tuple consists of a collection of objects that are ordered and immutable. Tuples act as sequences similar to the concept of lists with a significant difference that a tuple can’t be changed. Tuples must be in parentheses, whereas lists must be in square brackets.

Other relevant concepts associated with tuples such as deleting items in a tuple, updating items in a tuple, and creating a tuple are covered. It was explained that tuple is the data structure in Python and the core feature is they are immutable.

Conditional Statements

The lesson touched upon the conditional statements such as if and else when some conditions are to perform a function else. The six types of relational operators were discussed, along with examples. The use of multiple if statements and elif are also covered in this lesson.

For Loops

The core concepts of loops and range are covered in this section. It has been explained effortlessly with more straightforward examples that are easy to implement and practice even later for better understanding. The functionality of for loop is expressed as executing a sequence of statements that several times.

While Loops

The usage of while loop statement in Python programming is discussed along with its functionality, which allows repetition of statements or a group of statements when a given condition is TRUE. The condition is checked before the execution of the body of the loop. The explanation of conditions being true or false is covered. The use of break as a control statement and continue statement is being introduced along with the while loop concepts.

Try and Except

The explanations of how to test block allow to test a block of code for the errors and except block for handling the error has been covered in this lesson. The try () is used for error exception handling. The errors include syntax error and exception-based error. The errors are the problems in Python codes that result in stopping the execution of the program.

Exceptions arise when an internal event occurs, causing changes to the program’s regular flow, such as keyboard interruption due to the wrong key being pressed. The import error occurs due to the inability to find the module, and a value error occurs because of receiving a false argument by an in-built function. 

The examples were compiled and shown for better understanding in this section. The use of commenting when writing multiple codes are explained as well.

Functions

The lesson covers function and is defined as a block of codes that are reusable to perform a single action. The use of functions in a code is to provide better modularity and code reusability. Additional tips have been offered, such as using the def keyword for function blocks, defining the parameters inside the parentheses, using the docstring, and using colon while calling a function along with brackets parameters.

In-built Functions

There are several in-built functions in Python, and the instructor focused on specifying some of them. The mathematical function, Boolean functions, uppercase, and lowercase were discussed more precisely. It is also important to note that Python allows you to create your user-defined functions as well.

Object-Oriented Programming and Inheritance

The final two sections of the course focus on object oriented programming concepts such as class and object. The basic definition is explained and a discussion on how it is different from other programming languages.

On the other hand, the inheritance section defined the use of parent and child class with examples as the concepts could be confusing initially. The parent class is known as the base class. It is the class being inherited from. The child class inherits from another class therefore it is termed as the derived class. Any class can be considered as the parent class but the child class must inherit the functionalities from another class.

About the Instructor

The course is created and taught by Avinash Jain, CEO of TheCodex.me. He is a sophomore at UC Berkeley, pursuing majors in electrical engineering and computer science. The number of students that the instructor is teaching stands at over 600,00 with over 59,000 reviews is an exceptional achievement and speaks volumes of his caliber as an instructor.

Although a sophomore, his programming journey started at the age of 10 with simple Python programming scripts related to crawling the weather. Since then, his career has been on the rise and worked for numerous tech companies with Python, iOS development, to name a few. Among his achievements, he has won several hackathons and has several applications credited to his name with multiple downloads in the app store.

 

Takeaways from this Course

Learning Path

The primary benefit of taking this course on Python programming language is the learning path. It is exceptionally well-crafted Content that contains the introduction and all the essential concepts for a beginner. It is not full of theory but explained concisely such that a beginner with no background in technology will also grab the concepts quickly. The follow-along format of the coding examples is simplified for a better understanding.

This is extremely important as a theory is followed by an immediate example that helps understand how it is implemented. The simplified examples are suitable for beginners and differ from most courses where the examples are not easy to comprehend and create confusion. Another added advantage of the Content is the short duration of each lesson as longer explanations of a specific concept may not be suitable for a beginner.

Certification and Instructor Support

The course provides full access to online video content with lifetime access, certification of completion, and direct access to Q & A with the instructor. Additionally, the instructor provides direct messages to your Q & A in your profile. However, this is available for the paid version, whereas the free course allows access to the Content without access to the remaining options.

It is essential to be informed that Udemy courses are very affordable, unlike many online platforms that charge a considerable amount. It is important to note that the reasonable amount doesn’t lead to compromise on the quality of the Content.

Access to Learning Community

The course offers access to the Udemy learning community. It comprises students and instructors involved in discussions about several topics and providing assistance and additional information. Several resources are being shared by a different individual, thus enriching the learning experience.

Setting the Right Foundations for Advanced Courses

The introductory Content that is covered in this course forms the foundations of being capable of capturing more advanced explanations further. There are many preparatory courses, but they don’t start with Python’s introductory sections as there are pre-requisites for such classes. However, this course is built upon Python’s core concepts that are the most essential to writing complex codes for solving advanced problems and being considered for more significant projects.

Hands-on experience

All the technical courses on Udemy have the right balance of theory and practical. The most important part of learning a programming language is understanding the theoretical aspects of a particular function or operation.

However, the most crucial factor that will highlight your career is hands-on experience with your coding skills. It is essential to have a course that strikes a balance between theory and plenty of practical examples, that helps to understand and have an idea on how to implement it right away. This course achieves that required balance, and each concept is explained with a simple example practically.

 

Who is the Introduction to Python Programming: A Quick and Easy Intro into Python Programming Course on Udemy Best for?

If you are someone with a technical background or an individual looking to switch careers as a Python developer, acquiring the right foundational concepts is extremely useful to build your career as a programmer.

This course is the right fit for those aiming to begin their journey in the world of programming and technology. Even if you have never come across programming, it won’t be a concern. This course is an easy stepwise series of lectures that will give a quick guide to all the essentials for learning to code in Python. The lessons let you get accustomed to Python and the relevant syntax associated with it.

For graduate or undergraduate and job seekers, you will find this course valuable to invest your time and gain the maximum of all the concepts covered in the course. The examples are simple and let you explore and practice them until you gain expertise. This approach will ensure to master the coding skills in Python in the shortest time.

The course is excellent for beginners who want to learn from scratch and gain additional tips and resources to get acquainted with Python and its console. So, don’t wait for allowing yourself to embark on the journey of wonderful opportunities in the programming world. It is the ideal time to cash in on the greatest career prospects that await you in the rapidly evolving digital era. 

When you first learn that you’ve been accepted into an internship program, it’s an exciting moment. Whether it’s for a couple of weeks, or an extended period, completing an internship is one of the best ways to explore the reality of working life and get your career off to a flying start.

As with anything in life, the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out. So in this guide, we’re going to look at 11 ways to get the most out of your internship and provide insider ‘internship tips’ which you can use to get ahead.

 

1. Know what you want to get out of the experience

If you don’t know what you want to achieve by completing an internship, there’s a danger that you will drift through it and emerge at the end with no clear benefit.

If you already have clear career goals, the task is easy. You’ll be looking for work experiences that prepare you for full-time employment in entry-level positions in the field you’ve chosen.

However, if you’re not sure of the career path you want to take, an internship can be richly rewarding because you can learn new skills that will be useful when you start your job search.

How to set your goals

Begin by asking yourself questions such as:

  • What questions do I want to answer by the time I finish my internship program?
  • How does the knowledge I’ve gained in school/college/university apply in the workplace?
  • What technical skills do I hope to learn?
  • What would I like to learn more about, from my managers and colleagues?
  • What do I think I might find it difficult?

So, before you start your internship, turn each question into a learning goal. For example, if you aim to learn or practice a specific technical skill, decide how you can gain it. Start with a general aim, decide on a goal, and, importantly identify how you’ll know if you’ve achieved your aim

  • Aim: ‘Improve my presentation skills’
  • Goal: ‘Prepare 3 presentations for the HR team’
  • Measure: ‘My slides are used in the presentations’

Have these goals with you to discuss the first time you meet your supervisor and share them with him or her. The more you enlist their help, the more likely you’ll complete your internship experience satisfied, and with the belief that it has been time well spent

 

2. Understand the importance of time-management

One of the greatest shocks that people experience when they move from the world of education to the world of work, is how important good time-keeping is.

If you’re used to organizing your own schedule and choosing when you study and when you relax, you’ll /need to get used to something very different. And you’ll need to learn quickly.

In companies, as you’ll learn, it will be important that every team member can be relied on to be present when they’re needed by colleagues or customers.

Poor time-keeping may be viewed as a sign that you don’t respect or value the career development opportunity you’re being given, and the result could be that those around you will be less willing to support you and invest their time in helping you learn.

Try these strategies during your internship program to help you develop a reputation as a good time manager.

  • When you go for your internship interview, ensure you arrive at least 15 minutes early. If it helps, make a test journey beforehand, so you know exactly how much time you’ll need.
  • Same on your first day, ensure that you report for duty ahead of time. Being late will give a poor impression of your commitment to your internship program.
  • If you have trouble getting up in the morning, sort it out by setting different alarms. You may also need to adjust your sleep patterns, going to bed earlier, so you report to work punctually, and you’re not half-asleep
  • Observe the time limits for meal and break times, and be back at your workstation in good time.
  • While you shouldn’t be expected to work beyond your agreed hours, make sure you complete any tasks and tidy your work area before leaving for the day.
  • If you are going to be late for any reason, ensure you inform your supervisor in advance.
  • Likewise, if you’re unwell and can’t report for duty, make sure you let your supervisor know, and keep them updated about when you’ll be able to return.

 

3. Network like a pro

  • Don’t make the mistake of thinking that, as a humble intern and the person with fewer work experiences than anyone else, you have to stay quiet and remain invisible.
  • A far better approach is to treat your internship experience as a real-life case study. Your goal is to learn as much as possible about your new environment, and the best way to do that is to connect with people who can teach you.
  • Start by working out who’s who in the organization. Ask for organization charts so you can see the structure of the company, then begin to put names to positions.
  • Ensure that, from the first moment you arrive, you start to learn people’s names. Make a note of everyone you meet to help you memorize.
  • When you’re introduced to colleagues, help them to remember you by repeating “I’m (first name), pleased to meet you”, or similar.
  • First, let those around you get to know more about you. Offer to help with their tasks. Ask if they can explain more about their role, at a convenient moment. Aim to integrate into your immediate team as smoothly and easily as possible and for sure it’ll be a good start for your learning process in your internship program.
  • Don’t get stuck in your own department, though. Reach out to others in related departments to find out more about what they do, and what they can teach you.
  • Never use emails if you can pick up the phone and never pick up the phone if you can just as easily have a face-to-face conversation.
  • Caution: if you do need to email a colleague, keep the tone formal and pay attention to your spelling and punctuation. Don’t forget that you want to be judged as a professional member of the team, not a potential Facebook friend.

 

4. Sit in on meetings

One of the great benefits of the internship experience is that it can give you a fantastic insight into a company’s culture, that is, how people behave, and what’s important to them. This is not only interesting in itself, it can really help you as you embark on your career path.

One of the most useful ways to learn about this is to sit in on as many meetings as possible. These can include:

  • Different interview types, with entry-level candidates, up to management level
  • One-to-ones between supervisors or between your supervisor and a team member
  • One-to-ones between your supervisor and his / her manager
  • Team meetings
  • Senior team meetings
  • Formal presentations
  • Goal-setting meetings
  • Town Halls and whole-company meetings
  • If the timing allows, a performance appraisal

Of course, you can’t just show up to most of these. That’s why it’s a good idea to discuss with your supervisor and ask for his/her support so you can be invited to attend as part of your learning.

When senior managers are discussing confidential issues, it’s highly unlikely that you’d be able to attend. However, when less controversial matters are being discussed, you could be welcome for all, or part, of the meeting.

Ensure that, whichever meetings you attend, you observe the etiquette that’s expected. Arrive on time. Switch your phone off. Yes, off. You are there as a guest, so be sure to give your complete attention to whoever is speaking.

 

5. Apply your coursework to the workplace

Here’s another reason to set your goals before you start your internship program. You are there to learn new skills and gain useful work experiences. Yes, you’re in an entry-level position, but you’re not going to stay there.

As an intern, you may be asked to assist with basic workplace tasks such as photocopying, filing, or (in a catering outlet) sweeping the floor. It’s normal that you should start with the basics.

However, you should keep in mind that there’s an agreement with your employer that you are there to learn, not to fill a gap in their workforce.

For example, if you’re aiming for a career in management, you should be given tasks and duties which help you gain the technical and interpersonal skills you’ll need for your career development when you start your full-time employment.

The chances are, you were selected for an internship program because of your academic course and performance. Ensure that you relate what you’re seeing in practice, to what you’ve previously learned in theory.

To maximize the possibility of this happening:

  • As you’ve joined an internship program, find out what the company has got programmed for you on your first day. Have they prepared a training plan for you? Will you co-create one when you arrive? Don’t be afraid to ask for additional learning points to be added, if they help you achieve your aims.
  • Make sure you are allocated a coach or mentor at the start of your internship.
  • While your supervisor may have the best intentions, he or she is likely to be busy running the operation, so also ensure that you have a coach from the Human Resources or Learning and Development team, as a point of contact.
  • Request a meeting with your coach, at least every two weeks if you have an extended internship, or every couple of days if it’s less than a month.
  • Prepare well for these meetings. Make notes about what you’ve learned, what’s surprised you, anything you’re finding difficult and, importantly, what you’d like to do & learn next in your internship program.

 

6. Connect with a mentor

Senior managers are an invaluable source of wisdom, advice, and insider knowledge. During your internship, you have a unique opportunity to connect with them and benefit from their experience and wisdom.

Most senior managers view encouraging and developing the next generation of leaders as an important part of their role.

Ask if you can be allocated a mentor from the senior management team. When this happens, be proactive. Don’t expect him or her to chase you to set meetings or to check that you take any actions you may agree.

All mentoring conversations should be confidential. This applies to you as well as your mentor.

Your mentor for the internship program is not your manager and has no role to play in your daily performance. What he or she can do is:

  • Help you to understand the company culture and the unwritten rules of the workplace.
  • Help you to think through any issues, so you can resolve them yourself.
  • Advise on your career path and long term career development.

Don’t expect your mentor to:

  • Speak to your supervisor on your behalf.
  • Intervene to resolve any issues you may be having.
  • Train you on any practical or technical tasks (Your supervisor should do this).

The mentor–mentee relationship can be extremely rewarding for both parties, and it is quite common for the relationship to continue over years, long after one or both of the parties has moved on from the company where they originally made contact.

 

7. Contribute ideas, ask questions

As we acknowledged earlier, you’ll most likely be the person with the fewest work experiences. However, that’s no reason for you to assume you have to stay quiet and accept everything you hear.

  • You’ll be far more impressive if you engage actively in discussions and meetings.
  • You’re there to learn, so if you don’t understand something – ask for clarification
  • A fresh pair of eyes can be invaluable, so if you have an opinion or an idea that goes against the majority, voice it. Be prepared to back up your case with facts and data. Even if your point may not be accepted, you’ll gain respect of your courage in speaking out. Not to mention your ability to think ‘out-of-the-box’ which is highly valued in many companies.
  • You may be surprised at how much more senior managers and colleagues want to hear your viewpoint. It may be that you are closer to the profile of their customers, or future customers, so they want to know how you think.
  • By speaking out, you’ll establish yourself as a genuine part of the team. If you’re hoping for a job offer when your internship program is over, the impression you make during this time can make or break your chances.

 

8. Learn to Prioritize

When you’re studying, you definitely need to be organized and set priorities. You make a list of what has to be done first, or what’s most important, or what has to be completed one step at a time. It’s relatively easy to plan and to prioritize. When you need a break, you take one.

But one of the differences between academic life and the world of work is that you may have to deal with multiple demands from a variety of people.

To make matters worse, it can be that each one of them needs work to be done urgently, as the top priority. Unless you learn how to handle this, it can be very stressful. You’re not completely in control of your workload, and you don’t get to decide when you are going to take a break.

That’s why one of the major learning points of your internship experience is likely to be how to prioritize work tasks. Here are a few internship tips:

  • Start the day right. Be at your workstation promptly, and have the tools you need, ready.
  • Make lists. Whether on paper or in an online planner, make a note of every task you need to accomplish. As new tasks are allocated to you, add them to your list. As you complete a task, delete it. Be disciplined about this. It will give you a sense of progress and order. It will also help to prevent you from becoming overloaded and overwhelmed during your internship program
  • Communicate, communicate. Update your supervisor, regularly on which tasks you’ve accomplished, which are in progress, and which you haven’t started. Be very open about this. If you haven’t been able to start or finish a task, let them know. If you need support, ask for it. You won’t be reproached if you can’t do something, but if you promise and fail to deliver, it could affect your reputation.
  • When multiple people ask you to help them, and you’re not sure who to prioritize, ask your supervisor for advice. As prioritizing is one of the skills you’re there to learn, he or she should be willing to guide you.
  • Learn to say ‘no’. This is one of the hardest things to learn. When you can’t take on more tasks, or you have other urgent priorities, saying no, in a professional way, is a key skill. The art of refusing politely is essential. You have your allocated work, and your priorities, so, while you want to be flexible and helpful – just say no.

 

9. Learn to love constructive feedback

One of the most valuable career development tools you’ll have during your internship program is constructive feedback. Look for it everywhere.

Keep a journal during the program, and at the end of each day, make notes about:

  • What went well
  • What you enjoyed
  • What you found challenging, how did you overcome obstacles?
  • What you learned: was it related to the goals you set at the start

The feedback you received from others, whether colleagues or customers

The feedback you get from your supervisor, coach, mentor, and colleagues is golden, so seek it out. Don’t passively wait to be told how you performed, and don’t be afraid of constructive criticism. Ask open questions, such as:

  • How well did I ………?
  • What could I have done better…….?
  • What would you have done in that situation…..?
  • Next time, I’ll………… what do you think?

When you receive praise (and you surely will), accept it modestly. Also analyse what you did that actually earned it, so you can repeat and build on that strength. It will also come in useful for Point 10.

Most importantly, learn not to take any ‘negative’ criticism personally. You’re there to learn and grow, not to be perfect. Don’t let it spoil the experience and continue to enjoy your internship program.

 

10. Build your CV

By the time you’re completing your internship, the chances are you’ll be thinking about starting your job search and looking for permanent full-time employment. An inevitable part of the application process is preparing a CV that will impress potential employers.

For many, who are just starting their career path, this is daunting, as they don’t have a long career history.

Use your internship experience to build a strong CV. Go back to your original aims, and refer to your journal notes.

  • List the technical skills you learned, in detail
  • List the interpersonal skills, such as team-work, time management, customer service, problem-solving, etc.
  • Ask the internship provider to give you a detailed reference, confirming what you did, and how well you performed.

 

11. Use what you’ve learned as you progress along your career path.

This is what it’s all been about. During your internship, you’ll have gained valuable insights into what makes companies work. You’ll have gained more self-awareness about what will make you a great employee, and where you might face challenges.

  • As you go through the application process in search of the perfect job offer, you’ll be well-prepared for job interviews.
  • You’ll be able to relate your academic work to real-life experiences
  • You’ll be able to describe situations in which you demonstrated your interpersonal and ‘soft’ skills
  • You’ll have examples of the technical or ‘hard’ skills that you learned and practiced.
  • You’ll also be able to talk about the experience with a degree of self-awareness that will impress your interviewer.

Finally, the main benefit of your internship experience is that you’ll be able to apply everything you’ve learned and you’re on the road to a brilliant and rewarding career! We hope these internship tips will help!

 

Introduction

Amazon web services, commonly known as AWS, is a dynamic cloud environment that has served the business necessities of companies of all sizes across the globe. In today’s technical evolution, companies have shifted their focus on their business and services being conducted through a cloud-based infrastructure platform.

The fast adoption of cloud computing technology has transformed the industries and provided them with a broader business expansion scope. A deep insight into the recent trends reveals the growing demand for AWS experts.

With tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon ruling the charts in almost every technical domain, Amazon has built a cloud fortress in the market in terms of the cloud computing platform.

Astonishingly, around 33% of the businesses running on the internet prefer AWS as their first choice of a cloud computing platform. From the world’s leading enterprises to startups and public and private sectors have opted for AWS solutions. Thus it is highly likely that the growing demand for AWS professionals will continue to increase in the future.

 

A Brief Summary of AWS History

Amazon expanded its technical horizon with the state of the art technology offering in the year 2000. Amazon’s primary goal was to provide third-party retailers the means to have their online website for shopping with the support from Amazon’s e-commerce engine. However, it didn’t achieve critical success in the initial stages without the necessary support system.

Amazon needed a centralized platform to make the business idea into a well-developed service. Thus, the emergence of AWS began with an organized environment that had well developed APIs. It was identified that there is a need for the development of applications in a faster manner with room for reusability.

This was the tipping point when Amazon realized the need for a more robust platform to allow companies to run their application in the AWS cloud infrastructure in a cost-effective approach.

 

Why is the AWS job market famous among IT professionals?

The demand for cloud computing is growing each year. According to Gartner’s report, the cloud computing industry’s projected growth rate will witness a three times increase than the overall IT market by 2022. As the enterprises shift their focus to AWS due to its benefits offered for ease of business,

AWS’s market domination is prominent, thus offering considerable potential for professionals looking to make a mark in this industry. Gartner presents the market share reports that lists Amazon’s share in the cloud market at 47.8%, followed by Microsoft at 15%. This shows the job prospects are not slowing down soon. Some of the critical factors that have made AWS a popular career choice are the following.

The strong potential across the global market

The growing demand for newer technologies and the evolving startup markets have increased the job potential in the technology industry globally. The shift towards cloud computing by companies of all sizes has seen a rise in cloud technology.

AWS, being the leader in this market segment, offers tremendous career opportunities with certifications that can be completed at one’s convenience. The right combination of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience are sure to provide some of the finest careers in AWS.

High demand with limited professionals

Technical professionals look to evolve in their careers as the world embraces advanced specialized offerings in the market. The need for a change in their job roles demands a competitive market that is not slowing down at the earliest. With the rapid use of AWS services, trained professionals are increasing, which opens up the possibilities to level up in the skill set and plunge in for a newer opportunity.

 

How to Choose the Career Path in AWS?

There are many aspiring students and professionals of the technology industry who are considering an AWS career. However, the willingness to pursue a job in AWS is often linked with a lack of guidance as per the required specialization and skill set that one must possess.

There are numerous certified courses, but it is not easy to choose the right one among them. This article delves further into the prerequisites and the opportunities that are existing in the AWS industry.

AWS Learning Structure and Education

A technical background is a must for gaining entry into the AWS industry. A clear understanding of cloud computing is an absolute necessity, along with a specialization in cloud computing, which is considered an added advantage.

There is a need for understanding the hardware and software configurations and good knowledge about the computer networking domain, setting up servers, application development, database, and its relevant configuration.

It is not a prerequisite to have an advanced skill level in each area, but a clear understanding of them will help be familiar with AWS much easily. It is essential to follow a well-structured process of acquiring a comprehensive knowledge of AWS.

a)  The knowledge of core AWS services and tools like Cloudwatch, Route53, RDS, and CloudFormation. The core services include the likes of EC2, S3, and IAM.

b)  Hands-on experience is a must, ensuring all the AWS requirements for your account are set up correctly.

c) A clear understanding of the AWS certificate exam structure is a necessity. Generally, the AWS exam has different categories, such as the associate exam is considered the entry-level exam.

The remaining professional exams are built upon the foundations of the associate course with more advanced topics. There is a provision for following a specialization for the exams such as networking or security. Another vital factor to be mindful of is the set of guidelines for each certification exam.

d)  Many professionals overlook the need for reading whitepapers. Aspirants and experts must continue evolving by reading more whitepapers as it will help evaluate and understand from a research point of view and follow upcoming research. This allows us to keep updated with current research trends in the market.

 

AWS Certification

Currently, some certifications range from absolute beginners to the most advanced, including specializations. The list of the available certificates is highlighted below.

a) AWS Foundation – Level

Certification options: AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner.

Scope of the course: Introduction to cloud computing concepts and AWS and to lay the foundations for further specializations.

b) AWS Associate – Level

Certification options: AWS Certified Sysops Administrator (Associate), AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Associate), AWS Certified Developer (Associate).

Scope of the course: A more in-depth insight and knowledge and skill-building covering topics such as AWS architecture and its development and related operations. These certifications will enable professionals to know the developmental role of AWS cloud app, system administrator roles for deployment and management of the AWS process, and creating cost-effective and highly scalable systems that are fault-tolerant.

c) AWS Professional

Certification options: AWS Certified DevOps Engineer (Professional), AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Professional).

Scope of the course: An advanced system that covers the concepts of AWS architecture and engineering thoroughly. The possible roles include operating and managing the AWS environment.

d) AWS Specialty

Certification options: AWS Certified Big Data (Specialty), AWS Certified Advanced Networking (Specialty), AWS Certified Security (Specialty), AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder (Specialty), AWS Certified Machine learning (Specialty).

Scope of the course: A in-depth certification that covers the most advanced levels of specialization. The roles vary from big data operation using AWS, complex networking based tasks, security workloads of AWS, build and testing Amazon’s Alexa skillset and design and employing machine learning solutions and maintaining them. 

 

Preparing for the exam

It is essential to understand the preparation for the AWS exam. The completion of the course itself will not avail a certificate, thus understanding and following the learning path as per the AWS website is crucial.

Showcasing the certification in the right manner

AWS certification brings recognition in its own right. However, it has been reported by top recruiters that there is a large number of junior-level cloud developers who have completed some of the AWS certifications but fail to be recruited due to the lack of soft skills.

It is essential to highlight technical expertise and soft skills that many professionals don’t stress in their resumes to stand out. The individuals who lack soft skill requirements may enhance them with certified courses from reputed institutions.

 

Technical Skills

 

Python, Java, and C#

Most professionals in the AWS industry have good programming skills. They are usually from a software background and have good knowledge of popular programming languages such as Java, Python, and C#. It is necessary to keep upgrading the technology industry skills, and proficiency in a minimum of two programming languages is essential in getting started in the AWS industry.

Computer Networking

The cloud platform is dynamic and along with it arises the need for multi-dimensional professionals who are not limited to a specific skill set. To succeed in the cloud computing industry, one must create scalable solutions with high security. This is not achievable without understanding networking concepts such as DNS, TCP/IP, VPNs, CDN, etc.

Virtual private cloud is yet another concept that is of importance. Although achieving mastery in every technical skill is not possible. However, knowledge about the relevant terminologies and their usage will be beneficial.

Data Storage

A primary skill of an AWS architect is to understand how to work with databases. There are provisions for multiple data storage in AWS, and it is imperative to know how to use them as per the need. With big data forming a crucial part of the cloud platforms, the knowledge of relational database service until big data concepts is one of the primary requirements for a company’s successful functioning in the cloud environment.

Data Security

In the AWS platform, several companies conduct their business operations that involve sensitive information of a company and its clients. In such cases, security is of utmost importance. AWS follows strict guidelines on account setup, and the accessibility of data is specific to authorized personnel, and codes are being used to perform tasks in the platform. Therefore, it is necessary to understand security concepts and enhance identity and access management skills.

 

Related AWS Concepts

The technologies related to cloud architecture and services are crucial for a professional to understand thoroughly. Each year Amazon introduces a new service in their offering, thus keeping track of the upgrades and understanding the necessities such as simple queuing, notifications, and relational database services is vital to know.

The newer technologies in the AWS line up, such as AWS IoT, may need more upgradation of skills and have an idea about how IoT works are required. Interested professionals may opt for an update in this domain as more challenging roles are likely to be open in these specialty roles.

Serverless Architecture in the cloud

Today, the cloud industry has transformed businesses. The focus has been on moving serverless applications from one cloud to another. The possibility of scaling up applications has made serverless applications a necessity.

It is easier to perform patches to applications and services in the AWS cloud. Amazon’s serverless products, such as EC2, Container service, and AWS Lambda, are the most sought after by clients in the past few years. The identified skill set that an AWS architect must know is.

Knowledge of API and microservice architectures.

  • Orchestration of the workflow.
  • Lambda environment for computation and model designing.
  • Monitor the identity management and handling the serverless   authorization and authentication processes.
  • Important end to end security techniques.
  • Management of the overall functionality of an application and its architecture.

Amazon Kinesis Data Streams is a scalable and durable real-time data streaming service. It is capable of continuously processing gigabytes of data per second from several sources. These sources vary between website click, database related event streams, financial transactions, IT log data, social media feed etc.

The Amazon Kinesis data stream also allows real-time data analytics with the provision of real-time dashboards, real-time anomaly detection are some of the options available. It is a very important feature for businesses conducted on the online platform  The knowledge about Amazon Kinesis Data stream is considered as a bonus among other relevant skills.

Containers

As per recent trends, one of the most sought skills for a professional in the AWS industry is containers. The experience with Docker, Jenkins, and Kubernetes is considered high, and leadership roles are offered to such experts. The containers are their usability in packing an application’s code and configuration and related dependencies into a single object.

This allows for creating hybrid applications that are in high demand for businesses. Another essential feature of using containers is creating scalable machine learning models in a faster manner. Amazon’s EC2 is the most popular among the container tools existing in the market today. The familiarity with containers will be helpful for professionals to find more high paid job offers.

Multi-cloud environments

As more and more companies look to make the most of the cloud platforms, they look at the possibilities of adding multiple applications in the cloud. A market survey on multi-cloud management was conducted among 300 US-based companies. It was found that nearly 93% of the companies preferred multi-infrastructure cloud for their business.

The use of multiple public clouds and a private cloud stood at 81%, whereas numerous private clouds or dedicated clouds. The remaining 10% vary between a combination of one public and one private cloud or multiple public clouds only. Therefore, cloud migration experience is one of the top skills in demand for AWS cloud professionals.

Non-Technical Skills

To start an AWS career, there are essential non-technical skills highly preferred in the job market today. As per the experts, a higher degree and communication skills, problem-solving ability is an added advantage, especially for professionals seeking to grow in AWS’s career. The pricing of the models may add more to a professional’s skill set, as the leadership roles demand the need for interaction with clients and engineers.

Understanding the pricing structure will allow us to interact with clients and provide them with useful information and supervise the engineers as per the AWS contract instances. Some of the cases are listed below.

On-demand instances with no contract required and charges are as per the seconds of use of the service.

Schedule instances that require to pay on a recurring schedule with the options being daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.

Spot instances allow for paying up to the amount of usage and save up to 90% for the AWS system’s unused compute instances.

Dedicated instances involve a virtual private cloud on hardware that is offered to individual customers. This option is expensive and most companies are not keen on this offer.

 

Possible Job Roles with an AWS Certification

AWS certificates are globally recognized, and acquiring one will open the doors to a wide range of opportunities. In recent times, some of the job roles have become very popular in the cloud industry, discussed in the following sections.

Operational Support EngineerAn IT professional with an operational support engineer’s role will be involved with the monitoring and resolving operation-based issues related to a company’s tooling. They are also responsible for maintaining any AWS environmental upgrades.

Average Yearly Salary: $59,000-$92,000

 

Cloud Engineer (Software): Cloud engineers related to software development and implement various software services and systems associated with the process. They also act as mentors to junior level engineers and are involved with the discussion of the outcomes with shareholders. These professionals are generally well-equipped to know programming languages such as Python, C++, JavaScript, and Ruby, among several other languages.

Average Yearly Salary: $63,000-$93,000

 

AWS Solutions Architect: They are primarily involved with cloud computing and its architectures. The AWS solution architect must be aware of the AWS toolset. The job includes designing and maintaining cost-effective solutions and applications that are highly scalable on the AWS cloud.

Average Yearly Salary: $130,883-$150,000

 

AWS DevOps Engineer: DevOps engineer roles revolve around designing AWS cloud solutions. They are also involved with server related implementations and overseeing the maintenance and debugging.

Average Yearly Salary: $93,000-$144,000

 

AWS SysOps Administrator: The key responsibilities include installation and configuration, operation and maintenance of system, software, and other infrastructures that may be virtual or non-virtual. They also manage reporting dashboards and analytics-based software.

Average Yearly Salary: up to $160,000

 

AWS System Integrator (Cloud): The system integrator role requires working as a team for supporting the deployment and troubleshooting of matters of complex nature. This job role requires a comprehensive understanding of cloud computing and its related systems.

Average Yearly Salary: $81,000

 

AWS Cloud Developers: The development of software services and applications on an enterprise-level are performed by a cloud developer. The knowledge of cloud orchestration tools is a must.

Average Yearly Salary: $95,000

 

Senior AWS Cloud Architect: The role is a traditional role that requires working with customers and engineers while providing supervision for operations efficiency. They monitor the interface involving client-side stakeholders. It is a senior position with years of experience and proficiency in the cloud environment functions and tools. Senior Cloud architects work in developing the technical architecture and ensure successful implementation and integration in the customer-related cloud environment.

Average Yearly Salary: $165,000

 

Conclusion

The surge in demand for AWS has risen in recent years. The continued innovation and companies’ willingness to offer multiple services across the cloud platform have created several job opportunities. While the cloud industry looks to meet the right balance of demand and hiring of the right professionals for the jobs, it is to note that there is a massive gap in meeting this demand.

The cloud computing industry is booming, but the skills shortage calls for more opportunities for aspirants who have been doubtful about making the plunge in this sector.

Amazon continues to offer multiple services on the cloud platform yearly. Thus there is a constant demand for professionals throughout.

The words from wiser innovators and experts have expressed the opportune moment for any individual to delve into a new career choice is when the market is at its peak. It is of utmost necessity to be able to follow the right certifications and build upon the learning path to reach the most advanced levels gradually.

One must understand that the specialty may depend on an individual’s choice or interest, and mastering every skill is not necessary. However, keeping a keen eye on the recent trends and understanding the related concepts and advancements is an added advantage. The most promising times of the technological era have just begun. This is the right moment to capture this growing opportunity to dive into an AWS career.

You do your job search, and carefully select the positions you wanted to apply for. You prepare your CV and cover letter professionally and go through the interview process with more than one potential employer. Then, the unexpected happens. You’re contacted by more than one company and told that you’ll shortly be receiving a job offer. So all of a sudden, you have multiple job offers.

Congratulations!!!

However, this can place you in something of a dilemma. How can you make the right decision about which offer to accept? How long will you have to make up your mind? What are the factors that you need to take into consideration when you have received multiple job offers.

In this guide we’ll look in some detail at what constitutes a job offer, what are the factors you should consider before making a decision about which one to accept, and the reasons why it is important to handle the offers that you don’t accept in a professional manner.

 

Before you receive any offers

It is a good idea, whenever you attend a job interview, to take some time, immediately after it’s over, to review the overall experience. This may have been an employer you were very motivated to work with, but first impressions are very important. Your first contact with the company can give you a very different picture from the one that’s portrayed on the website and in their marketing materials.

Make some notes about the following points and they’ll help you create a really rounded view of how it went – for you and for the recruiters.

The environment

How did you feel about the physical environment of the company? Was it attractive to you, and could you see yourself feeling at home there? How important is natural daylight for you? This may seem trivial, but working day after day in unnatural light can become stressful and even depressing.

A warm welcome?

Were you welcomed professionally and called by name? Interviewed at the agreed time or made to wait? Did your interviewers introduce themselves, and explain their roles in the interview?

The team

If you met your potential future manager, what was your feeling about him or her? This is a key consideration, as we’ll see later. What about the HR team, if you met them?

The company culture

What sense did you get about the company culture and its values? They may claim that ‘People are our greatest asset’, or ‘We value our employees’, but did you see or hear examples of how these great sentiments translate into reality.

Your interview performance

Take some time to assess how you came across in the interview. Did you make your case clearly and professionally? Did you let them know how you’d be able to add value and solve problems for them? Reflecting in this way will help your performance grow stronger in each job interview that you attend.

 

What exactly is a job offer?

The answer may seem obvious, but in fact, many people mistake claims and promises for an actual offer. For example:

A job offer during an interview

It may be that during an interview, the recruiters tell you, immediately, that you’ve got the job. This can seem like a great outcome, but, beware! It could be that you’re the ideal candidate that they’ve been looking for, so their search has ended. Or, it may be that they have no other candidates, and they are simply desperate for someone, anyone, to fill the position.

One red flag you should look out for is if they ask you to start immediately, without giving proper notice to your current employer. Explore why they are in such urgent need, and take your time before giving your response.

A verbal offer after interview

When you’ve had your job interview, and it’s gone well on both sides, you may well be contacted, by phone, with the news that you’re going to be made a formal written offer. While this is indeed good news, keep in mind that things can change, and a verbal offer may be withdrawn, or a start date delayed, or the position even put on hold until further notice.

The best response is to thank the person profusely, express how happy you are to get this news and say you’ll look forward to receiving the written offer, so you can see the details.

Until that written offer arrives, never assume that the job is yours. Continue with your job search, and attend any interviews that you’re invited to.

A Written Offer

This is the one that counts. Your written offer should contain all the main conditions of your employment. A more detailed contract of employment is likely to be attached. Review both of these carefully and ensure you understand what you’ll be accepting. If there are any items that you feel should be included, contact the company and ask them to answer your questions, in writing.

You are usually given a certain time limit to sign and return. Keep in mind that if you don’t respect this deadline, the employer has every right to withdraw their offer and select an alternative candidate.

Once you accept an offer, your job search has officially ended. It is not fair on your prospective employer, nor on any others, to continue attending interviews in search of better offers.

 

Components of a written offer

When reviewing a written job offer, ensure it covers the following points. If any are missing, contact the recruiter and ask for written clarification.

  • Your position title.
  • The name and position of the person you’ll be reporting to.
  • Start date: check that you will be able to honour the notice requirements of your current employer.
  • Your weekly hours of work.
  • Your basic salary, shown annually or monthly.
  • Benefits such as annual leave, health and life insurance, and medical leave entitlements. It may state that you will be eligible in line with company policy. If this is the case, ask to see the company policy.
  • Share schemes or equity. If there is an incentive plan in place, ask to see details.
  • Bonuses and commission rates. Make sure you understand the criteria, targets and schedule of payments.
  • Notice periods on the part of the company and the employee.
  • Probationary period if one is in place.
  • Contingencies. Is the offer dependent on the result of reference or background checks?

You may also receive a full job description, a full employee contract, an online copy of the Employee Handbook, and possibly some additional policies (such as a Non-Disclosure Policy) to read and sign. These may be sent with the written offer or supplied after it has been returned.

When you receive multiple verbal offers

So now we’ve clarified that until you receive a formal written offer, nothing confirmed, let’s move on to consider what action to take if you receive more than one verbal offer, and you’re expecting these to be confirmed in writing very soon.

Review your list of priorities

It’s likely that each position will have advantages and disadvantages, so before the written offers arrive, it’s important to review your original list of priorities. What is it that you’re looking for in your next position? Salary? More challenge? Less commuting? A clear career path? Make a list of the five most important needs.

Keep applying

It can’t be stated too often: until you receive that written offer, you have no offer. So, continue with your job search, keep updating your CV, and tailoring your cover letter for different employers.

What NOT to do

Do not, under any circumstances, contact one potential employer and tell them you’ve received a job offer from another. Never disclose the details of a rival offer in an attempt to negotiate a better one for yourself.

Far from motivating them to hurry up with the hiring process, and send you an improved written offer, it just tells them that you’re not really interested in who you work for. They might well reconsider their decision. It’s quite likely that, rather than wasting their time, they’ll switch their attention to a candidate who genuinely wants to work with them. Don’t be surprised if the offer you were expecting never arrives.

 

When you receive multiple written offers

Now, you’re in a much stronger position, and you have the information you need to make the best decision, for you, at this point in your career.

Compare apples with apples

At this point, make a careful analysis of the written offers. Create a table and compare each component of the offers against each other. If you notice that certain information is missing (see the list above), contact the recruiter and ask for clarification, in writing.

There’s no need to compare the contents of the entire handbooks, of course, but read through one, and if there are sections that interest you, do a search in the others.

Go back to your post-interview notes and see if there was anything promised in the meeting that isn’t mentioned in the offer. Again, contact the recruiter and politely ask for clarification as perhaps there had been a misunderstanding.

Include your gut feelings in the comparison. Where did you feel you’d be most ‘at home’? Which team impressed you most? Which working environment was most appealing to you?

Also, include the five most important priorities you identified earlier.

Assess the advantages and disadvantages

Next, in your five most important categories, give each of your potential employers a score out of 10, with 10 being the highest. For the remaining categories, award a score of 1-5 points

Notice where there is a substantial difference between employers, and consider the advantages you’d gain from working with each one, as well as the disadvantages.

It’s not only about the money

We all work to earn money, and receiving a written offer with a huge leap in salary can be exciting. But don’t fall into the temptation of overlooking all the other aspects of the offer.

You’re most likely going to spend at least a third of your time with the employer you choose, so don’t let a generous salary offer lead you into a dead-end job that you dread going to every day.

Look closely at other benefits. Maybe one employer allows more annual leave or flexible working hours. Maybe the salary is slightly lower, but the medical insurance will give you peace of mind for your family. Maybe the company car will enable you to sell yours and avoid maintenance costs in the future? Maybe a uniform will save the expense of buying a working wardrobe?

Who’s the boss?

There’s an old saying, ‘People join because of the company, but they leave because of their boss’. There’s no doubt that your relationship with your direct manager will impact your entire experience with the company, so when deciding which of multiple job offers to go for, you should give this question top priority.

Look back on your interview. Did you feel a good connection with your potential boss? How was their energy? What did they describe as their priorities? If they were totally focused on results, and results are your priority, then there’s a good chance you’ll be valued and your working relationship will blossom. However, if you’re more focused on expressing ideas, and exploring possibilities creatively, there’s much more chance of misunderstandings and clashes. Is that how you’d want to spend the next few years? If you feel there’s a potential mismatch with your future manager, it could be better to choose an alternative.

What are the career development opportunities?

A good starting salary is attractive, but you should also look ahead. What does each potential employer offer in terms of long-term career development? Have they explained this to you? Most companies expect you to spend at least two years in any role you’re hired for, allowing time for you to prove that you can perform well over time. You may be offered a promotion, of course, but this will depend on a whole range of factors, many of which will be outside your control. Are you ready to work in the role you’ve been offered, without unrealistic expectations of early promotion?

Without jumping too far ahead, what would be the next steps on your career paths within each company? What kind of career advice or mentoring will be available? How much will they invest in your future, in terms of training, support for further qualifications, or cross exposure to broaden your skills base and make it easier to progress?

Work / Life balance

During the interviews, was the actual workload discussed? Your written offer may state that you’ll be contractually obliged to work 40 hours per week. However, were there hints in the interview that employees are expected to be connected 24 hours a day? Will you be expected to work unplanned overtime? If you’re a manager, are you expected to work long hours and be on constant call to ensure that your goals are met? If the working pattern that’s expected of you doesn’t fit into your lifestyle, regardless of how much you’re paid, the most likely result is stress and burnout.

Depending on the type of role, of course, you may want to negotiate when and where you’ll do your work. Would you want to be allowed to flex your hours? Work from home some days, or every day? Or simply to have the freedom to choose your hours, depending on the work required? It may be worth sacrificing some salary in order to create a more balanced life.

Traveling

This is an important factor and a significant point of comparison between employers. How much time each day will you need to spend traveling to and from your work location?

When you start a new position, full of energy and enthusiasm, the daily commute may seem a small price to pay. But as time passes, and you realize that you could be spending the time in more rewarding ways, it could be a factor that drains your motivation and makes you think about ways to escape.

Will any of your potential employers expect you to travel between company locations? How much would you enjoy that? In certain sectors, such as hospitality, employers typically expect employees to be prepared to relocate to progress their careers. Would you consider this for the opportunity to develop your ideal career?

Titles and tiers

For some, the job title and the job tier/ level can have high importance. Would you prefer to be called a ‘Customer Support Manager’ or a ‘Herald of Happiness’?. (Yes, it’s a real position in a well-known IT support company).

Your job title can influence your status and progress within a given company. More important, though, is how it will impact any future external job applications.

 

Decision time!

By now you’ll have considered the pros and cons of all your written offers, by reviewing:

  • Post-interview notes
  • Written offer
  • Employee Handbook & policies
  • Your list of job priorities
  • The additional information you’ve requested from the employer

It’s time to make your decision. If it’s clear cut at this point, well done!

If there’s one offer that you’d like to accept, but one or two small points are causing you to hesitate, it may be worth calling the recruiter and asking them if they have any flexibility to make the changes you need.

Express your enthusiasm for joining the company and, once again, do not tell them that you have another offer. If the response is positive, or ‘Let me check’ confirm a time-frame for their written response.

If the answer is negative, go back to your comparison table. Has the position changed?

Finally, you will make your decision and it’s time to let your potential employer know.

  • Sign and return the offer letter and any other documents as requested.
  • Forward passport, ID, and certificate copies.
  • Call your future manager and confirm that you’re looking forward to joining his or her team. Ask him or her to share any documents which it may be helpful for you to familiarize yourself with, as preparation for your arrival.
  • Inform your current manager that you’ll be leaving, confirm your last working day.
  • Submit your written notice to your current employer.
  • Confirm your start date to your new employer (if this differs from your offer letter).
  • Stay in regular touch with your new employer, especially if you are working a long notice period or taking a vacation before starting your new role.

 

The job offers you don’t accept

Once you have signed and accepted your preferred job offer, you’ll need to consider how to handle those that you are not going to accept.

There may be a temptation to send a short ‘no thanks’ email and move on to start your glorious new career. However, it’s wiser to keep in mind that it’s a small world, and the choices you make at this point may return to haunt you. By communicating with the utmost professionalism, aim to make them regret they were unable to attract talent such as yours.

So, follow the steps below to close the chapter on your application in a positive way, and ensure that you’d be welcome to approach them again in the future.

  • Inform them promptly that you won’t be accepting their offer. This should be as soon as you sign an offer letter with another company.
  • Even if you’ve been sending friendly emails to your contact person, ensure that you write the email turning down an offer in a formal and professional style.
  • Express your appreciation for their time in interviewing you (use the names of the interview panel), and for your contact’s work in progressing the hiring process.
  • Wish them every success in the future

 

Summary

When you’re in the fortunate position of considering multiple job offers, the key to making the correct decision is to take your time to consider every aspect of the offers you’ve received. Many factors will influence you in addition to basic salary, and one of the most important is the impact that your choice will have on your long-term career development.

In the past, it was typical for school leavers or graduates to select the industry or profession they were best suited to in terms of qualifications, personal preference and even location.

The goal was to find a position then stay in the job for life. The most likely move was vertical, progressing upwards through the ranks of the same company via internal promotion. The one who would think of career change used to be considered a job hopper.

However, in today’s rapidly changing world, serving the same employer for the entire life is no longer seen as possible, or even desirable. As technology transforms the way we work, certain jobs become obsolete, while new ones emerge.

We need to keep abreast of trends that may impact our employment prospects in the future, and flexible enough to respond to new opportunities.

Through this guide, we’re going to look at some of the factors which might lead you to make a career change, and, once you’ve made the decision, offer some career advice and ideas to support you in finding a job and making the transition into a rewarding new position.

Related Reading: Top 10 Online Courses in Career Development

Why change careers?

On the face of it, changing careers may not always seem rational. After all, you may have spent years studying to obtain the qualifications needed, and then more time to gain experience in your chosen profession. 

Before you embark on any major upheaval in your professional life, it’s worth spending some time to analyze the reasons for making a career move.

First, ask yourself:

‘Am I drawn to a specific new career?  Or, do I just want to leave my current one?

There’s a big difference. If you already know which career you want to break into, and are highly motivated to do everything it takes to get there, the chances of success are high.

However, many people find themselves feeling that it would be a good idea to for a career change, without having a fixed idea of what else they could do.

These are some of the most typical reasons for considering a career move:

·      You realize you made the wrong career choice

When leaving school or university, the pressure is on to start your working life. However, what seemed like an exciting career in your early twenties can sometimes fail to meet your needs as you mature.

It may be too pressured or perhaps not demanding enough. There may be nothing new to learn, so you’re simply bored.  When you start to feel that getting to work every day is a chore, you could be in the wrong career.

·      You’re in a career that may disappear

For example, the need for highly-skilled technician drafters, who were required to produce detailed technical drawings, has now been virtually eliminated due to the development of CAD technology. Customer helplines and online support is now often handled by AI rather than specialists.

If you can see that these kind of changes are likely in the foreseeable future in your profession, it’s prudent to start thinking about a career change before they happen.

·      There’s a lack of potential for progression in your area.

It may be that you enjoy your chosen career, but there are limited opportunities for further meaningful career development. Perhaps your employer isn’t able to help you achieve your career goals, and there are no other suitable employers in your location. As an alternative to moving away from your area, you prefer to consider a career change.

·      It doesn’t meet your needs for work/life balance.

Sometimes we love our job, but if it takes over too much of our life, other aspects which are important to us will suffer. This can happen in industries such as hospitality, where long hours and shift work are the norm.

No matter how much you enjoy the work, when family responsibilities increase, there may be a need to find a career with a more predictable working pattern, to restore your work / life balance.

·      It doesn’t meet your financial requirements

No matter how much you love your chosen career, if you are left struggling to pay the bills each month, it’s natural to wonder if there is an equally satisfying alternative, which pays better.

 

Identify what’s important to you

Once you’ve decided to make a career change, increase your chances of success by taking a systematic approach.

Step 1 is to look at where you are now. What does your current career give you that’s important to you?

There could be many things:

  • Friendship with great colleagues
  • The feeling of being an expert
  • Opportunity to solve-problems, creativity
  • Opportunity to carry out practical work
  • Freedom to plan the day
  • Opportunity to coach juniors
  • Great working conditions
  • Close to home, no commuting
  • Flexible hours so you can pick up the kids

Make a list, then decide which are critical, and which you could live without. Try listing them in order of importance

Step 2: What is important to you that your current career doesn’t provide? Where are you lacking at the moment? Make a second list.

  • Financial rewards?
  • Stable working pattern?
  • Variety and stimulation?
  • Opportunity to work independently?
  • And there is much more to count down

Again, think about which of these are critical in the choice of your new career, and which are optional. There are also many online tools to help you analyze what’s important to you.

Step 3: what are your long term career goals? Ask yourself, at the end of my working life, what do I want to have achieved? What would a satisfying career have been like?

For example, would it have:

  • Let you develop the younger generation?
  • Given you all the financial rewards you wanted?
  • Honored you with awards and recognition?

This is another useful way to think about what will really satisfy you in terms of your career. Let your imagination run a little wild here, then pick one or two things you hope your career will achieve for you.

After carrying out this analysis you should have gained a more detailed picture of what you would be looking for when you make a career change.

 

Your target career

Now, you’ve established what you want to achieve by a career change, it’s time to identify your target career.

You probably have one or more ideas in mind already, but before you make any decisions, a reality check may be needed.

It’s at this point, if it’s possible, that the best course of action is to seek some objective career advice. There are a number of sources where this assistance will be available.

  • If you’re a recent graduate, consult the career advice service in your local educational institution.
  • If you have more work experience, a government employment office may be ready to assist, especially if your industry is under threat of future decline.
  • Approach local recruitment agencies or consultancies. This is also a good way of introducing yourself as a candidate for the future.
  • Online resources. There is a wealth of information and a quick Google search will provide useful background on your chosen career. Look for official industry sites or those run by professional bodies
  • Also, search for online blogs written by people already working in the industry. What is it they love or hate about their line of work? What insider information can you glean from them about the pros and cons of your target career?
  • If salary is an important consideration, as it is likely to be for most people, the big job boards have a wealth of salary and other data, compiled from job seekers and recruiters.
  • Approach a local employer in your chosen sector and ask for their feedback on the prospects of finding employment. Here, you will need to be diplomatic: you are requesting assistance for your research, not seeking a position (at this point, anyway).
  • Make an appointment with a professional career counselor who can guide you to the correct decision. This is a great option if you want to talk about your options on a confidential one-to-one basis. The downside is, of course, that you will have to be prepared to pay for this service. However, when you consider the benefits of making the right career move, or the consequences of making the wrong choice, expert career advice may be an investment worth making.

 

What skills do you have?

At this point, let’s assume you have identified the career you want to pursue. It may also be the case that your goal is simply to exit your current career and you’re still undecided about which path would be the best for you to make a career change.

Without any doubt, no matter how long you have been in your current line of work, you will have amassed skills and knowledge that may be valuable to a potential employer. It is now time to consider what you have to offer.

Recruiters are typically searching for strengths in two areas, and both are valuable:

Hard skills

The technical knowledge needed to perform in a role. This can also include formal qualifications gained through periods of study and professional licenses which permit you to do the job.

Soft skills, aka people skills

These are more intangible and tend to reflect the personality of an employee, although some can be developed and learned. Team work, planning, time management, leadership, creativity and listening are some examples.

Your hard skills may apply specifically to the profession or industry you are currently working in. Certain qualifications, such as in accounting or training will be valued in virtually whatever sector you choose to work in.

However, soft skills can be useful in any number of contexts, and are therefore considered ‘transferable skills’.

As an example, let’s look at the soft skills a barman could typically expect to have or develop:  customer service, problem-solving, inventory management, creativity, flexibility, ability to handle pressure, teamwork, conflict resolution, etc.

Or, the soft skills an offshore drilling engineer would need  in order to be effective: communication, attention to detail, problem solving, commitment to a team,  self-reliance, cross-cultural awareness, commitment to safety, ability to handle tough situations for long periods, resilience, etc.

Take some time to analyze your current role in this way. What hard skills and what soft skills do you have, that you would be taking with you into your new position?

Are your hard skills relevant in the sector you want to move into to?

What soft skills do you demonstrate in your current role?

Make a list of everyone you can think of, together with what you actually do which demonstrates that you have that skill.

 

Filling the gaps

During your research into your chosen career, you may have realized that certain hard skills are needed, which you don’t possess. It’s not always possible to learn on the job, and if you’re making the case that you can move into a new position without a background in that sector, a degree or other certification may well be necessary.

For example, if you want to follow a career as an aromatherapist, you will need a basic qualification to even be considered. If you’re moving into the teaching profession, a qualification would prove that you have studied and reached a level of knowledge. A CAD designer needs to be qualified to be considered even for an entry-level position.

If you’ll need to fill gaps in your hard skills in order to make the transition to a more meaningful career, and this will involve resuming or continuing your education, consider carefully, as you’ll have to be prepared to invest:

  • time
  • energy
  • commitment
  • financial resources

If your chosen career requires soft skills, such as leadership, and you feel that you’re not strong in a particular area, it’s also a good moment to discover ways you could practice and demonstrate your expertise.

For example, if you don’t have the opportunity to use leadership skills at work, what about getting involved in a voluntary or community activity that would allow you to take a leadership role?

 

Start your job search

Once you’ve made up your mind that a career change is a right thing for you need, and you’ve done the groundwork so you know what you will need to make the move successfully, as well as what you can offer to a potential employer, it’s time to embark on the search for that elusive new position.

In a crowded and competitive job market, you need to be ready to invest time and effort.

As you have a specific target in mind, there are a number of places where you may find details of positions that match your career choice.

  • Job boards
  • Recruitment agencies and consultancies
  • Newspaper adverts are still useful, especially for when employers are recruiting locally
  • Trade magazines and websites
  • Linkedin is a powerful source of career opportunities
  • Employer websites: an excellent starting point if you already have an employer of choice
  • Social media, typically local Facebook pages

As you start your search, make it as broad as possible. Use keywords to save time trawling through irrelevant ads.

Keywords are also helpful in other ways. Whenever an advert relates to the new position you’re looking for, note the requirements.

Which hard skills are essential? Which soft skills are mentioned time and time again? This information is going to help you tailor your CV to optimize the chances of being invited for an interview.

 

Make your case with a tailored CV

When you’ve finally found the role you’re looking for, in the company that you’d love to join, you may think it’s time to dust off your old CV, add a couple of lines to update it, and press ‘send’.

Unfortunately in today’s overcrowded and competitive job market, all that’s likely to get you, if you’re lucky, is an automated rejection letter.

Recruiters receive hundreds of applications every week, and don’t have time to trawl through CVs in the hope that they’ll find some nuggets of information to answer the only question they have: ‘Is this the right person for the role?’

It is essential to create your CV with the intention of answering that question.

  • Use an attractive, modern template. There are many resources online to help you create a CV with a clean and professional look.
  • Make your personal statement count. This should be located just under your personal details, and will be the first thing a recruiter scans. Use a maximum of 80 words in 3 or 4 sentences to mention who you are, relevant qualifications, your track record and experience. End with what you are looking for, i.e. a career change, and why.
  • When listing your employment history, weave in details of your soft skills into every point. Never cut and paste your job description. Instead, describe what you achieved. such:
    • ‘Led a team of 7 sales consultants to achieve increase of 23 % in B2B revenue’.
    • ‘Planned and delivered social events for up to 200 people’.
  • In the education section, only include details of your highest qualification, and any additional certifications which are relevant to the role you’re applying for.
  • At the end of your CV, mention any sporting, voluntary or extra-curricular activities you take part in, which can highlight your soft skills.
  • Never give in to the temptation to list everything you can think of which might be of interest. Cut your CV down ruthlessly so it only includes what could be relevant to the role you’re applying for.
  • Understand that if your recruiter is using an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) the software will be trawling for keywords. Therefore pay special attention to any keywords in the job posting and make sure to integrate these into your text. You can identify keywords as they come after sentences such as:

‘The ideal candidate will have (keyword)…..’

‘The person we’re looking for is (keyword)…’

‘Are you (keyword), (keyword) and (keyword)?

When the software can’t find keywords, your application may be rejected before a human being has even set eyes on it.

 

Make your cover letter count

Whenever you’re given the option to include a cover letter with your application, don’t waste the opportunity. It’s your chance to introduce yourself and to let the recruiter know why, even though you are coming new to this career, you are a strong candidate, who will bring many strengths.

Writing a cover letter with impact needn’t be a daunting task. Keep it to four short paragraphs.

  • Introduce yourself with a short, statement, using their keywords.
    • A great leader knows they can learn from their team. In my 7 years…..’
  • Don’t waste time by mentioning the job title or where you saw the ad.
  • Make it clear how you can add value. Mention some of your hard or soft skills and explain how these can help in your new career.
  • How can your unique blend of skills solve a problem for them? For example, if they have an issue with employee turnover, your listening and counselling skills can get to the source of the issue.  If they are concerned about declining customer satisfaction, you can bring lessons from your hospitality background.
  • Close the letter by emphasizing your commitment to your career change, and to joining their organization. Thank them for their interest. Make yourself available for interview.

 

Interview

While all the standard interview protocols apply, you have the added challenge of presenting yourself as someone with the experience, skills and determination to hit the ground running and learn the details as you go along.

Even if you are not offered the new position you’re looking for, take each job interview as an opportunity to gain more details and in-depth information about your chosen career path.

 

Summary

The decision to make a major career change is not the one to be taken lightly. Approach your career move carefully; consider your reasons for wanting to make the change, and what you hope to gain.

Analyze your own strengths and weaknesses, understand the job market. Then when you’re ready to make your move, you’ll be armed with everything you need to find a rewarding and meaningful new career.

Your application and resume drew their attention, and the employer is interested to know more about you, your skills, attitude, and other key criteria they are looking for in the persons they want to hire. This is a significant achievement for you towards getting the job you want.

But it is equally important to know that ‘job interviews are like first dates; good impressions count, awkwardness can occur, and outcomes are unpredictable.

While you have achieved so much and reached so close to being employed, very simple negligence from your side may be counterproductive. This guide is about interview preparation, key consideration and along with some interview tips and techniques for the same.

Below are some important skills and considerations in preparing for a job interview.

Related Reading: 14 Signs a Job Interview Went Well

 

1. Be Prepared

Recruiters give high importance to the preparedness of the applicant. According to Kristin Sailing, a data scientist on the Talent Management task force of the U.S. Army, the interview is a better measure of emotional intelligence indicators, preparedness, punctuality, work ethic and all the other little things that might make a good interpersonal fit.

There are a few classic techniques, but still very important in order to get ready for a job interview.

Spending some time to understand and concentrate on the interview preparation around those basics will be very helpful for you to impress the employers by providing an excellent responses to the job interview questions during the interview process. 

It is really crucial to develop a checklist for interview preparation to get better organized and ensure everything is planned in an excellent way. You can find many interview checklist online, such as checklist for interview skills.

1.1 Research about the Company/Organization

In general, you must have certainly researched the employers when you applied for a particular position, but it is still worth further exploration.

Particularly, at this stage you may want to focus more on the niche of the organization, what do they prioritize most in their employees, what are your strengths and possible weaknesses so that you can highlight the strengths during the interviews.

The website of the organizations, social media accounts, past annual reports and employee reviews on Glassdoor or Indeed can be very helpful to best understand the company and anticipate the most common interview questions.

Use this information, while introducing yourself and talking about past experiences and how you can add value as a staff member.

1.2 Boost your Confidence

Being nervous during an interview is very common. But it is important to understand that the more nervous you sound the less competitive you become because it affects the quality of your presentation, it may deliver some negative impression on the level of your confidence which may lead the decision against you.

It is equally important to understand that nervousness comes from negative feelings such as the interview is going to be very tough, the panel will ask difficult questions, I may not be able to answer.

But the fact is that you have been chosen for an interview from a crowd of applicants, the employer would like to understand more about you and there is a very good possibility to get a job.

If you focus on positive things you will start enjoying the moments, you will sound more pleasant, more confident which will strengthen your competitiveness for the position. So, focus on positive things.

This is not only true about interviews but everyday life. So, learn to develop a positive self-concept and make it a habit. You will not only master your interview but every step that sounds difficult for you at the moment.

You can also try some deep breathing techniques for relaxation. Take deep breath in with a feeling that you are inhaling all the positive energies in the environment, and deep breath out with the relaxation.

There are several resources available online for free such as Managing Stress for Positive Change available in linked in. You will get free access to this course for the first 24 hours. Once you are fully relaxed you can best respond to the job interview questions in a more confident way.

1.3 Keep yourself healthy and fit

Some minor health issues can also create huge difficulty during your interview so keep yourself healthy and fit. Prioritize to have good rest and sleep, take healthy meals and keep yourself hydrated.

1.3.1 Dress Code

Another basic interview preparation is choosing an appropriate dress code. Although, appropriate dress code during job interviews varies according to the working culture of the company.

However, it is important to avoid items that are distracting in nature, sandals or flip-flops, poorly fitting clothes, or shoes. If you are not sure, wear professional, or business, attire, without being overly formal.

1.3.2 Effective Opening

The opening of the interview sets the scene for the rest of the interview and creates a strong impact on the interviewers’ perception, so make a great opening of the interview. There are a few things you can do to keep your stress away and enjoy the interview; you can try some simple relaxation exercises such as breathing techniques.

Greet the interviewer, be respectful and polite. Be aware of your voice, be comfortable, speak naturally. Feel good, remember ‘80% success is showing up’.  You can also get best prepared for a great opening by anticipating the most common interview questions.

 

2. Highlighting Strengths and Softening Weaknesses

This is one of the most common interview questions in a job interview but often candidates fail to make the best use of these questions. This is mainly because the interview answer requires some preparation and balanced content with good examples to back up your interview answers.

To best prepare for these questions, list the top 5 or 7 strengths, and see which of them are the most relevant to the job you have applied for, how have you used these strengths and what are the most convincing details for the interviewer around these strengths.

Make a simple note with these details, look for the numbers, for example, your role is writing a winning grants application, you can think of the total number of grant applications you have written, the percentage of a successful application, the biggest amount you have secured, your role in the team, etc.

This not only tells about your strengths but about the organization skills, presentation skills, the level of details you can capture which the employer will really be looking for in their employees.

Another challenging part is responding to the job interview question ‘what are your weaknesses’. In responding to your weaknesses, you can carefully and honestly present them to the interviewers to turn them into your strengths. Below are some of the key consideration for sharing your weakness in a way to turn them into your strengths:

–          List the weaknesses you have.

–          Make sure you do not include the essential skill for the position, this will be very counterproductive for you.

–          Analyze the selected weaknesses you would like to present if asked during the interview, how they have impacted your performance in the past, how do you overcome those challenges and how are you planning to get rid of these challenges.

–          Details out what support you need from the company. See if the expected support is realistic, that can be offered in general.

–          Present how you have improved on those weaknesses and how do you assure that this will not impact your quality of performance.

–          Do not sugar coat your weaknesses, do not use vague language. Be clear and confident but not boastful, after all weakness is weakness.

 

3. Effective Closing

Ending your interview with the right note leaves a good impression on the interviewers. Many interviewers are undecided about rating the candidate until the last minute of the interviews and a positive ending provides you an opportunity to get the advantage of this.

Below are the things to consider while ending a job interview.

  • Ask about the next steps and timeline.
  • Very briefly restate your enthusiasm for the role.
  • Thank everyone in the panel for interviewing you and offering your availability for the next steps or any additional clarity required.

 

4. Interviewing with Confidence

Presenting yourself in confident ways help you to better demonstrate your presentation skills and respond to the job interview questions by the interviewers in more logical and interesting ways which is key to success.

Confident presence in a job interview will also make you feel good and enjoy the interview as well. In addition, employers will also be looking for confident candidates to hire.

There are a few things that you need to consider to look confident and to boost your confidence:

  • Eye Contact: Maintain eye contact with interviewers while you are listening to them and while responding to their questions. This helps you to engage the interviewers. Engaging the interviewer helps to make effective communication which is crucial in any job interview.
  • Posture: Good posture is also equally important in a job interview. Do not squeeze yourself into a small space, do not cross your hand. Some people also have a tendency to move their hands, or tap their feet, be aware of such smaller things. If you enjoy your interview, you will face such instances less.
  • Talk Naturally: It is important that you talk slowly, naturally. You are not too low in voice and you are not shouting either. Make sure you are smiling and enjoying the talk. All these things are simple that we consider in our everyday conversation but during the job interviews it is not uncommon that people make mistakes on such simple things not because they lack capacity but because they fail to pay attention to such small things.
  • Listen and Enjoy: Focus on listening, if they present in a casual tone, make some jokes and laugh be part of the same. Enjoy the conversation, make sure you use good moments to present your strengths in a natural way; do not be impatient.

 

5. Virtual Work Environment

With Covid 19 pandemic mobility restriction virtual work has been a standard for many companies and questions in relation to virtual work is a mandatory part of the job interview process.

A very typical job interview question is ‘are you comfortable in a virtual work environment?’. The best way to respond to this question is to be prepared for this.

If you are comfortable working from home, you can focus on your interview-answer on why it is a strength for you, how to ensure efficiency and quality such as being organized, maintaining a format environment during work hours, or flexibility in work.

Demonstrate the past experience of working from home. Also share how you maintain work-life balance, in working from home.

If work from home is not feasible for you, then you need to ensure to communicate that clearly, what alternative might be feasible and at the same time indicate decently why you are still interested in the position and how you add value to the role compared to someone who might be easily available to work from home.

 

6. Asking Great Questions to the Panel

Getting staff members is as important as getting a good job. Therefore, the interviewer will certainly want a new staff member of their company who has good work ethics, certainly interested in the role and company, and has an outstanding capacity that is needed to perform the role.

One of the best strategies to give this impression on the interviewer is to ask good questions to the interview panel.

What are the great questions? You can use this opportunity to check if you have answered all the questions and if the interviewers have not got answers to any of the questions they have asked.

This will prevent you from being negatively rated for any of the questions that you might have covered partly unintentionally.

There are some other basic questions that you can use in any of the interviews such as ‘what is company culture? What is the staff turnover rate? How do you help your team members grow professionally? What are the major challenges the company is facing and what is the department (for which the role is advertised) doing?

Asking questions shows that you are really interested in the position and would like to best understand it. It also indicates the level of understanding of the company which every employer will be interested to know.

 

7. Handling Telephone Interview

Many of the tips and techniques for an interview will hold true for the telephone interview that are applicable for face to face interviews.

The additional consideration is that you cannot use eye contact, do not get non-verbal cues and technology may create barriers in communication.

The best way to prepare for a telephone interview is to try a mock interview with a friend.

Develop a list of the most common interview questions, and attend a full-length mock interview, record it and listen to it after you have completed it.

Note down the key areas of improvements and plan how you can improve it. If your friend who is willing to support you on the mock interview is professional with the relevant capacities, you may ask him/her to ask some questions that you have not proposed, which will help you to see how you respond to the unanticipated questions and what improvement might be possible in such a situation.

Try your best but be prepared for the limitations during the telephone interview. After all the interviewers also understand the limitations of the telephone interviews.

Video interviews are very much similar to the telephone interview with the advantage of seeing each other to get some non-verbal cues.

 

8. Developing Interview Skills

You may have seen some people who can do very well in interviews and showcase their knowledge skills very well and some others who struggle to showcase their knowledge and skills in job interviews. By interview practice, you can master these skills as well as the best interviewers do.

  • Visualize Your Dream Job and Make it Your Lifestyle: Visualizing the future careers, seeing it with clarity, and understanding what it means to be most successful in the role is key to be prepared for any of the jobs you dream for. Once you have these details you can make it your lifestyle to grow professionally towards that job. Such as if you want to be a writer, you may make a habit of writing at least a few paragraphs every day. This not only improves your skills but provides you confidence and helps you develop a great portfolio that you can use with great confidence during job interviews. This is a long-term process but provides very powerful tools and interview techniques that you can use during your job interview and helps you to stand out from the crowd.
  • Practice: To practice in a meaningful way, you can use mock interviews, record them and listen to note down the improvements. Once you think you are ready to see how your improvements look, you may want to try again. In interview preparation, it is important to be well prepared but do not to be over-prepared. The focus on the interview practice should be on the key message to respond to the most common interview questions, tone and way of presentation. Trying to memorize the content may have adverse impacts so keep it natural.
  • Interviewing techniques: Be familiar with the interview techniques such as formal competency-based interviews, lunch/dinner interview, group interview, etc. All of these different techniques have many things in common, but there are differences as well. Such as for competency-based interviews you will need to prepare in advance about your performance in the competency areas and be able to articulate it in context. But lunch/dinner interviews may focus more on interaction with you, the content may vary such as your aspiration, your behavioral and attitudinal aspects, your interest areas and so on. So, it is important to understand the interviewing techniques and present them accordingly.
  • Be Open and Honest: It is always important that you present yourself in an honest and open way with the interviews. If something is not fair and does not sound reasonable, very decently present why it is not a good fit for you, but at the same time proactively offer some alternatives that might be feasible for you and fair to the employer. Do present as a good professional with a passion for the job you have applied for but be aware not to present as a flawless individual.
  • Expect the Unexpected: In a job interview expect the unexpected, the questions you have never thought about may be asked, you may have made some minor errors, you might have missed some simple things to check and ensure. Expecting the unexpected is key to such an interview. Once you notice such things, do not panic. The best way to face unexpected situations is to keep calm, try to understand as much as possible and respond wisely. If this is a question you cannot answer at all, say it clearly. If you are not sure but making some guess, say it clearly that you are making a guess. This not only shows how mature you handled the situation but also your true capacity to do the things and you can turn such unexpected into a strength rather than a limitation.
  • Exploring Some Online Courses: One of the strategies to best familiarize yourself and try some of the skills is to explore some of the online courses. There are some great online courses on preparing for job interviews and developing interview skills. You can find many interesting courses on a job interview at Coursera Online Platform, similarly, you may also find How to Succeed at: Interviews available in Future Learn. Unlocking Your Employability offered by the University of Queensland Australia and Resume, Networking, and Interview Skills by FullbridgeX are other interesting courses available on the Edx platform. It will really be worth trying to explore such content when you have plenty of time to explore such resources rather than rushing after you have received an invitation for job interviews.

 

9. After Your Interview

After the interview, take time to send a thank you email to your interviewer through the official contact of the employer. Make sure you present why the interview was an excellent experience for you. Keep it short and focused. 

A great businessman Andrew Carnegie has said that ‘the average person puts only 25% of his energy into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.

Although the author focused more on the business while saying this it is equally relevant to being strategic in every action we perform. So, getting the best out of an interview and securing a job offer is more of being strategic and you can learn all these strategies with little effort but for longer-term success.