Applied to a Junior Web developer role somehow got an interview

Hi all, hope you guys are all ok given the current circumstances, I hope to pick your brains so to speak.

Anyway as per the title I applied for a Web developer role last week, they were after either Junior or experienced dev’s all levels were invited to apply.

I thought I’d be cheeky and submit my C.V. with a cover letter asking if they’d take on a a candidate in more of a trainee role, outlined my basic HTML and CSS experience, and that I was currently studying with the Open University to obtain a degree with the field of study going forward in web development.

I mentioned a basic outline of what I’ve studied to date which being in the first year is mostly maths and programming concepts.

Which also being 30 and switching from my previous working roles: military service, mechanical assembly and a short stint in customer service roles it’s a complete new start.

I honestly didn’t expect a reply let alone an interview. I’m now panicking that I won’t have any idea what they will be talking about in the interview.

Any ideas on areas to brush up on? Things il likely be asked?
I hope they actually read my cover letter and know I’m green but still don’t want to look like a complete doughnut going into the interview.

Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers all

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Hey Daniel,

nice to meet you! :wave:

The first interview is mostly about you as a human being and your story. No need to “brush up” or to go frenzy.

I’d have a look at the bigger picture, e.g.:

  • your team mate gives you a small task: What do you do now?
  • your task is not clear: What do you do now?
  • you can’t solve your task: What do you do now?
  • you have an alternative solution: What do you do now?

As a junior dev, one of the best skills to have is: not being in need of a babysitter.

Thank you for the reply and insight.
I didn’t think they would expect to much, having outlined my experience thoroughly.

I just had a arghh what if moment haha.

There has been no mention of a multiple stage interview process as it is for a small company however I am expecting as much.

Ive never had a multiple stage interview process before either so its a new experience. Well other than the Military enrolment which was a completely different beast.

I did mention I’m keen to learn and as I’m studying already, I’m competent at researching and self study.

Quite looking forward to it, but it is with the MD, Hr Manager, and Development Manager, so is quite daunting at the same time.

Update for you guys on the interview, as mentioned had the Managing director, development manager and the HR manager.

Introductions seemed pleasant enough Il run through the main questions.

What do you know about the company:
What has sparked your interest in web development?
Given your limited experience what level are you at?
What do you prefer doing? (referring to front or back-end)
I was asked about my experience with video editing?( which threw me slightly as nowhere on the job description did it ever mention anything relating to the subject, however having dabbled with the old YouTube channel and Sony Vegas pro i was able to actually give a fairly knowledgable answer).
How long is your degree? (They didn’t know how the Open University works).
What’s your 5 year plan?

The questions were from all three interviewers, but there was a few awkward pauses after answers/explanations so hope i didn’t do too bad.

I asked regarding languages being used etc, of which i was informed they were looking at upgrading as the system was quite old. Html, CSS, php, MySQL and JavaScript.

Overall it was done and dusted in 15 minutes. I think personally they was after someone with a lot more experience, able to hit the ground running with no training etc, i was left feeling why interview me when I stated very clearly my level and knowledge.

Especially with a comment on the daily routine outline, “if i was a more experienced candidate” they didn’t really have a outline of what someone my level would be doing.

Il just wait and see what happens, if i hit the 2nd round it will be visiting the site and undergoing tests.

On the flip side I applied to a trainee role for another firm and had a call back within the hour to discuss the role which went great and have a interview fist thing Monday of which the organizer seems a lot more keen. Plan laid out for trainees, will start off as QA for the senior dev’s(anyone shed some light on what this entails in more detail would be appreciated), plenty of training going forward once past the initial stages so I’ll see how that goes.

So i guess well see.

Best brush up on the Html and CSS.

I for one will be very eager to hear how your journey goes! Keep us updated

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Will keep updating as I go, I honestly didn’t expect an interview from either was more trying my luck than anything.

My html experience so far is working through the freecodecamp curriculum up to the product landing page which I’m doing now, we recovered basic Html and created another web page for Uni as part of a module. I’m also working on a webpage for my wife’s business which I hope to have completed by the end of may.

We’ve covered some basic programming fundamentals, which i guess will help to a degree.

Il be continuing with fcc, alongside my Uni studies, of which we’re doing python next.

If I land a role I’d be chuffed, if not il just keep self studying and practising.

Update time.

Well the first company got back to me and as expected I didn’t get the role.

The second company, as mentioned previously I went through the initial call with the managing director, he was fairly keen, after explaining my experience and interest, he went through the ins and outs of the role, what the company does etc touched on salary, training and development.

Then we arranged an interview with himself and the development manager/ co founder for the following week as this was a Friday.

Anyway come Monday on the interview I basically went through my background, a little more into my experience and where I was at HTML and CSS wise. I was honest explained everything I was currently doing study wise and what I wanted to learn in the upcoming months.
I was then given a template to have a go at so they could see my level more clearly any bad habits etc.

Anyway I submitted this the same week had a deadline of two days, which I didn’t complete all of it which they said was absolutely fine as long as I had a go.

I emailed the M.D a week later as I hadn’t heard anything, he apologised for the delay, and would get back to me as soon as possible needed to review my submission with the dev team still, and technical Director and if ok move onto the final interview.

The following week I get a email through scheduling the final interview I thought brilliant.

Again this was going over my background, my motivation for switching career paths, my interest etc more for the T.D. Benefit, we then discussed my submission, went over a few key points and that it looked good, clean, layer out well and something they could work on and train going forward. Mentioned the no bad habits etc again.

Finished up by going through the company training available, basically selling the role as previous.

I was told it they would then go away discuss myself and the other candidate(final two) with the other managers and the dev team and I’d have a decision beginning of this week either way.

I was chuffed to say the least. Just hope what I gave them was enough.

So that was last Thursday, I unfortunately haven’t heard anything yet, I know they are flat out so hope I have a decision next week. I did email the M.D. to check in, just see if they had any updates being polite, looking keen etc but no reply yet.

Soooo we’ll see. Fingers crossed and all that.

Sorry about lack of updates, busy with Uni studies and applying for other roles.

On that note, I didn’t land the role unfortunately, Feedback receive was good the other candidate knew Wordpress and php, whereas ive only used the cms.

Also noted having a nosey on LinkedIn, the other candidate had finished the Code Institute bootcamp and from a post had actually been working with them for the week whereas I was only given a template to do so from my research so far il have a look at doing a bootcamp, since there’s only so far self taught in the current job market will get you. Especially looking at the number of applicants for trainee and junior roles or even the requirements for internships.

Im going to continue with free code camp in the mean time and will consider my options going forward.

Cheers all.


I would love to see an update on your journey.

I’m still applying to lower end roles, internships/traineeships or trainee and junior positions stating my knowledge on each application.

I started to put together a website for my wife’s personal training business, which she’s still slow coming forward with updates, but I wanted to implement a few things that required javascript so started learning the basics of javascript.

Web design/dev took a back seat over the last month or so due to uni studies and being ill thanks to my little one getting tonsillitus and a virus from nursery so its been a bit manic.

The latest application took about 2 weeks to get back to me and it was one sentence dialog messages every other day, ended up being asked if I could do a live code test, this was after explaining my knowledge base to date, where I was with coding and experience wise and explaining I was still learning and not fluent enough to do it without reference books or good old google just yet. I ended up withdrawing my application for that as I was sure they was after someone more experienced and just using me as a filler to sat they’d diversified and I wasn’t confident enough to just start building a random web page in front of them.

I’ve lost count of the number of applications to date, my indeed app only goes back to December of which I have applied to 62 positions since then, LinkedIn a lot more roles applied for each one being tailored. Unfortunately most don’t get back to you, I would say for every 10 applied for I’m lucky to get 1 automated reply.

I did look at the code institute and quite frankly it’s well out my budget to do, I also signed up and did day one of the 5 day challenge literally was handheld through the 5 min appetiser, wasn’t for me, so il continue as I am, combining free code camp with a few Udemy courses Traversy media, colt Steele etc, build a few projects and hopefully gain the knowledge and confidence going forward hopefully get a grasp of the Javascript in the mean time.

Really need to finish the responsive web challenges and move onto the javascript section on here haha.

Seriously landing that first gig is going to be hard starting out, feels like I need more time in the day to juggle everything lol.

Thanks for the update man. Keep going you are almost there

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I think the only thing you need to do before having success in those job applications is learning javascript. Once thats on the table, things are going to get easier. Best of luck to you, my friend. Update us when you can.

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Bit of an update for you guys.

So over the last month or so my working hours increased (retail, shifts all over the place) so as I had two assessments for Uni around the same time most of my free time has been spent on them other than working and looking after my daughter.

Slowly getting the gist of Python basics, lists, appending, removing, functions defining functions and function calls etc, so its going ok on that front.

Applications wise, so far since my last update i applied to another 5 that week, I didn’t hear anything not even an automated rejection, 3 more trainee level positions and 1 internship aswell the week after, heard nothing.

So the last month I haven’t applied to any roles at all, I think I needed a break from amount of time being spent looking for, tailoring and applying to roles just to basically be wasting my time.

Ultimately I see more and more posts on the reddit feeds for the Uk, about graduates or people who have been doing this for years struggling to even bag an entry level job, with decent portfolios to boot, its very off putting.

** Big Decisions ahead **

With my small family having an addition due the end of the year I’m reevaluating my decision to pursue a career in web design/development, even debating and discussing the relevance of even obtaining the degree, but im doing that for me.

Ive had a word with my old boss about going back to the engineering firm.
I left after 6 years with them, it was assembling machinery, mundane but pays well and stable, since my background is electro/mechanical its still relevant.

Downside is, I hit rock bottom working there as it was boring as hell and I’m a creative type and thrive on learning and development. But I’ve got to do what’s right for the family so having a stable well paying job is at current the better alternative to working retail, peanuts one month, to ok liveable just the next, working random shifts and every weekend on just above min wage isn’t great either, until however long it takes to bag a role.

Il keep learning on the sides and continue with my Uni studies, maybe one day I’ll be in a position to gain a role. If that day comes il update the post with gusto haha.

So il be about on here anyway still learning slowly, feel free to comment ask questions etc.

Good luck with the studies all.

Hello Daniel. I read your story and it is somewhat similar with mine. It really is hard. I once gave up and applied for different job. However, after two years, the voice inside me “calling” me to code never cease, and it keeps getting louder and hard to resist. So I came back this year to properly give time and space for this career.

I do not have talent for being creative like you, I just want to code. Although, I learned the way of being a full stack developer, it is still quite hard to find an entry or trainee jobs. I’m still hanging on.

I hope things will work better for you too in the coming days. For me, I’ll just continue to learn and stack my knowledge until I’m satisfied. Although it is hard to continue without sufficient financial savings, there will always be a way. I know that your circumstances is harder than mine, since you are a father, I hope that whatever you choose, you will continue to do what you want even if its slow.

Sorry for this advise, I’m also talking with myself.

Good luck!

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Hi Dexter, thank you for your comment.
I must admit the voice inside as you mentioned has never stopped, I’ve always wanted to learn to code, love the challenge and creating something, it has been there for years.

I wish you luck with your continued study, If you ever get stuck with owt or need a vent give me a message I’l get back to you asap. Again appreciate your comment.

Il keep studying alongside work and Uni, just the applying for the roles for know and concentrating on getting a role will take a back seat for now at least.

Not giving up just taking a financial decision since money makes the world go round grrr.

Good luck buddy.

Thank you Daniel. Sure, I will ping you. Although I do not know how to message here, we can connect with twitter @superdex27

Yes money rules mostly.

Good luck!

I think you are making a wise decision. Good luck on your journey, man.

Appreciate your comment, unfortunately a lack of communication between my old boss and the hiring manager means my return to the firm fell through, they hired 3 candidates last week, the only 3 they’d had in, my old boss wasn’t happy but already given them the role so basically back to the drawing board.

Im still progressing with the Uni studies and having completed the responsive web design segment to date with FCC so I’m slowly getting there.
Need to do a few side projects to boost the learning rate.

Il keep my ear to the ground for a more stable role in the meantime and Il still keep applying to the web design/dev roles however just not quite at the skill level required just yet so while hopeful il bag something not optimistic just yet.

Onwards and upwards so they say. Cheers all.

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