Member Spotlight: Gloria Higley

As a LaunchCode graduate, Gloria Higley completed an apprenticeship at VML and then accepted a full-time web developer role at Burns & McDonnell. She recently shared her interviewing insights and gave her top three tips for technical interviewing. Check them out below!

1. Be genuine about where you are in your journey and passionate about where you want to be.

When I was interviewing for my first technical role I got really wrapped up in the fact that I didn’t have more side projects or had yet to contribute to any open source projects. Instead of being hard on myself about what I hadn’t done, I chose to focus on all the things I had. I focused on how hard I had worked to learn to code. First with Coding & Cocktails, then DjangoGirlsKC, then with the LaunchCode LC101 course. I chose to focus on the projects I’d completed as a part of LaunchCode. I chose to focus on going back to Coding & Cocktails to mentor because I felt that was the right thing to do after all of the support they’d provided for me. I chose to focus on how my background in project management paired with technical skills could help others bring their big ideas to life. I chose to focus on all I’d done while raising a family and working a full-time job.

Being genuine about where I was in my journey helped differentiate me as a candidate by showing how intentional and engaged I am in being a lifelong learner. It also helped me see what types of companies were a good fit for me.

Interviewing is definitely a two-way street. It’s important to find a company who values you for where you are and your future potential.

2. Be prepared for both behavioral interview questions and technical ones.

Study common white-boarding questions if you think that will be a part of your interviewing process. Hackerrank.com is a great resource for prepping for technical interviewing. Also, and arguably more important, make sure you can explain how well you can work on a team and accomplish results. Technical skills are vital to landing a job, being able to work well with others is vital to building a career.

3. Research the company you’re interviewing with before the interview.

Learn about the clients they serve, their competition, their financials, and their goals. Then clearly articulate how you could contribute to their success. Interviewers want to know that you’ve done your research and are interested in being a part of the team.

The Coding & Cocktails curriculum was a catalyst for me gaining the confidence I needed to learn to code. Being provided a safe place to learn, ask questions, and network are the reasons I’ve been able to successfully navigate my career change to technology.

Similarly, I’ve grown a lot professionally by returning to KCWiT to mentor. Talking about how code works and helping other women learn has made me better at my job and increased my confidence.

I can’t thank KCWiT enough for their dedication to growing the number of women in technology careers in Kansas City.

You can connect with Gloria at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gloriahigley/

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