What DevOps Skills Should You Emphasize in an Interview?


Professionals focused on DevOps are in-demand as many companies look for methods to improve processes with advanced automation and hope to save money and time by increasing the efficiency of operations. This makes skills associated with the DevOps field highly desirable.

However, highlighting DevOps experience can be tricky for job seekers, as much of the specialty is focused on strategy, leaving the skill set somewhat less defined than other IT professions. If you are interested in landing a position in DevOps, here are the skills you should emphasize during your interview to ensure you have the best chance of being selected.

Soft Skills

DevOps professionals spend a significant amount of time collaborating and communicating with others, including those who work in different fields within the IT world. Since such a diverse group of people tends to be involved, being able to thorough discuss upcoming tasks and associated challenges is the key to success in a DevOps role. Further, professionals in this arena often speak with clients, consulting on project points and negotiating as required.

Problem-solving and critical thinking are also large parts of these positions, as many projects and tasks will face obstacles that must be assessed and overcome. Conflict resolution experience can also be beneficial as it demonstrates your ability to work through challenges even if the entire team does not initially agree on a course of action.

Technical Skills

Different companies focus on a variety of infrastructure automation tools and numerous programming languages to help facilitate their goals. Having experience in the organization’s preferred tools and languages can ensure you stand out from the crowd, so highlighting them during your interview is a necessity.

For example, IT professionals should bring attention to their experience with tools like Windows PowerShell DSC, SaltStack, Puppet, Docker, Chef, and Ansible as these will likely gain positive attention from the hiring manager. Similarly, web languages like Ruby, Python, PHP, and Java also deserve a moment in the spotlight.

Since continuous integration is also important to DevOps methodologies, showing an understanding of the concept and associated tools is also valuable. Tools like ThoughtWorks’ Go, Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server, CruiseControl, and Bamboo are all useful for continuous integration, so discuss your relevant experience to help you land that DevOps job.

Project Management

In a fundamental sense, DevOps is a project management methodology, so having a background with similar skills can help you secure a position in the field. Whether the project management experience was acquired through formal education or on the job training, discussing it during your interview is a good move that will likely make a positive impression on the interviewer.

If you are interested in learning more about DevOps positions in the DC area, the professionals at MindFinders can connect you with leading employers looking for professionals just like you. Schedule some time to speak with a member of our team today and see how our services can help you find your next DevOps job.

Written by Tim Booker, President and CEO of MindFinders, with over 20 years of industry experience.


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