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The interview can often be the most intimidating and stressful part of the bootcamp admissions process. At Lighthouse Labs in Canada, interviews are intended to identify a students’ readiness and fit for the programs. Through the thousands of interviews, the bootcamp has conducted over the last four years, the admissions team has seen a diverse range of candidates – but a few qualities stand out in successful students. Two Lighthouse Labs Admissions Managers, Alexis Fefer, and Emma McPhail, share exactly what they look for when assessing if a student is ready for the rigors of bootcamp.

“We genuinely want to get to know who you are,” says Alexis, “at the end of the day we want to make sure that we are a good fit for what you are looking for and that you are a good fit for what we offer.” Attending a bootcamp is a big decision that will involve an intense and immersive learning experience, but it will also lead to an exciting career. “One of the biggest things we look for is how well someone can communicate that they’ve done research into this career path and Lighthouse Labs’ itself. They have to come to the conclusion that this is something they really want to pursue,” added Emma.

To help prepare you for your bootcamp interview, Alexis and Emma have provided several tips about what makes a good candidate for a Lighthouse Labs bootcamp.

1) Make Sure You Enjoy Coding

This one is REALLY (and obviously) important. In a bootcamp, you’re going to be tackling 12 hour days at least five days a week, so if you don’t enjoy coding, this will be a very hard thing to overcome. Before your interview, make sure that you take the time to try some of the numerous free online resources available for you, including the Lighthouse Labs Learn to Code courses and the 21-Day Coding Challenge. Remember, our interviews are designed to help us assess whether you enjoy coding, but also to help us determine if our programs fit with your career goals.

2) Do Your Research On Bootcamps

Bootcamps are not for the faint of heart. The 10 weeks that you spend with us will be some of the most challenging and intense weeks of your life. Make sure you know what to expect from a  bootcamp before you come to your interview. This includes thinking about your personal schedule and finances. Your self-awareness will help the admissions team in deciding whether you are ready or not.

And on top of knowing what bootcamps are, make sure you do your research on the different type of bootcamp options. Some bootcamps are for web development, while others are for marketing or design. Even within coding bootcamps, you have to decide between programs that focus on full-stack, front-end, or back-end. At Lighthouse Labs, our Web Development Bootcamp is full-stack and it is built around JavaScript while our iOS Development Bootcamp is built around Swift. Make sure you do your research on what each bootcamp has to offer, and decide why it fits your goals before you come to the interview. This little bit of preparation will go a long way in helping you impress the admissions team.

3) Know Your Post-Bootcamp Goals

Our bootcamps are built for people who want to have a career in software development. We want to know that you’ve thought about your post-bootcamp career path. It’s okay if you don’t want to become a developer, but we do need to know why our program is a good fit for your goals. From our experience, we know that students with strong motivations thrive in the bootcamp environment.

4) Give Yourself Enough Time Before Applying

Technically this one needs to be planned out before you apply for bootcamp, but doing so will make your interview that much easier. By taking the time to do research and practice coding before you apply, you will make the admissions process much smoother. Furthermore, at Lighthouse Labs we have a four-week prep course that needs to be completed before you start the program. So making sure you have enough time to complete all of the material will further show your preparation.

5) Tell Us About Yourself

Bootcamp is a big investment and we want to make sure that you are in a position to get the most out of it. The only way our team can help with that is if you are honest with your answers during the interview. In addition, we want to see what sets you apart from the others. Before coming into your interview, think about times when you have shown grit and resilience as well as any quirky hobbies or interests. This will definitely help us get to know you better!

Want to find a way to impress our admissions team and a chance to win prizes, including a MacBook Pro? Complete our 21-Day Coding Challenge. We built this challenge as a way for new coders to make daily coding a habit. By completing it, you will be sending a strong message to our Admissions team that you are serious about coding and development. Finish it by May 15, 2018, and you will be entered to win one of many amazing prizes!

Read more news on Lighthouse Labs on Course Report and be sure to check out the Lighthouse Labs website!

About The Author

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Lauren is a communications and operations strategist who loves to help others find their idea of success. She is passionate about techonology education, career development, startups, and the arts. Her background includes career/youth development, public affairs, and philanthropy. She is from Richmond, VA and now currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

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