Be ambitious during tech interview 💪, but don’t overdo it either 😉

This is an article of a series of short articles on how to ace Frontend tech interviews Stay up to date here: Frontend interviews

Employers seek candidates who exhibit ambition during tech interviews because it signals a proactive approach to innovation, a readiness to overcome challenges, and a commitment to driving both personal and organizational growth. Ambition demonstrates a candidate’s potential to contribute actively to the company’s success by embracing new opportunities and striving for excellence.

Demonstrating ambition can be valuable, but it’s - as always - important to strike the right balance. Especially, when it comes to remaining realistic in personal goals and abilities - and understanding the importance of collaboration and effective teamwork dynamics.

😁 “I am the perfect candidate for the role”

Ambition often correlates with drive and enthusiasm. Employers generally seek candidates who are passionate about both the technologies they already know, but also the ones they are potentially willing to learn. Express your genuine interest in the adapting to the company’s technology landscape. This includes not only fancy frameworks (like Angular and/or React), but also less exciting activities (such as learning CI/CD pipelines). Being picky in what you feel enthusiastic about can raise a red flag, but we’ll get back to that 😊.

⚖️ “I am realistic about my goals”

While ambition is admirable, it should be tempered with realism. Avoid coming across as overly ambitious to the point of being unrealistic or overly confident. Especially, don’t act as if you . Employers appreciate candidates who set ambitious goals but also demonstrate an understanding of the challenges and complexities involved.

“At my last job I managed to […]”

Back up your ambition with concrete examples from your past experiences. Discuss projects where you demonstrated ambition by taking initiative, overcoming obstacles, or achieving significant results. This helps interviewers gauge your level of ambition in a tangible way.

😇 “I am ambitious, but the team success is what matters”

Remaining authentic during a tech interview, particularly regarding ambition, is crucial to avoid misrepresentation of skills or aspirations, which could lead to potential mismatches between the candidate and the company’s culture or expectations. For instance, exaggerating ambition levels beyond what one genuinely feels or downplaying it to appear more modest could create discrepancies that hinder effective collaboration and long-term success within the team. An overambitious person could be very dangerous to team efficiency - and employers are absolutely aware of that!

🧐 “Where is my enthusiasm needed the most?”

Research the company’s culture beforehand. Some companies may value a high degree of ambition and entrepreneurial spirit, while others may prioritize collaboration and teamwork. Adapt your approach accordingly.

❓ “How can I grow within the company?”

Don’t forget that the interview is also an opportunity for you to evaluate whether the company and role align with your own ambitions and career goals. Ask thoughtful questions about opportunities for growth, the company’s vision for the future, and how your role fits into that vision. Asking question - and listening to the answers - is very important, as it shows


Overall, while it’s important to demonstrate ambition in a tech interview, it’s equally important to strike the right balance and present yourself authentically. Employers will be more likely to onboard highly motivated staff. At the same time, they’d be very reluctant to employing either a prima donna or a cheerful person being completely unrealistic about the tasks they pick up.

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