For anyone who has experience in IT and is searching for some type of technical job, you must be prepared for the technical interview. It is not an easy or simple interview. You must prepare in advance in order to do well. Because the interview can be quite complex, it is usually reserved for the top 2 – 3 candidates after the selection process is mostly over.
Technical interviews are usually in-depth activities designed to assess the level of technical skills a person possesses. These interviews may consist of logic problems, coding examples, technical documentation creation and more. You may even be given the interview information or a problem statement ahead of time so that you can prepare prior to meeting with the interviewer.
What Do Companies Look for?
Since you’ve already passed the initial interview and show that you meet the requirements of the job, the company is now looking for the best candidate. It is looking for someone who is not just technically savvy, but can also articulate his thoughts well and show that he can work through a problem statement. The interviewer will be looking for a logical thought process whereby you address an issue and propose possible solutions based upon best practices.
How to Prepare
First and foremost, understand what the job requires. By the time the technical interview comes around, that should not be an issue.
Do your research ahead of time. Review the basic fundamentals and know them well. Read through case studies. Understand that companies often have their own “flavor” when it comes to technology and development, so keeping an open mind will help you no matter what issue you are presented with.
Be ready to draw. Many technical interviews require you to use a whiteboard or smart board to present your work to the interviewer.
Prepare documentation to bring with you. If you have samples of codes or diagrams you have used before and none of the work is proprietary, feel free to download them and print them out. No interviewer expects a coder to be able to write perfect code from scratch, so using some previously printed examples will not be held against you.
Never lie or over-exaggerate what you can do. If you are presented with a problem you really haven’t faced before, simply explain that you haven’t faced that particular issue before. Then, you must think quickly, search your previous experience and show that although you don’t have direct experience, you have done something similar. If you really have nothing similar to showcase, then your best bet is to showcase how well you can face a new problem and come up with potential solutions.
Take some time to sharpen your brain. Go online and do some brain teasers, play a few word games and see how well you do with logic puzzles. They may or may not help in terms of technical skills, but at a minimum, they may help you feel more self-confident as you walk into the interview.
During the Interview
A technical interview is one that requires a lot of communication back and forth. You should feel comfortable asking questions. For example, if you are given a problem to solve, you should state what your assumptions are and give the interviewer the opportunity to ask follow-up questions.
Ask questions just as you would if you were really trying to solve the problem in real life. The company needs to see exactly how well you would work should you be faced with a similar issue. You can ask questions such as, “Do you expect the solution to be a web solution?” or “Would I be able to participate in the business process creation so I better understand what is being done in operations?”
If you have faced a similar type of problem that you are facing during the interview, use your experience as an example and show that you have successfully fixed something like this before. Experience counts and may be enough to put you ahead of the other candidates.
Many questions will center on your experience and skills. You will hear questions that start with, “Give me an example of…” or “Tell about a time you did…” The end goal for any technical interview is to impress upon the hiring company that you can solve their problems and meet their goals.
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List of the different interview types:
- The Video Interview
- The Informal Interview
- The Technical Interview
- The Phone Interview
- The Structured Interview
- The Scenario Interview
- The Assessment Event
- The Second Interview
- The Panel Interview
- The Lunch Interview
- The Group Interview
- The Behavioral Interview