Most tech companies pay extreme attention to the interviewing process of new candidates. A technical interview appears to be a complex and multi-stage process that requires a great deal of time from the interviewers and the interviewees. Some candidates who consider themselves strong interviewees often get rocked by technical interviews.
Technical interviews, like any other, aims to identify a candidate's skills, competencies, and potential. However, there are several specific features you'd better know beforehand. It is a lot easier not to lose your temper or get confused when you know what to expect.
Thus, here are some secrets about the technical interview process and tips to overcome possible difficulties.
Questions to Expect in a Technical Interview
Unlike any other type of interview, a technical interview presupposes practical challenges, problems, and assignments. As technical interviews are to assess a candidate's technical skills for the position, they feature specific questions. Such questions are to reveal your technical knowledge and approach to problem-solving.
Undoubtedly, every company focuses on different things, but generally, there are four major types of technical interview questions you may be asked:
1. Implement a Well-Known Algorithm
These questions usually relate to the problems that have already been solved. The interviewer intends to find out whether a candidate understands the approach well and can implement it.
2. Implement a Trivial Algorithm
These questions seem nonsensical to candidates, as they relate to new things a candidate may not be familiar with. The interviewer wants to learn how a candidate can handle a brand new issue.
3. Solve a Brain Teaser
Brain teasers usually help to disclose how a candidate thinks while solving problems that do not require coding. Such a question does not have to be strictly technical, therefore don’t get confused or shocked.
4. Answer a Language-Specific Question
Some companies tend to be heavily based on working with a specific technology. Thus knowledge and skills related to this particular technology may be a top priority. Language-specific questions make clear how much a candidate knows.
Being a skillful and qualified specialist, you will need more than that to ace a technical interview. Good preparation always makes a good beginning. Indeed every interview at any of numerous companies will be different, but let’s look through several survival tips that will help to ace an average situation you might face.
1. Refreshing knowledge
Despite the position you are interviewed for, the questions will probably relate to your field’s fundamental concepts and algorithms. Even if you are a well-experienced professional, there is still a chance to forget something under the pressure of a stressful situation.
Make a list of items you are not sure about or those you dealt with long ago. It will help you to identify your sore points. After that, make a study plan and brush up on your knowledge on these matters. Use whatever tools or resources you like to feel well prepared and more confident.
2. Practice - a lot
Practice makes perfect. This saying relates to all the parts of a technical interview. First of all, a technical interview is a coding assignment that is to be solved under pressure. The completion of this task will be at the heart of your success. Therefore, getting enough practice in a chosen language will be a good idea.
Secondly, you will be asked numerous questions about everything coming one by one in a limited amount of time. Your answers should be meaningful and to the point. Therefore, practice in answering questions mocking the interview process would be helpful as well.
3. Work on soft skills
Your coding skills may be perfect, but it is soft skills that make you an ideal employee. Soft skills drive your work process and career development. Good communication skills, critical thinking, flexibility, and time management skills are essential for you as a small constituent part of a company.
The more you practice selling your soft skills, the more successful you get at the interview. This practice starts at the stage of resume writing.
4. Turn mistakes into lessons
Lucky and gifted as you may be, you will face more than one interview in your life. The essence of any interview is not only to survive it but to draw valuable conclusions and learn from your mistakes. Thus, the process does not end after saying goodbye. Here comes the time of self-analysis.
Make a review of everything that happened after an interview. List the questions they asked and identify those that made you struggle the most. It will help you to identify the points that require further improvement.
5. Follow up
Sending a follow-up email is not a sign of despair or begging. It is a common misconception that has to be busted. It is only polite to thank your interviewers for their time and efforts. Besides, a good follow-up letter serves as a gentle reminder about yourself.
It is not wrong to show your interest in the particular position and company as well. A follow-up will not do anything but leave a positive impression. And who knows, maybe this letter will address the very person who is to make a final decision.
Believe it or not but there is nothing scary in technical interviews. Some professionals tend to go through this procedure from time to time just for fun.
Every time you undertake an interview, you gain precious experience and polish your knowledge. Surely, coding interviews may be intimidating, but they make you stronger and more stress-resistant. The best way to make yourself comfortable at the interview is to take as many as you can. You'd better stop hesitating and shivering with fear. Start practicing and gain success.
About the Author: Erika Rykun is a career and productivity copywriter who believes in the power of networking. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and playing with her cat, Cola.