Career Insight

How to Prepare for a Technical Interview

Software developer working through code on whiteboard during technical interview

Are you considering applying to tech jobs? Or do you already have a technical interview coming up? Let’s face it, technical interviews can be overwhelming even for the most experienced candidates. Many organizations take applicants through several rounds of interviews, each with a different focus.

How should you prepare before the tech interview? And what are the factors most tech companies look for during the interview process?

In this article, we walk you through the process of preparing for technical job interviews. We also share a few proven interview tips that will help you land the job.

What Is a Technical Interview?

A tech interview is common for companies that are hiring candidates for technical roles in science, engineering, IT, or software development. During a technical interview, a recruiter or employer aims to evaluate your technical ability for the position, as well as the breadth and depth of your knowledge in your selected field.

Along with your tech skills, a technical interview is also designed to evaluate your soft skills, such as communication, time management, problem-solving, and your capability to think and work under pressure. For instance, an employer may give you a challenge to solve just to see how you’d solve a real-world problem on the job.

How Is a Technical Interview Different?

Although technical and non-technical interviews are both as serious and structured as every other aspect of the hiring process, the latter focuses on gauging the non-technical skills of a candidate.

For example, the interviewer may ask situational and behavioral questions, or give role-playing scenarios to ensure they’re recruiting applicants with the soft skills they’ll need once they join. On the other hand, tech interviews exist to evaluate your technical skills, usually specific to the position you are applying for.

Generally, the interview process is quite similar, regardless of the role you are interviewing for. The only difference is that tech roles will have some kind of technical challenge.

What to Expect in a Technical Interview

As mentioned earlier, tech companies are mostly looking for candidates with strong technical knowledge specific to the job role itself. They also gauge candidates in terms of how eager they are to learn more about relevant technologies and the tech industry. Along with that, you can expect to be assessed for your reasoning and analytical skills, ability to handle pressure, and troubleshooting expertise.

Here are a few types of technical interview questions that you can expect:

  • Questions to determine your understanding of the company’s extensive technical activities
  • Questions related to your knowledge about a particular topic, process, or product
  • Questions to determine your understanding of the technical work necessary
  • Questions that show your desire to continue learning and increasing technical knowledge
  • Questions about modules in your degree course (if relevant to the organization)
  • Examples of technical problems that would exist in your day-to-day responsibilities at the workplace
  • Questions that demonstrate your passion, self-motivation, and enthusiasm when discussing technical topics
  • Examples from previous jobs that can help an employer evaluate your experience level

Tips to Prepare for a Technical Interview

Here are a few tips to help you nail your tech interview:

Technical Interview Tips

  • Revise the basics

    Go through major topics covered in your coursework related to the job you are applying for. You should also carefully review the job description and get ready for questions related to necessary skills.

  • Research the company

    Technical interviews aren’t just about evaluating your tech skills, but they are also an opportunity for the employer to see how much effort you’ve put in to learn about their company. Before appearing for the interview, research the organization to understand the kinds of problems they solve and the products or services they sell.

  • Review your past technical projects

    Revisit a few technical projects that you have worked on while studying or during past jobs and be prepared to discuss your role, contributions, a high-level project overview, any problems that occurred, and how you handled them.

  • Research standard tech questions related to the role

    Every tech position has different questions relating to particular duties and situations. Therefore, it’s best to go through online resources that provide sample technical questions for your job or industry. This will give you a better idea of possible questions at your tech job interview. You may also want to review past interview questions asked of previous candidates on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor.

  • Prepare to answer CV-related questions

    According to Checkster Research, around 78% of job seekers lie during the recruitment process. So make sure you’re able to verify whatever you’ve mentioned on your CV.¹ If you have listed a skill in your CV, you should be prepared to answer questions related to it, or even be tested on it. For instance, if you’ve mentioned programming or coding as a key skill, you may be asked to write code on a whiteboard or a company-provided computer.

  • Think about areas you are not familiar with

    Identify all the technical skills or areas that you know you need more experience in. This will help you prepare answers to questions about specific skills you have yet to gain. With the right groundwork, you can develop answers that highlight your aptitude to learn and your commitment to improving in those areas.

  • Prepare a few questions to ask during the interview

    An interview should always be a two-way discussion, which means you should also come up with a few questions to ask the employer during the interview. For instance, you can develop questions regarding certain technical responsibilities for the job. Asking technical questions will depict your interest in the role and will show the employer that you have carefully reviewed the job description.

Ready to Build Your Future in Tech?

Preparing for a technical interview is critical as it allows you to increase your likelihood of receiving a second interview or a job offer. Kenzie Academy from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) programs offer plentiful resources and accessible opportunities for people to receive quality tech education and pursue a promising, higher-paying career.

As an affordable college alternative, we strive to bring more diversity to future innovation and the tech industry by preparing students for high-demand jobs. We also have a Career Services Team and Career Curriculum Course to offer you the guidance, support, tools, and networks to land a tech job interview. Take the next step and apply today!


Resources:

¹ Checkster, “Hiring Charlatans?” on the internet (Viewed on Dec. 14, 2022)

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