Many tech pros feel fairly well equipped to manage a traditional job interview; you simply take the time to research the company, practice a few answers and take a deep breath. However, preparing for a technical interview can feel like an entirely different monster. Often, it is hard to predict what is going to be asked of you, so it can make the process feel more intimidating.
It is important to remember what is going to be covered isn’t entirely a mystery regardless of whether the traditional job interview portion has been completed yet or not. To help ensure you are properly prepared for the activities that are about to ensue, here are some tips to get you started.
Review the Job Announcement for Clues
Your best source of information is the job announcement. For example, if a particular coding language is mentioned multiple times, there is a high likelihood it will be part of the technical interview. Similarly, if a specific skill is prominently mentioned, consider it fair game as well.
In cases where the job announcement doesn’t explicitly say what is going to be needed, use the job title to perform some additional research. Take time on sites where professionals often discuss job details, like LinkedIn and Glassdoor, and see if you can find indications as to what others holding the same job title have been asked during technical interviews.
Be Prepared to Solve Problems
Often, part of the purpose of a technical interview is to assess your problem-solving skills along with your technical skills. That means you are more likely to be given scenarios rather than be asked straightforward questions. And while getting the right answer is certainly useful, being able to approach the problem in a logical manner is also important.
Even if you find yourself stumped along the way, prepare to articulate how you would go about solving the problem. That way if you can’t provide all of the details, you can at least show that you know what to do when faced with a difficult situation.
Some interviews may involve you writing on an easel or whiteboard. Most people don’t spend a significant amount of time writing on a whiteboard at all, let along in front of interviewers. And that is what makes practice important.
Writing on a vertical surface is awkward, and it won’t do you any favors in the penmanship department. If you haven’t written on a similar surface in a while, take a bit of time and practice writing out some familiar code so you can get a feel for it. While you don’t need to develop the grace of a calligrapher, it is important that it is legible to other people in the room.
When in doubt, go a bit slower than you would usually write. This can help you get a feel for it before the big day arrives.
If you are interested in additional tips for your next technical interview, or are currently looking for a new IT position, the professionals at The Squires Group can get you on the right track. Contact us and see how our experience can help you reach your goals.