“Technical interviews are not like other job screening tests, but you can qualify them when you are well-prepared”
Just a night before your interview, claws of dread scratch your inside, stomach churns, muscles tauten and anxiety crawls up your spine. Vague horrible visuals flash through your mind during sleep. You keep tossing and turning whole night, and when you get up as the Sun breaks, you find yourself submerged by sweat. The pressure of landing a job makes you edgy and restless. It does seem like a headache.
Well, all interviews seem to be daunting, but technical interviews are bit more terrifying as they involve challenges and assignments. When an interviewer shortlists your resume, it means you have skills that they want in you to do a particular type of job, but they will finalise you when you prove how you will use those skills to contribute to the company where you are applying at.
As the moment of an interview approaches, a wave of uneasiness sweeps you over as you are not sure whether you get what you expected or not. Technical interviews are not about brainteasers or impossible questions. Instead, they are to see how smartly you handle real-time problems like the ones you will be facing if you get the job.
What to expect during interview
Making an impressive resume is your first job that boosts the chances of your selection. Your curriculum vitae should include a list of your skills, academics and experience. It cannot be ordinary if you want to stand out. You should seek help from resume experts who offer resume writing services. If you are running out of money, you can take guaranteed payday loans from direct lenders.
- Phone screening
CV short listing is the hardest part of any interview and if your resume has caught the eye of an interviewer, this is really a big achievement. The next step is phone screening. HR managers do not want to waste time interviewing a wrong applicant, which is why they conduct screening interview to find out whether you are suitable for the role or not. Here, you will demonstrate your tech experience. However, not all interview focus on your tech skills at this stage. An interviewer may be looking forward to knowing your leadership skills, soft skills and communication skills.
Show enthusiasm during conversation. If you are interviewing with a recruiter, you should focus on your communication and soft skills. If you are interviewing with an IT manager, you should focus on your technical skills. Tell in details what kind of projects you have handled. Do research about the company beforehand. It will help you tailor your skills and experience to the company. At screening stage, an interview will try to know your communication ability and passion.
- Coding challenge
Compared to onsite interview, it is much less rigorous, but it does not mean that you do not need to make efforts. Before an interview, you must get an idea of common types of programming questions that every company asks. Rest part of the interview varies from company to company. Startups will require you to complete a home assignment with a time limit whereas other companies to give you a real-time challenge to see how you code. A small company especially a startup may not involve this stage, but big companies follow more structured hiring process.
During the real-time coding challenge, you should take your time to think and give a chance to interviewer to give you a hint. Communicate with your interviewer when required. During a home assignment, make sure that you completely decipher all instructions and requirements. Read them again and again if you do not crack it in one attempt and then write your answer. At this stage, an interview will like to know about your coding skills, problem-solving skills and collaboration sills.
- Onsite interview
This is the most intimidating part of a tech interview. Startups may have less formal interview than big companies, but qualifying this stage is not very easy. Before you write a code, you should take time to evaluate the question. It will let you know your interviewer that you examine the situation as a whole instead of just writing the code. Sometimes interview questions might not be very easy. You may struggle to find the right answer. If you are caught in this situation, you should think creatively and try a couple of ideas. Bear in mind all instructions and hints given by your interviewer and use them. you do not need to be perturbed if you do not know the answer. At this stage, an interviewer will like to know about coding skills, problem-solving ability, creative thinking ability, analytical thinking skills, communication skills and problem-solving ability.
How to prepare for a technical interview
Here are some tips you should follow while preparing for a tech interview:
You should prepare your speech related to your academics, experience, projects, career goals etc. An interviewer will always like to know about yourself before jumping to the technical round.
You should focus on topics like data structures, heaps, arrays, hash tables, and sorting and search algorithms. Pick one programming language and make sure that you have a command over it.
You should practise coding so that you ace at your interview. Try to solve questions without hints and anyone’s help with time constraint. Develop time management skills during practice.
Make sure that you are well-prepared for your interview. Do not take it so casually. Do not be so eager to solve a problem. Read it carefully, understand it and then write a code. Make sure that you follow all instructions and hints given by your interviewer.
The bottom line
You can easily qualify a technical interview if you prepare in advance. Use online technical courses for preparation. The internet is a hub of all these resources. Take advantage of them. Getting a technical job can be tough but not impossible. Practise as much as you can to grab a job.