How To Nail Your Technical Interview Dos And Donts
Does the phrase technical interview make you nervous? Do you have the required skill-set, educational qualifications, and professional experience but panic under pressure? Are you confused about how to be confident and face technical questions head on? We hear you and youre not alone! Heres a quick guide to help you nail your next technical interview.
Indias IT sector is expected to produce 2,50,000 new jobs in 2019, according to TeamLease. Even with the ever-increasing demand, the tech industry has always been picky about the candidates it employes. So, a technical interview becomes crucial in finding the right candidate.
And even though the demand is high, the supply is even higher.
According to the HRD ministry, 1.5 million engineers in the country graduate and join the job search rat race every year. Not only this , many of those already employed with years of experience behind them are also seeking greener pastures. So, youre looking at a significant competition. And if you want a job that contributes to both your personal and professional growth.
How To Ace Your Technical Interview
Whether youve been programming since your pajamas had feet on them or youre facing down the barrel of your first post-school job hunt, the technical interview can be a terrifying hurdle between you and your dream job.
But dont fearjust get ready to show off your skills. Below youll find some tips that are helpful to ace any technical interview.
Amazons Focus On Scalability
As you might expect from the tech behemoth, Amazon is very concerned with how things scale. Being able to not only solve certain technical challenges but also scale them is an important criterion on which you will be assessed.
For system design-based questions specifically, having a solid grasp of the various database technologies, how they scale, and how they compare will be a feather in your cap when confronted with how to increase the scale of your initial solution for a problem.
Expect to be able to effectively navigate system design-style interviews. These interviews tend to test your overall ability to design and scale technically based systems.
If youre unfamiliar with this style of interview or if you want practical tactics to prepare for system design interviews, check out this post by Byte by Byte that covers how to ace your interview.
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Untitled How To Crack Common Jobinterview Questions
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Prepare For A Wide Range Of Topics
Covering a wide range of topics will help you answer and solve a lot more questions than an average candidate. The languages, technology, and skills you should cover in your preparation will depend on the job description and the technology and languages youâll be expected to use and work on after you get hired. Youâll also be asked questions about the languages you are proficient in.
In addition, be prepared to answer any questions pertaining to the technical projects youâve mentioned in your CV or portfolio of work. Some of the interview questions could be around the tech stacks used and the reasons behind using them, challenges faced during the projects, and how you tackled them.
After The Technical Interview
When the technical interview is over, take a breath: you made it through! There are a few things you can do to follow up, but for the most part, its just a waiting game now.
Tips for after the tech interview
- Keep some emotional distance from the process. Expect to get rejected a lot, and its important to not view it as personal judgement, advises Chris.
- Even if you dont get the job, have the perspective that the interview was great practice for the future. If it was your first one, now you know what to expect from a technical interview! Glean insights from the experience and use them to propel yourself forward.
How to be a memorable candidate
Send a short and sweet thank you email to the recruiter/hiring manager within 24 hours of the technical interview.
Make a note of everyone you speak to during the interview and reach out to them with a quick note of thanks as well. You can send emails to them individually if you made more of a connection, or send a group email with a general note of thanks to everyone. It will definitely help the team remember you!
If you havent heard back after a week, send a brief follow-up email to the tech recruiter or your possible future manager, reiterating your interest in the role and asking about potential next steps.
Dont Get Demotivated If You Fail To Answer Some Questions
Often for the interviewers is not that important if you answer right away to all of their questions. They also look closely who you approach their question. Keep your cool, do not answer right away even if you heard the question before, breathe and take your time. And if you havent come with the solution after 3-5 minutes you can just tell straight away that you cant solve it so he/her can proceed with the next one.
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Dont Pretend To Know An Answer You Dont
You should always try as hard as you can to answer the questions. But if you donât know the answer to a question or cannot find the solution to a problem, say so. Perhaps, the interviewers may ask you to explain to them where youâre stuck and nudge you toward the right answer/solution. Pretending to know an answer is not a good idea â your pretense will show.
Simple Tips On How To Crack An Interview For Your Dream Job
1. Make a research about the company: Before attending interview research about the companys background and the job role for which you are being interviewed. By doing the research you will get the knowledge to answer questions like: Tell about our company? who are our competitors? What are our products? etc.
2. Reach early to the location: Punctuality is very important for the interview. Being timely are a few things you must to practice in the standard of living because it can help you always. Reach ten to fifteen minutes early so that you can relax and ready to give the interview.
3. Dress formally and with neat hairstyle: Neatly comb your hair. Men must always shave before participating in an interview. Use a soft perfume or deodorant. Men should be dressed in smart formal clothes such as well ironed trousers and shirt with a tie or formal suit and wear a formal belt and formal watch. Combination of white shirt and black pant work well, make sure your shoes are polished.
Women, on the other hand, it is not essential to wear western clothes. Women must be dressed in non-fussy and dignified clothes such as salwar kameez, sari or trousers/skirt suit.
9. Finish the interview on a positive end: Say Thank you to him/her for giving such a valuable time. Ask them if you want to know any further information about the work, culture and etc in their company. Ask for the feedback it gives a positive impression on you but does not overdo it.
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Phone Screen Or Telephonic Interview
Post selection of your application, you may be asked to appear for a technical phone interview. This is your first opportunity to leave a good impression on your prospective employer. This part of the interview is usually taken by an HR member of the team. They may ask questions with regards to your professional background and resume highlights. At this stage, you wont be expected to answer any technical questions, most of the questions are structured to assess your enthusiasm and interest in the company and the job role. You need to sharpen your soft skills while attending a telephonic interview.
There are a few companies that often skip this stage of the telephonic interview and ask candidates to directly appear for the on-site or in-person interview. Professional and experienced candidates are often exempted from this stage of the interview.
Also Read: How to Crack a Telephonic Interview
Meaningful Questions To Ask The Interviewer
Interviews are a two-way street. You should be learning about them just as much as theyre learning about you!
Asking thoughtful questions is also a good way to stand out in the interview. The age-old adage people dont remember what you say, but they remember how you made them feel is so true when it comes to interviews, says Refael . When a candidate keeps the flow going in a friendly conversation, instead of making me feel like I am conducting an interrogation, I will remember our brief time together fondly.
Of course, you should tailor your questions to the specific situation, but here are a few meaningful questions you can ask:
- What do you like most about working here?
- What frameworks, tools, tech stack, etc. does your company use?
- Can you describe the development process here?
- How do you test your code?
- Does the company offer opportunities for professional development, training for engineers, etc.?
- Whats the most challenging project youve worked on here?
The other upside: while youre listening to their answer, you get a little break from talking!
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Tip : Dress For Success
No matter what the position is that you are applying for or what the company culture is, dressing professionally is necessary. Other than the unlikelihood that the employer specifies otherwise, a business professional outfit is appropriate in almost every situation. Be aware of strong cologne, perfumes, hair spray, and other smells. Any such product should be used sparingly as to not distract the interviewer. Details are important so make sure your shoes are dirt-free and shiny and your clothes are ironed and laundered. Makeup and jewelry should be kept to a minimum.
What Are The Modules Of The Remote Interview
Today, virtual interviews follow a standard format. But it is always good to ask beforehand so that you can prepare accordingly. Usually, there are a few modules along which technical interviews are structured.
For this, you have to Write code in a specified period Work in a collaborative web-based IDE or share your screen with the interviewerPractice coding beforehand in the same tool and know how to compile and execute itEnsure greater precision while coding on your laptop in an IDE
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Until You’ve Mastered These 50 Questions
Preparing for any interview requires some work, and this is more so for a company the size of Amazon, where competition is very high. More preparation is always better, but whats more important is the quality of preparation. After reading this post, you can rest assured that you will have greatly enhanced your chances of passing the interview!
Tips And Tricks To Ace The Technical Interview
Now that we have gone through some of the best answers that you can pitch your interviewing committee, lets check out how you can ace in the interview in an overall sense:
Do a Thorough Background Research
It is vital that you do thorough background research of your prospective company. This will give you a fair idea of the potential questions that may be asked during your technical interview. Each company has their own personalised set of questions which are designed to test the suitability of the candidates for their organisation. The background check gives you valuable information on your prospective employer. It sheds light on the roles and responsibilities that you may encounter while applying for the job.
Prepare an Elevator Pitch about Yourself
The basic question that is common to all technical interviews is Tell me about yourself. While this is the most predictable question that can be asked by any company, candidates often struggle to form a proper response and therefore fail to impress their prospective employers. Hence, you should prepare 30 seconds to a 1-minute elevator pitch that properly describes your academic background and achievements, past working experiences and career goals. This also gives a detailed glimpse to the employers regarding your communication and verbal skills.
Consider the Tools and Skills Necessary for the Role
Regularly Practice Coding Challenges
Have Confidence and the Right Attitude
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Onsite Interview And Whiteboard Challenge
Now weve arrived at the most intimidating part of the entire tech interview process. At tiny startups, onsite technical interviews might be a lot less formal than at bigger companies. Heck, there may not even be a whiteboard to do a coding exercise on! Still, whatever the company size, it never hurts to do coding interview preparation so youre ready for any situation that may arise.
What to do during the onsite technical interview + whiteboard challenge
1. Ask clarifying questions before you even start writing code.
I appreciate it when someone takes the time to evaluate the question he faces in the interview, says Refael . It shows me that this person is calculated and rather than just writing code, he sees the whole picture.
Ask questions around assumptions of the question, and try to reason about the question from a bottom-up perspective, adds Chris.
2. Talk through your code to give the interviewer a window into your thoughts.
What happens in a technical interview is as much about the journey as the destination. Its designed to test a candidates communication and problem-solving skills, says Refael. More important than the solution is how they work at getting the solution. Can they articulate their thoughts while writing out the code on the whiteboard? Are they putting together a clear response to the question?
3. Speak clearly and precisely.
A few of Chriss specific tips to help your interview skills:
How to stand out in the whiteboard interview
Examples Of Technical Interview Questions
The type of question will vary depending on your field and the type of position that you are interviewing for. Some examples of questions are:
- What is your favorite mobile app, and do you have any suggestions for improving it?
- Explain how a hybrid vehicle operates.
- Describe a difficult engineering problem you recently solved.
- Can you give an example of when you acquired a technical skill, and converted it into a practical application?
- Describe Quicksort.
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Demonstrate Your Excitement For The Job By:
Recruiters always favor candidates that are enthusiastic about the job and also possess the necessary skills. If you only have the qualifications but show no interest in the job, the recruiter will assume you are not interested thus, demonstrate your willingness to the recruiter.
This produces a favorable impression on the recruiter, who will recommend you to the companys recruiting managers if he believes you will be a good worker and perform well in the position.
Ready To Nail That Tech Interview
Those were our 13 tips â whether youâre an experienced programmer or a recent college graduate, these technical interview tips will help you take on your next tech interview with FAANG and other global tech giants. Check out our blog page for more tips and guides.
A majority of candidates get intimidated by the thought of applying to positions at big tech companies dreading their extensive technical interview processes. Whether youâre an experienced programmer or a recent college graduate, hereâs one thing you should understand â cracking technical interviews at FAANG and other tech companies is not impossible like itâs made out to be. But it does require dedicated efforts and guided practice. As long as youâre open to that, you wonât be that far from your next dream job.
If youâre looking for the right guidance to help you prepare for your next technical interview, we encourage you to register for our webinar on How to Nail Your Next Technical Interview.
Kickstart your prep today!
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Things To Keep In Mind While Preparing: