Tip #: Show What You Know
You’re working the challenge, you’re talking out loud, and you’re doing well. The next thing you need to be looking for are opportunities to show your knowledge and expertise.
Is this the place in the code where you might send an email? Mention that it should be done in a background worker instead .
Are you working on validation logic in a model? Talk about how you would also add database constraints to ensure data integrity. What indexes would you add? How would you roll out the migrations to prevent downtime?
Once you get your hardcoded -> dumb -> better solution, talk about how you would refactor it given more time. Would you create a module for this? What about a service object? What about putting some of this logic in a background job? Discuss the tradeoffs.
Now why is this so important?
Most interview questions are aimed at the lowest common denominatormeaning the very basic requirements of the job. The challenge or questions themselves are usually not designed to test the top end of someone’s skill. The interview is probably not going to pull the information out of you, so you have to supply that information.
So while you’re talking through your thought process, mention all of the things you would incorporate in a real-life application or codebase and discuss them.
Trick #: Be Personable
My last trick for you is to be personable.
In your interview, be someone that you would want to work with. Show them your best self.
Interviews can be intimidating, and developers are generally a quieter and more reserved people, but you need to show the people you interact with, “Hey, I’m a fun and nice person to work with.”
I’m not asking you to be someone you’re not. But you don’t want to be, according to one of my close friends who interviews people all the time, a “sea creature.”
Not Explaining Your Thought Process
“For me, the most frustrating thing an interviewee can do is not explain their thought process to me. As an interviewer I want to see how someone approaches problems in general so I can decide how successful they will be at solving different problems. When I ask a question and get an answer without hearing how the interviewee arrived at it, I cannot extrapolate on their problem-solving abilities. An interviewee should show me their thought processexplain their thinking so I can decide how well they will be able to apply those skills as an employee.”
Learn more about Def Method here.
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How To Answer Behavioural Questions In A Technical Interview
One of the best and most reliable methods for answering behaviour-based technical interview questions is the STAR method. This is a simple framework that helps candidates tell a story about their work experience that will resonate with hiring managers.
STAR is an acronym that stands for:
Situation: Describe a circumstance or situation you were inTask: Explain your goal or responsibilities in the situationAction: Describe in detail what steps you took to resolve the situationResult: Detail the outcomes of your actions
Here’s a question you could answer using the STAR method:
“Tell me about a time that you made a significant error and what you did to resolve it.”
Coming up with a situation from your past that can be used as an example can be difficult. If you have to discuss a mistake, for example, it shouldnât be too extreme or reflect poorly on your character. Stories about lying, gross negligence, or breaches of confidentiality will harm your chances of getting the job.
However, even if you have to talk about a mistake, you can show that you acted with integrity, took responsibility, and resolved the issue. An honest answer can really show your credibility. Errors happen in the workplace every day. We all make mistakes, but it’s how we resolve them that is important.
Here is a possible answer:
Situation: I had just started working for an accounting software company a few weeks previously.
What You Need To Know To Ace Your Technical Interview
If youâve ever gone in for a technical interview, or even just done a Google search on the subject, chances are youâve heard of Gayle Laakmann McDowell, author of the best-selling book Cracking the Coding Interview. McDowellâs book has quickly become a sacred text for those hoping to work for tech titans like , , and Salesforce. And with a resume that includes roles at , Microsoft, and Apple, she certainly has the credentials to back it up.
McDowell recently chatted with Glassdoorâs Emily Moore to share some of her top tips. Whether youâre just starting out in the field or are already a seasoned pro, McDowell offers invaluable information â read on to learn how to secure and then ace a technical interview at the company of your dreams.
Glassdoor: Between HackerRank, whiteboarding, paired programming, and more, thereâs no limit to what form technical interviews take today. What can candidates expect when going into your average technical interview?
McDowell: A process starts off with one or two phone interviews , followed by an onsite interview with four to six interviews. Of the onsite interviews, one will typically be primarily behavioral questions. The others will be technical, which typically means coding/algorithms, design, or a deep-dive into technical knowledge and skills.
The biggest disadvantage that candidates without CS degrees have is just a lack confidence.
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How Do You Handle Tight Deadlines
IT teams often face daunting time constraints. You need someone who can work efficiently and accurately when under pressure. Ask this interview question of a potential employee, and youll at least get a sense of how they deal with stress and whether they can keep up with the pace of projects at your company. You could also follow up by asking if theyve ever missed a deadline and, if so, how they dealt with the situation.
Most Common Technical Interview Questions
Are you interviewing for an IT job? If so, you should prepare to answer technical interview questions designed to determine whether you possess the hard skills required to do the job well.
During the job interview, you will need to share examples of your skills as they apply to the job for which you’re interviewing. Taking the time to match your qualifications to the job description will make it easier to respond.
Review this list of the top technical interview questions that are most often asked by tech employers and recruiters. Depending on the job you’re interviewing for, you will be asked about the skills, experience, certifications, competencies, language, processes, systems, and tools you have that are a match for the job requirements.
As you structure answers to the most commonly asked questions, jot down anecdotes and specific examples from your previous work experiences so that you have plenty to elaborate upon.
In addition to practicing your responses to these questions, you should also be ready to take advanced skills tests to prove your level of aptitude in software programs, coding / programming, and / or web development .
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In The End: It’s Just An Interview
In the end, it is what it is.
You’ll perform how you perform.
You’ll be interviewed by the person you’ll be interviewed by.
Their interview process will be their interview process.
Maybe you had an off daymaybe the interviewer had an off day.
Afterwards if you feel embarrassed, defeated, or anything elsetake a deep breath and let it go! Don’t let your Lizard Brain weigh you down. A bad interview is not the end of the world. Your career isn’t ruined, your reputation isn’t ruined, and your life isn’t ruined.
It’s just an interview. Learn from it, adapt, and be better the next time.
How Are Mobile And Desktop Websites Different
Anyone that works in web development should be able to name the differences between mobile and desktop websites. Some differences you mention can include user interaction, website orientation, and the size of text and graphics.
Example:”Mobile and desktop websites are different in several ways. The size and orientation of mobile phones differs from desktop monitors. Phones are vertical and small, so mobile websites must include less or smaller text and pictures and look good vertically. Web developers have more freedom in this sense with desktop websites as they have much more space to work with. Another big difference is the way users interact with each type of website. Mobile website will have minimal links and drop-down menus users can tap and easily navigate on a small screen. Desktop websites will have more hypertext linking to other pages and sites.”
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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Mistake #: Starting With The Optimized Solution
Unless you are 110% confident in the most optimized solution for a coding challenge, you dont have to start with the most optimized solution. Candidates often think they have to start with an optimal solution and it trips them up. They get stuck and cant move forward. Instead, start with a non-optimal solution and say:
I know this isnt the most performant solution but I would like to get a working solution and refactor it for performance later in the interview.
Your interviewer will appreciate your honesty and regard to performance. Youll also be able to make progress more quickly, and in an interview, small wins can have a huge impact on your self-confidence and overall performance.
What Are The Benefits And The Drawbacks Of Working In An Agile Environment
Most IT teams have adopted some form of Agile currently the favored SDLC methodology which means lots of quick meetings and a steady stream of feedback from fellow team members. A candidates answer can help you assess not only their level of understanding of this popular environment but also their attitude toward collaboration and communication.
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Study Helpful Books And Digital Publications
With an understanding of what you need to work on, you can begin selecting materials to help you be more successful. This may come in the form of books, online coursework or digital publications:
Books. Reading books on things like coding or management styles can help you increase your knowledge and provide confident, thorough answers in your interview.
Online coursework. Reviewing online coursework can help with the practical application of technical skills.
Digital publications. Online publications can help you expand your knowledge-base, but also keep you aware of trends in technology that may be relevant to your interview.
Be Prepared To Solve Things Different Ways
Each of your fundamentals has pros and cons and offers a unique solution for a particular type of problem. After interviewers ask you a question solely on your fundamentals, theyre likely going to see how you can use them in practice. This is achieved by asking open-ended questions that can be solved in a variety of ways.
A sample question here would be: Youre given an arithmetic equation as a string. This equation will have single digits 0-9, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and parentheses. Write a function that takes this equation and calculates the correct answer. Example inputs include 1+1 and 2*–9).
As before, the interviewer wants to see how you break down open-ended questions and your thought process in picking your solution. Most importantly, they want to see that you can effectively communicate complex problems.
No matter what the question or what solution you choose, make sure to think out loud! If you have different ways of solving the problem, talk through the options before deciding which to use. It helps the interviewer see and understand your thought process. Also, the interviewer may recommend one solution over the others because he or she knows that the others may have certain pitfalls or may be outside of the scope of the interview.
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Whom Youll Be Talking With During The Technical Interview
Again, the details of whom you talk with will vary depending on the company, but there are usually two possible scenarios:
- At a small company: members of the engineering team, or perhaps the CTO. All interviewers will be contributors to product development and could be your boss if you get hired.
- At a large company: recruiters, HR representatives, or a technical recruiter. Oftentimes, your interviewer will have little or no prior technical experience, especially if you are at the start of the interview process. You may or may not talk with people who you would be working with if you got the job.
You might even have multiple interviews with many people. Many companies like to get the engineering team involved. They will be the ones working with the new hire. This means that you may have an extra interview with the engineering team before they notify you about whether you have the job.
Before you go into an interview, you should try to research who may be interviewing you by using LinkedIn. This can help reduce some of your pre-interview anxiety and allow you to get to know the person you will be talking with.
Dont Ask Random Questions
When it comes to tech, the problem with conducting interviews in the traditional sense is often that the interviewees dont know the answers to the questions theyre asking. At the same time, its virtually impossible to involve your IT department in tens of interviews. Its also highly unresourceful as developers are busy people.
Luckily, the way out of this conundrum is pretty straightforward. The best way is to use technical screening automation tools so that you assess coding skills objectively and fairly before the onsite interview. This also allows you to eliminate the impact of unconscious bias which leads to more diverse and more productive teams.
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What Does A Tech Interview Involve
There are a few components of a coding interview:
- Technical phone screen
- Take-home test
- On-site interview
But, as we mentioned earlier, some companies may have different processes. Facebook, for example, has an initial technical screen then jumps straight into an on-site interview which lasts for one day. Startups may skip the take-home test and only conduct one on-site interview if they are trying to hire a lot of people quickly.
How Do You Plan To Keep Up With The Changes In Technology
It’s great to have a degree and multiple certifications, but the tech industry changes constantly. How will you stay on top of the current changes?
Develop a plan for updating your certifications and any other forms of continuing education that are relevant. Employers want to know that you are willing to keep growing.
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What Is The Role Of Continuous Integration Systems In The Automated
The interviewer is asking this question to make sure you understand what continuous integration systems are and how they are used in the automated build process. When answering this question, clearly define what continuous integration is and then explain how it is used in the automated build process.
Example:”Continuous integration is a developmental process that requires developers to integrate code into a shared repository several times throughout the day. Each time the code is integrated, it is verified by the automated build. This allows for early detection of defects and problems within the codebase.”
The Alternative: Google Docs
If you dont want to share any code, or dont want your candidate to be helped out by handy editor tricks like autocomplete, then you can choose to use Google Docs for the technical part of the remote interview. Even Google themselves does this in technical interviews!
You may have the problem outlined at the top, and then the candidate may simply write code in the document to solve the problem below. Because Google Docs is collaborative, you can write notes or comments in real-time if you wish.
Again, make sure to use different problems when hiring for each new position.
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Not Testing Out Equipment Ahead Of Time
“One of the more frustrating mistakes interviewees make during technical interviews is not testing out equipment ahead of time. As more companies move to remote work, most, if not all, interviews are taking place over tools like Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams. Making sure ahead of time that your computer is able to run these applications without technical issues goes a long way in showing us that you’re prepared. The last thing an interviewer wants is to spend the first 15 minutes dealing with technical difficulties because now it delays getting to know you more.”
Learn more about GameChanger here.
Review The Job Description
When getting ready for the interview, start with the basics and verify if the job description accurately reflects what is required of the person. See if it needs any updates and memorize the most important aspects.
Prior to meeting the first candidate, compile a list of the attributes required. According to Dr. John Sullivan, you should turn to your top performers for inspiration. Ask yourself the following questions:
What makes them so good? What do they have in common? Have they accomplished similar achievements before joining your company? In what way are they resourceful? Which of their skills and traits make them so valuable?
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