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How To Prepare For Technical Interview

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Be A Conversationalist And Prepare To Ask Questions

How to prepare for your Microsoft interview: Technical Interviews

In addition to being knowledgeable and showing demonstrable skills, being able to communicate with people professionally is important. Doing things like talking through your work, providing thorough, on-topic answers and arriving at your interview prepared to ask questions can make a big difference when it comes to moving forward in the process.

To better prepare for the conversation, have a few questions you’d like to ask the interviewer ready. This will likely require additional research on your part. Take some time to review the company and job description before the interview, and jot down any questions that arise. It’s also customary for candidates to hold their questions for the end of the interview, so consider that before jumping into your own pre-scripted questions.

Dont Dwell On Mistakes

Be comfortable asking questions and asking for clarication. If you make a mistake, dont let it aect the rest of the interview. Youll have the opportunity to answer many questions and the interviewer will often forgive a single mistake. When something goes wrong, move on and focus on the rest of the interview. If you dont know the answer to a particular question, just be honest about it. Try to engage the interviewer so you can learn more about the topic and/or explain where you could nd the answer.

How Prepared Are You For Your Technical Interview

You’ve spent those past years dreaming of the day you become a software engineer. The hiring department or tech manager has requested an interview , you’ve passed the phone screen/HR interview, and now it’s time for your technical interview. Preparation is everything. From learning and studying computer science concepts, to reviewing past code and projects, to knowing what to say and how to say it, each step will help you best prepare you for your technical interview.

After your interview, take time to reflect on your interview and how it went. Take time to make notes on questions asked, topics discussed, and think about how you can refine these steps for your next technical interview. And then after that, take a break and pat yourself on the back for a job well-done.

Also Check: Prepare For System Design Interview

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

After The Technical Interview

How to Prepare for 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.

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Practice For The Interview

Many technical jobs are based on mathematics. To prepare for the practical elements of a job interview, like take-home work or in-person problem-solving, you can practice logical equation strings that make sense for the position. Thinking out loud can help during this process. Not only is it a good way to stay engaged while solving complex problems, but it’s also important for interviewers to know your thought process. That being said, try thinking out loud while you solve practice problems to better prepare for your technical interview.

If you’re going into a coding position, you should practice answering coding questions. Several online resources offer coding interview questions and answers including Indeed Career Advice. You can also practice answering questions from experience using the STAR method of answering interview questions, which asks you to consider sharing a challenging experience and your role in solving it, as well as the outcome.

While you’re practicing questions for all sorts of scenarios, review the kinds of general interview questions about skills and behaviors that you’re likely to have at an interview. These will be key to securing your technical job, so you make sure you spend time on them.

Related: Scrum Interview Questions and Answers

Four Interview Mistakes To Avoid

Now that you’ve practiced your presentation and refreshed your technical skills, consider these last four pieces of advice for going in for your interview.

  • Don’t stretch the truth about your skills. “If your Python skills are beginner level but an expert is needed, be honest,” Johnson said.
  • Don’t Google the answers to a technical challenge because interviewers will be able to tell. “You need baseline technical expertise to be successful but the idea of this exercise is to ultimately test your problem-solving skills,” Walters said.
  • Don’t bad-mouth previous companies you’ve worked for. “Being gracious about previous employers, even if you did leave on poor terms, will reflect well on you,” said Hill of The Blueprint.
  • Finally, don’t get too discouraged if the process goes poorly. “At the end of the day you want to work with great people, and if their interview process is unreasonable, that’s likely not the only idiosyncrasy in their structure,” Canonical’s Niemeyer said. “Keep looking, as there are other great organizations out there that are worth working with.”
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    Familiarize Yourself With The Format And Types Of Questions

    First, if the recruiter has sent you material on preparing for the interview, be sure to review it closely. Also, check to see if the company has interview prep information on its website. If you are not sure of the format, ask the recruiter.

    Questions will focus on the types of skills youll be using on the job. They can range from the core fundamentals to higher-level principles.

    Many technical questions are based on your own experience. Did you create a game for a class project and put it on your resume? Be ready to talk about your technical tasks, challenges, and contributions.

    Although some companies are entirely removing them from their interview process, you might receive a brainteaser during technical interviews. These questions assess your problem-solving abilities, comfort with ambiguity, and quantitative skills. Share your thought process and problem-solving approach out loud, and try to enjoy the challenge.

    The Best Preparation For Technical Interviews Are Practice Questions Consider Using The Following:

    How to Prepare for Technical Interviews
    • RocketBlocks: An interactive, skills-based web application that helps students prepare for case interviews in consulting, product management, product marketing and strategy + biz ops. You can create an account with your email address. The access code can be found in Yale Career Link/Career Library/OCS Instructional Guides.
    • Cracking the Coding Interview: Information on the book as well as interview prep sheets.
    • Practice interviewing with engineers from Facebook, Google, and more anonymously!
    • HackerRank Interview Preparation Kit: Includes interview tips, advice, and practice challenges.
    • Tech Interview Handbook: Carefully curated content to help you ace your next technical interview

    Also Check: System Design Interview Preparation

    What Happens Once You Have A Company’s Attention

    Getting the attention of the company allows you to talk to the recruiter about your background and whether the position might be a great fit for you.

    If it is a great fit then you will go through several interview processes. Below is an example of some types of technical interviews you might go through.

    The Challenge With Conducting Technical Interviews At A Growing Company

    “Imagine you had a hiring target of doubling your team size and all your interviews are conducted remotely. Welcome to GitLab,” says Clement Ho, frontend engineering manager on the Monitor: Health team at GitLab.

    GitLab more than doubled the number of hires from around 400 in 2019 to roughly 1300 by end of 2020.

    We identifed three core challenges with orchestrating technical interviews as GitLab grows.

  • We didn’t have enough interviewers for the pipeline of candidates.
  • Our technical interviewing process was inconsistent and even a little biased.
  • It was difficult to measure whether or not we were raising the bar.
  • “And by raising the bar, I mean making sure each candidate that joins the team makes the team better,” says Clement.

    These problems are by no means unique to GitLab. Any engineering company that is scaling rapidly will encounter some growing pains when it comes to hiring, and many will end up falling back on some of the typical models for conducting technical interviews.

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    Bonus Trick #: Do All Of The Other Interview Prep

    If you’re feeling under-prepared, or this is your first tech interview, do some prep work until you feel comfortable.

    Read books like Cracking the Coding Interview or practice algorithms and puzzles on HackerRank.

    Read the other great posts on Developer News about interviewing.

    If you’re interviewing for a full-stack role, be prepared to setup a new project or test file with test suite from scratch.

    Research the company, be ready with great questions about the company or the day-to-day work, etc., etc.

    How To Choose A Path

    How to Prepare for Technical Program Manager (TPM ...

    As we discussed earlier, there are multiple paths that one can take after completing ones degree in B. Tech. Therefore, it can be entangling to choose one of these. Here are some points that you should keep in mind to decide on one option.

    • Start early: If you already have an interest that fits as a skill for one of the roads that you can take, you are set to prepare for it. But if you are unsure and want to explore all the paths, you must start doing so as early as possible so that by your final year you can focus on preparing for one and excel in it. Point three discusses how exactly you can explore all the paths.
    • Identify your interest: Once you have explored many options, you should be able to identify one area of interest or one area that draws you the most. Without hesitating, you should start preparing for pursuing this area of interest as early as you can.
    • How do I explore?: Internships and experiences are the straightforward answers. Take up internships, starting from your initial years of degree only and explore what portfolios in an organisation interest you. Research and talk to people whore in those portfolios. This will surely help you form a good view of all the possible paths you can undertake.

    Did you know?The candidates who clear the TCS Digital Written Test Online are only invited to attend the subsequent rounds that are the Technical Interview Round and HR Interview Round.

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    How To Make A Great Impression In A Technical Interview

    Technical interviews are common during the recruitment process for roles that require a very specific skill set, such as software engineering or data analysis. A technical interview will vary depending on the organization but may include a behavioral descriptive interview , analytical algorithms/coding section, and a predictive modeling case study, Allstate describes of the process. If youre invited to a technical interview, expect to dig deeply into your technical skills!

    Allstate looks for three main things in candidates during technical interviews: an analytical mindset, communication and collaboration skills, and potential for growth. Most organizations that conduct technical interviews will be assessing these same qualities! Here are some top tips that Allstate provides to incoming technical interviewees to help them put their best foot forward during the allotted time.

  • Focus on the details: Be prepared to talk in detail about technical skills and knowledge listed on your resume.
  • Stick to what you know best: Code in the language you are most comfortable in, whether thats Python, R, SQL or something else.
  • Telldont just showyour work: Coding interviews are different than working in isolation. When completing practice problems, also practice explaining your techniques and thought process while working through a coding solution.
  • Ask clarifying questions: You may not have all the information you need to come to an answer right away, and thats okay!
  • The System Design Primer

    The System Design Primer is also a free GitHub repository created by Donne Martin, an engineer at Facebook.

    If youre past entry-level and have at least a few years of experience, your interviews will likely involve system design questions as well.

    When youre a novice, employers grill you on algorithms and data structures to ensure that you have fundamental problem-solving skills. However, as you become more senior and grow in your career, the ability to design systems, especially at scale, becomes increasingly important.

    The repository contains various vital concepts such as caching, CDNs, database replication and sharding, and plenty more.

    Its an excellent resource for mid-level software engineers and higher!

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    Learn Data Structures And Algorithms

    This is something you cant even think to avoid preparing before going out for a tech interview in any of the leading IT giants. Data Structures and Algorithms is the most preferred skill by these tech companies, and they significantly assess the candidates in the interview based on their understanding of Data structure and algorithm concepts. It not only allows the interviewer to assess your technical skills and knowledge but also shows your problem-solving skills to him/her. You simply can start to learn Data Structures & Algorithms from the basic concepts like Array, Stack, Queue, Searching, Sorting, etc., and then gradually move towards the advanced concepts like Hashing, Tries, Greedy Algorithms, Dynamic Programming, and others.

    Also, youre not only required to learn these DSA concepts theoretically but youre recommended to implement them also by solving various programming problems for better understanding and proficiency.

    Types Of Technical Interviews

    How to Prepare for Technical Interviews, Part 1 – Coding

    The tech industry is known for having one of the most varied and challenging sets of technical interview formats. These formats can generally be broken down into two categories, academic and practical:

    Academic formats test fundamentals and concepts via abstract challenges, similar to testing in a school setting. Practical interviews evaluate candidates against more real-world problems, indicative of what they may be faced with in their actual job role.

    As the industry improves its processes, it has begun shifting towards more practical formats. However, academic-style evaluations are not uncommon, especially among tech giants aiming to hire only the best and brightest.

    Lets take a look at the different ways that technical interviews are administered and what classification they commonly fall under:

  • During the first or second call screen, expect a series of trivia-style technical interview questions with black and white answers, serving as an initial filter. These questions will generally cover basic academic concepts plus practical domain knowledge and should be easy to answer if youre suited for the position.
  • Take-home: A practical exercise typically completed within a day or two of being given. Expect to complete a basic app or task in the tech stack used by the organization youre applying to. With this type of test, pay attention to code quality and standards.
  • Once armed with this information, you can focus your preparation to match the format.

    Recommended Reading: Best System Design Interview Prep

    How Are Technical Interviews Organized At Faang Companies

    Every company has a different way of organizing technical interviews, even though there may be some overlap in rounds of an interview or its core components. The interview processes also vary within the company for different job positions.

    Here, we walk you through the organization of technical interviews in FAANG companies. This is, of course, from a broader perspective, and there will be changes in the details depending on the role, department, business function, and interviewers.

    So, letâs begin.

    What Is A Technical Interview

    Unlike other types of interviews, tech interviews involve challenges and assignments. Theyre more like an exam than a typical question-and-answer interview.

    Like the phrase Show, dont tell, you have to prove that you have the skills required to do the job, rather than just tell the interviewer that you have them.

    Contrary to popular belief, the purpose of the technical interview is not to trick you with riddles, brain teasers, or impossible questions. Instead, its to see how you tackle real-world problemslike the ones you might be facing once you have the job!

    Also Check: Design Interview Preparation

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