Regardless of whether you’re an experienced developer or on the hunt for your first job, technical interviews are one of the biggest challenges out there. They can be stressful, time-consuming, and nerve-racking. The pressure is higher for self-taught developers, and the process can be quite demanding simply owing to its multiple stages. Unlike a regular job interview, these sessions can last several hours and usually consist of at least 4 rounds.
However, just like any other test, you can ace it with the right preparation strategy. By knowing what to expect, you can tackle these interviews with confidence and minimal errors. Most of all, being aware of how they are conducted and what recruiters assess and expect from you, can give you a leg up. More importantly, it acts as a testament to your preparedness, which is a clear winning trait.
Here are 5 secrets to help you ace your technical interview in 2022.
Work with a specialized prep book
Technical interviews evaluate your subject knowledge, so it pays to have your fundamentals in place. This applies to both first-time job seekers and experienced professionals. Picking up a prep book has two main benefits:
- It refreshes your knowledge and reminds you of core principles, algorithms, data structures, or other such crucial information that may have slipped through the cracks.
- It puts you in the right frame of mind as technical interviews will test your problem-solving and critical thinking capabilities. Prep books are the best way to prepare for the intense requirement across a wide range of subjects.
Prep books can be found for a range of levels, interests, and specialties. You can even find advanced books to match your experience.
Be interactive during the phone screening
A phone interview is a sign that you’ve piqued the hiring manager’s interest, and that you have one foot in the door. Your technical skills and capabilities match the position you’re applying for, and now the recruiter will assess your soft skills. This is a common vetting technique to know if you’re a good fit.
Approach this stage with enthusiasm and showcase your excitement to be considered for the position. Being conversational and interactive is bound to bring in brownie points. While phone screening rounds don’t generally focus on your technical capabilities, it is always a good idea to be prepared.
Test your set up beforehand
Interviewers are most appreciative of a prepared candidate. Most interviews for technical positions are conducted remotely, especially considering the recent shift in practices. We recommend testing out your entire setup beforehand.
Check your system, run mock tests, launch applications you will require during the interview and check all your hardware. It’s important to make a good first impression, and this is a good way to ensure that you don’t run into technical difficulties during your interview.
To best prepare for these sessions, contact the hiring manager or whoever will be conducting the interview and inquire about the process. In some cases, you may get instructions via email on what to expect and have ready for the interview, so keep an eye out and ace it!
Approach the remote coding stage strategically
This is usually one of the intermediary stages before the next on-site interview sessions. Here, hiring managers will focus on your technical and analytical capabilities. Some companies may give you an assignment that can be completed in a few hours at home, and others may require you to code in real-time.
The approach will vary based on the company, but in all instances, your hard skills will be tested. To ensure that you don’t lose your way and make too many mistakes, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
- Think-out-loud when formulating a plan to solve the problem at hand, so that you can cue in the interviewer.
- Utilize the time given to you on a take-home assignment. A hasty project is no good if it is riddled with errors.
- Do not start coding right at the start. This is especially true during a real-time coding test. Take the time to strategize solutions that are sound in logic and approach.
- Voice your doubts if the platform allows you to. It showcases your ability to collaborate.
Prepare for common technical interview questions
In a typical technical interview, especially at the final stages, hiring managers will ask you a series of questions. The idea is to assess multiple aspects of a potential employee in order to get a holistic idea of the candidate and their capabilities.
Generally, these questions will be related to:
- Technical training
- Educational background
- Behavioral aspects
- Practical knowledge
- Technical experience and expertise
Some of the common questions from this diverse set of categories include:
- “What are your technical qualifications and how do they make you a good fit for this position?”
- “How do you keep yourself updated with the latest trends and innovations in the industry?”
- “Do you prefer working solo or as part of a team?”
- “If you had to improvise the approach to a project, how would you do it?”
- “Do you have any negative experiences when collaborating with others? How did you solve the issues at hand?”
- “Can you explain the benefits and downsides of working in an Agile environment?”
Put these tips to use not only to prepare for the technical interview, but also to stand out across various stages. Remember, these interviews are more than just an assessment of your technical capabilities. Hiring managers look for well-rounded people, equipped with both the soft and hard skills expected from a technical professional.
Preparation is key to success here and it gives you an advantage during the process. Another way to give yourself an edge when it comes to your career is to sign up for Talent500. The platform gives you control of your career growth and positions you for success on a global scale.
By signing up, you can also be part of a growing talent pool on the Global Talent Network and get access to exclusive benefits. Talent500 helps you realize your potential and gives you the tools to get #TwoStepsAhead. Sign up today and be a proactive part of your career growth.