Types of Tech Interview Questions and How to Answer
If you are entering the IT industry, most likely, you will experience a technical interview. A technical interview is not like your typical job interview. While the two share some similarities, that are additional steps needed to prepare for your interview.
Depending on the company, a technical interview can have multiple stages. Not all companies will follow the same steps. Keep in mind the bigger the company, the more structured their interview process will be.
Phone screening Interview
The phone screen is the first step in the technical interview process. If you got to this step, it means your resume made an impression. During the phone screening, the interviewer will be verifying your qualifications. Have a positive attitude and show your interest in the company. For more phone or video screening preparation tips, click here.
Remote interview assignment
The interviewer will provide you with a hands-on assignment to test your skills before the main interview and final step. This assignment can be conducted in two ways. The first way is to complete the task over a video call. Alternatively, you might be asked to complete it independently by a certain deadline.
This is the final stage. Like a traditional interview, you will answer questions that will check your qualifications and your fit with the company. Along with the interview questions, you might complete what is known as the ‘whiteboard challenge.’ In this challenge, the interviewer will give you a question to test your technical and problem-solving skills. Don’t be alarmed. With adequate preparation, you can ace the technical interview!
For now, we will focus on the onsite interview and what type of questions you may encounter and how to answer them.
- “What certifications do you have?”
- “How do you plan to stay up to date with these certifications?”
- “Tell me about your educational background.”
Most likely, the interviewer will question your educational background. Share what schools you attended and all relevant certifications you have received. This is your time to very humbly brag about any achievements and projects that would be of interest. Don’t spare details and give a complete account of your educational experiences.
- “Talk about a past project, and what were your responsibilities?”
- “Provide an example of how you applied your technical knowledge in the real world.”
- “Tell me about a project you are most proud of.”
Behavioural questions are designed to seek out how you handled specific workplace scenarios. Using the STAR interview technique, respond by sharing a past situation, your approach to the task and the results. Storytelling is a great way to illustrate how you handle challenges in the workplace. The interview should get a sense of your work ethic and your compatibility. Your answer should align with company philosophies.
- “How would you ensure all departments are at consistent quality over a particular project?”
- “Describe a challenge you faced during a past project.”
- “If you were leading a project, what steps would you take to ensure accurate results?”
When answering a situational question, aim to show how you problem solve. Similar to behavioral questions, rely on storytelling through the STAR approach. Use legit examples from your past work or school experiences. Challenges in the workplace are unavoidable. A strong candidate is one who displays resilience.
Questions about Tech
- “What languages do you have experience programming in?”
- “Explain how you would use X program?”
- “Have you ever used X program?”
These types of questions look to get a feel for your competency in specific hard skills. The job description should provide what skills and technologies are required for the position. These are skills you should be well versed in or plan on learning before the interview. When responding, be straightforward, but also provide detailed examples of how you used a particular technology. Feel free to show your interest in learning new technologies and how you plan to train in them.
Many different questions could be asked of you in this challenge. It’s essential to prepare as much as possible. There is no such thing as being over-prepared for this section of the interview. The whiteboard challenge is to test your skills. Take your time to think as you don’t want to become flustered. Don’t be afraid to talk out your process. And especially don’t be scared to admit your uncertainties about the question. This test shows your problem-solving skills in action and how you would approach projects with the company.
Like any other interview, it’s always wise to follow up within 24 hours. Sending a simple email to thank the interviewer for their time proves your desire for the job and can leave a lasting impact.
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