How to Effectively Prepare for a Technical Interview

IT developer working with a desktop computer and two laptop computers.

You may be asked to do a coding assignment to show your skills during the interview process.

Interviewing for a technical position has some similarities with other kinds of interviews, but it also requires some different skills and approaches in order to excel. Here’s how you can effectively prepare to interview for a technical position, especially when you may just be starting your tech career.

Expect the Unexpected

A tech employer will be looking for you to demonstrate your technical skills in the interview situation, which means that you may have challenges and assignments as part of the process. A typical technical interview may involve these sort of tests so that the hiring team is sure that you can handle the work involved.

Being confident in your technical skills and able to execute them under pressure is essential, and technical hiring managers have learned the hard way that they need to get some proof before making a hire. You really don’t want to be given a job that you don’t know how to do, because you will very quickly become frustrated and create problems that could become serious if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Remote Coding Assignment

Unlike interviews in many other sectors, the technical interview will likely involve a remote coding assignment that you need to complete prior to a face-to-face interview. The coding assignment may be completed over the phone or via Skype, or may just be a homework-type assignment that you complete before the interview takes place.

The Whiteboard Challenge

One common part of many face-to-face technical interviews is the whiteboard challenge, which is a coding challenge that you complete in real time during the interview. This gives your interviewers another chance to see your skills in action and verify that you will be able to do the job if hired.

Two men working on a project together using a whiteboard and documents.

The whiteboard challenge helps to show your skills to an employer in real-time.

Other Unique Interview Features

Tech interviews may also include initial phone screens to determine that you meet the basic qualifications for the position as well as spending time on site to observe or perform tasks. You may be expected to meet with team members and other employees during the interview process to test out your compatibility with the team or allow them to meet you and form an impression.

Practicing Before the Interview

You may feel confident in demonstrating your skills through tests and challenges like these, but knowing that they are likely to be part of an interview will give you a chance to practice if you feel less-than-confident. Maybe you can partner up with a classmate or other tech-savvy friend who is also job-searching and practice on each other. Your school’s career center is another place to find help with interview techniques.

The more prepared you are for all aspects of the interview, the better your chances of furthering your tech career by being able to get better jobs for which you have become qualified by taking courses. PC AGE offers courses that lead to certifications employers want and sometimes require for employment.