Technical Interview, How to Prepare and Crack It

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Start Preparing for the Technical Interview!

For coding bootcamp graduates or self-taught developers, technical interviews can be a dark abyss, and attending one can be stressful. The trick is to know what to focus on and what to say. Practice and be prepared. Technical interviews and code screening rounds can be intimidating especially because we have been wrongly conditioned to think that a candidate without a four-year degree in CS is the preferred candidate at technical interviews.

Before jumping to conclusions about technical interviews, remember that there is a surge of coding bootcamp graduates hired by IT companies. And they have been hired precisely for their ability to learn quickly in an accelerated course and work with programming languages required to crack the technical interviews. Trust me, once you’ve completed the technical interview you will realize it’s not too complicated.

Pre-Interview Checklist

Online technical interview with candidate and interviewer.
  1. Apply for jobs you aren’t familiar with: Don’t hesitate or stop yourself from applying to a job because you are not familiar with some of the requirements. You may not be an expert in all aspects of the industry but you can learn about it and get a hang of any new skill on the job!  
  2. Take a job even if doesn’t sound appealing to you: In the IT industry, you might surprise yourself by actually enjoying your new role, with your new colleagues in your new company!
  3. Don’t be afraid to move on from your job: Any experience is important to progress in the IT field. It is always a plus point to get your first experience as a developer on your resume and you can move on to other software developer roles in no time.

No matter what your educational background is, you can ace any technical interview when you understand the key factors that get you best prepared for a coding interview.

What to expect in a Technical Interview?

Understanding the probable questions or format, and preparing accordingly is one of the key factors to acing a technical interview. This attitude, preparedness, and confidence to apply your learnings, your critical-thinking, and problem-solving abilities will help you crack the coding or technical interview and prove to your prospective employer that you have what it takes to perform and also possess the ability to adapt quickly in any role they place you in.

Do you want an exciting and well-paid career in tech? Learn to code with us and have access to mentors 24/7 who can help you start your new career. Visit TECH I.S. today to learn more.  

What is a Technical Interview?

Unlike other non-technical interviews, a technical interview’s main objective is to gauge and reach a quantifiable measurement of your coding abilities. It is a well-designed set of interviews without any unnecessary trick questions or riddles. A technical interview is an actual evaluation of your skill proficiency, and code application, where your ability to apply your critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and communication also places a pivotal role in getting selected.

Laptop with notebook and pen to make notes, cup of coffee.

Many hiring managers who have conducted coding interviews mentioned that the focus is on how you approach and solve real-world problems, your ability to solve coding challenges, brainy quizzes, word games, and puzzles, in addition to your coding skill proficiency. Technical interviews are like exams involving coding assignments, and not just a mere back-and-forth of question-and-answer type of interview.

Truth about Coding Interviews

The good thing is that, in a coding interview, you have to prove to the prospective technical interviewer that you can apply your coding skill effectively, and has a straightforward approach.

Imagine that there are two candidates narrowed down after the technical interview; it is not the college degree that helps you get an edge here, but your level of proficiency with the programming languages that give you the edge to get selected in the technical interview.

These coding interviews usually cost the company a high sum of money and they have to ensure that skill knowledge overrides a fancy degree!

No matter which college you may have graduated from if you do not possess the proficiency; you are a bad hire, and bad hires tend to be costly, inefficient waste of resources, and time, and quite simply – bad business! Therefore, technical interviews focus on calibrating your dexterity with the skills you have learned at the coding bootcamp. Your ability to get the job done is valued much higher than your educational background!

Related: How To Become A Coder: A Simple Guide

Formats of Technical Interviews

Face-to-face technical interview

Plan out your code prior to writing it out your code. Ensure that you’ve completely figured out the guidelines and prerequisites. Regardless of whether you think you have it, rehash them a few times prior to beginning, and after you’re done with the test, to ensure you’ve hit each prerequisite.

  1. A Phone Call or Video Screening: The organization preferred your resume and wants to know more about you. This brief and casual screening stage is intended to check whether you are qualified and suitable for the role. The initial stage of the technical interview is where they decide if you are eligible for the following rounds of the technical interview. 
  2. Assignments or Homework method: This round in the technical interview involves programming or logic problems for you to finish before qualifying for the in-person interview. A great way to limit the number of applicants going to the next round depending on qualified and unqualified candidates in terms of coding abilities. 
  3. A Remote Technical Screen: Sometimes this round is not necessary for many companies. However, this part of the technical interview often includes a screen share and pair-programming scenario, where you will work together with an interviewer through a problem or a set of problems.

Video or Web-based Interviews: Video interviews or web-based code editors such as CoderPad, Collabedit, and Google Docs are some of the things you must familiarize yourself with, as they are a standard method of technical interviews todayThis might be a hindrance for some, however, feel comfortable keeping your interviewer updated if you are having internet issues.

Technical Interview Prep Process

friends sitting and discussing with their laptops

Functionality testing: ensure that the remote technology functions well in advance, and ensure your device, internet connection, back-up, etc., is in great working condition!

Keep your personal tabs closed or minimized: You’ll most likely be screen-sharing, and eliminate clutter on your computer’s desktop.

Keep your portfolio ready: As a developer, your portfolio is the best platform to showcase your skills and how you have used them. A link to your GitHub repository, and samples of projects you’ve worked on – all these serve as a real-world example of what you have done and what you can do.

Hide the notifications till the interview is completed: It can be very distracting to both you and the interviewer if there are messages from your WhatsApp or other platforms popping up during the interview, it can send the wrong message.

Real-time coding challenge: Feel confident to speak up and discuss and engage the interviewer if possible, and give the interviewer the chance to give you hints.

Soft Skills are Important Too!

Clear articulation and communication: Your ability to articulate with clarity and explain your thoughts or process displays that you can be a great fit into the team and help with the progress and projects where your communication is crucial to the clients. 

Screen the job listing: the job description is a heads-up for you as an applicant for a technical role to get the first look into the technical skills that the company requires. Make sure you really understand the technical requirements outlined in the job description, this will also be the skills they will test you on. 

Ask Questions: It is important to ask the right questions, to ensure you answer with the right information – Be honest. Do not panic: during the technical interview, if you don’t have the right answer, your best bet is, to be honest about that. What not to do; Lie about your knowledge of a particular skill they asked you to talk about. Instead, as a probable positive answer, you could talk about how you are familiar with similar skills, however, it’s not coming to your mind immediately. Engage your interviewer and show yourself to be a resourceful, and honest candidate.

Technical Interview: Follow-Up and Thank You Note!

thank you note

As a general practice, it is a great idea to send a “Thank-you” note to your interviewer, addressing by their name. Add the highlights of the interview, and what you liked or enjoyed during your technical interview, and subtly also convey why you’re the perfect fit for the job role and anything else you may have wanted to add during your technical interview for did not get the chance to. Stay positive and get ready for your new role as a developer!

Get Expert Advice on Technical Interviews

TECH I.S. graduates will happily vouch for the expert Job Support they have received from our career counseling team. TECH I.S. provides full support during the preparation for technical interviews for our students to understand and familiarize themselves with the process, formats, and all the other mentioned key factors involved in a technical interview.

With our mock interviews, hack-a-thons, and pair-programming practice sessions, TECH I.S. students are well-prepared and know what to expect during a technical interview.

Planning a Career as a Developer?

If your goal is to start your career or change careers in the IT sector, and interested in web development or data science, TECH I.S. is the place for you, with their project-based learning, you can go from beginner to expert level of coding proficiency and ace technical interviews confidently.

Get started today on our Development Course completely free, and launch your first code in minutes!

Can’t find the right coding course? Don’t worry, our Coding Bootcamp is just what you need. Visit TECH I.S. for more information.