What is a technical interview?
A technical interview is a specific phase in the hiring process in fields such as software engineering, computing, and other technological areas, where the candidate’s technical skills are evaluated. Unlike a traditional job interview, which might focus more on soft skills and general work experience, a technical interview focuses on the candidate’s ability to perform the job itself.
These interviews can take various forms, including:
- Coding tests and programming exercises.
- Discussion of technical concepts.
- Algorithm problem solving.
- Systems and architecture design.
- Practical or project exercises
What is the importance of technical interviews?
Technical interviews are essential in the technology sector for several reasons:
Technical skills assessment: Companies need to ensure that candidates have the technical skills required for the position. A technical interview is the best way to evaluate these skills effectively.
Verification of learning and adaptability: The technology sector is constantly changing and evolving, so it is important that candidates are able to learn and adapt quickly. Technical interviews can be useful to assess this skill.
Assessment of critical thinking and problem solving: Technical interviews often involve problems that require a creative solution and the use of critical thinking skills, which are essential in the technology sector.
What are its advantages?
In the technical interview, the recruiter can better understand the candidate’s professional trajectory, by being able to identify what he/she knows and what he/she has already accomplished in the area of expertise. In addition, this type of interview allows the recruiter, together with the manager, to identify whether the candidate’s knowledge and experiences match the company’s needs.
Types of technical interviews
What are the types of technical interviews that we can encounter most frequently?
- Coding tests and online programming exercises: These are usually the first stage of the technical interview. Candidates are given a problem and must write code to solve it.
- Platforms like HackerRank or Codility are often used for these tests.
- Live technical interviews: In these interviews, candidates must solve coding problems in real time, often sharing their screen with the interviewer.
- Projects or work tests: Sometimes candidates are asked to complete a small project or task, similar to what they might do at work.
- Systems Design Interviews: These interviews are most common for senior-level roles and focus on the candidate’s ability to design complex, scalable systems.
How to prepare for a technical interview
How do you prepare for a technical interview?
Preparing for a technical interview can be an intensive process, but here are some key steps you can follow:
- Understand the job description : Before you can begin to prepare effectively, you need to understand exactly what is expected of you. This means reading the job description carefully and taking note of the specific technical requirements, necessary skills, and responsibilities of the position. The job description will give you clues about what areas you should study and what skills you should demonstrate during the interview.
- Study the fundamentals of computing: Having a solid understanding of the fundamentals of computing is crucial for any technical interview. This includes algorithms and data structures, system design, object-oriented programming principles, networks, databases, and more. These concepts are the basis of many technical questions and will help you solve problems more efficiently.
- Practice coding problems: Platforms like LeetCode and HackerRank are great for practicing coding problems. They allow you to become familiar with a variety of problems and improve your problem-solving skills. Additionally, these platforms often have issues that have come up in real technical interviews, which will give you an idea of what to expect.
- Prepare for behavioral questions: Although technical skills are essential, it is also important to be able to communicate effectively and demonstrate a good cultural fit. Preparing for behavioral questions will help you highlight your soft skills, work experience, and ability to work as a team. You can do this by identifying examples from your work experience that demonstrate key skills such as leadership, conflict resolution, and teamwork.
- Research the company: Before your interview, you should research the company to understand its culture, its products, and its industry. This will help you answer interview questions more effectively and demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for the company.
- Conduct practice interviews: If possible, consider conducting practice interviews with a friend or mentor, or even using online interview practice platforms. This will help you get used to the pressure of an interview and get feedback on your interviewing skills.
General tips to be successful in technical interviews
What are some additional tips to be successful in technical interviews?
Prepare thoroughly: Before the interview, brush up on computer science fundamentals, practice coding problems, and familiarize yourself with any technology or programming languages mentioned in the job description.
Understand the problem: Before jumping to the solution, make sure you fully understand the problem. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to clarify any details.
Plan your solution: Before you start writing code, take a moment to plan your solution. Think about the steps you need to take and how they fit together.
Write clean and readable code: Your code should be easy to follow and understand. Use descriptive variable names, follow style conventions, and add comments when appropriate.
Verify your solution: After you’ve written your code, take a moment to verify that it works as expected. If possible, test your solution with several test cases to ensure it is correct.