They’ve done the small talk, found out ALL about your soft skills. Now? It’s time to tackle the tough bit – the technical interview.
Technical interviews are often elusive, and always nerve-wracking. Here we hope to demystify exactly what may be to come, and how you can prepare to ace it.
First timer? Here’s what to expect…
Technical interviews generally take between 30 and 60 minutes and are to be expected for most software engineering and developer roles. The one putting you through your paces will probably be a senior engineer, team leader or technical architect. And, contrary to what you’re probably thinking, they’re not actually there to see if you can find the solution to the problem before you.
Nope, they’re there to weigh up HOW you take an abstract problem and break it down – bit by bit.
Let’s be clear - this is about logic, reasoning and staying calm under pressure.
Tip #1 – Talk it through
Remember to discuss what you’re doing and why as you take each step – the interviewer needs to understand how you’re working your way through the problem – mentally dissecting it.
Tip #2 – Practice makes perfect (especially in programming!)
Don’t expect to be tapping away on your own laptop. Most technical interviews involve a whiteboard – so try to squeeze in a little practice on a whiteboard beforehand.
Having crunched the numbers, a study from HackerRank found that those committed coders who’d completed 20 challenges put in an interview performance scoring twice as well as those who didn’t.
Tip #3 – Take a hint
Study the job description – positions that involve a technical test will detail the technology, languages and tools that you’ll be expected to use (and use well). So polish up on them beforehand.
Tip #4 – Go back to the basics
Most technical screenings will home in on algorithms and data structures – the topics that you probably covered early on in your developer learning, so be sure to revisit these subjects.
Tip #5 – Don’t forget your portfolio and proposals
A notebook, your laptop and a link to your GitHub, samples, and network design diagrams – all of these things can help you to demonstrate that you have encountered (and overcome) imposing programming problems in the past. All in all, many a portfolio has served as a saviour from a technical interview that didn’t go as well as it could have.
We just KNOW that you’re going to blow them away at your technical interview (and if you’re still looking for your next position, you may want to search our current roles).
If you need any help feel free to get in touch with our team - email hello@