Four Things To Consider Before Your Next Technical Interview
No matter how experienced you are, whether you’ve been developing software since the floppy disk days or you’ve just flipped your tassel as a new code school grad, technical interviews are intimidating.
Not to worry, though. We’ve interviewed folks from a myriad of positions in the tech industry, and there are things you can do to nail your next technical interview. Keep reading on if you’re looking to jump the hurdle between you and your dream job.
Know the Company
Most interviewers assume you know enough about their company to carry on a conversation about their work and what has drawn to you to them. Make sure you do your research before heading into the interview room and know the company.
Some things to know are:
- Mission Statement
- Previous Work
Knowing something about the company will show the interviewer that you’re actually interested in the work the company is doing and in turn will be a long-term employee if hired.
Prepare for Anything
In a technical interview, the interviewer is likely looking for how well you are at problem-solving. So, be ready to be asked to start writing code right then and there or even to solve a riddle.
Here’s an example of a riddle Microsoft asks their interviewees:
Q: You are given two ropes and a lighter. This is the only equipment you can use. You are told that each of the two ropes has the following property: if you light one end of the rope, it will take exactly one hour to burn all the way to the other end. But it doesn’t have to burn at a uniform rate. In other words, half the rope may burn in the first five minutes, and then the other half would take 55 minutes. The rate at which the two ropes burn is not necessarily the same, so the second rope will also take an hour to burn from one end to the other, but may do it at some varying rate, which is not necessarily the same as the one for the first rope. Now you are asked to measure a period of 45 minutes. How will you do it?
A: Light both ends of rope A and one end of rope B. After 30 minutes, rope A will be completely burned up and there will be 30 minutes of rope B left. Light the other end of rope B; it will burn up in 15 minutes. Total time elapsed since starting the ropes on fire: 45 minutes.
Speaking of problem-solving, go into your basement and dust off that whiteboard. The best way to calm your fears of being put on the spot to solve a problem is to do it over and over. Add some pressure by giving yourself time constraints and invite over friends to watch your every move. After a while, solving complicated problems with an audience will seem like a breeze.
Show Your Personality
You’ve had a conversation about the awesome things the company is working on and why you want to be a part of it, you’ve shown you’re quick on your feet and capable of solving problems like a pro. Now it’s time to show your interviewer that you’re more than just an all-business software developer—you can work in a team setting and communicate with others effectively. Don’t be afraid to smile or laugh, either. Letting your personality shine through will help ease the tension that you, and maybe even your interviewer, are feeling.
Nailing Your Technical Interview
Interviewing is stressful and difficult for many people, so don’t feel alone with your jitters. If you educate and prepare yourself as much as you can, you can go into your interview with confidence, knowing that you’re giving it your all.
Think of each interview as a training session. Use each mistake or success as a building block in your foundation of being an excellent interviewee.
If you’re in the tech space and are looking for new opportunities, check out SOLTECH’s open positions.