Interview preparation is the key to success. For IT professionals, the interview process tends to be longer and more challenging. Many companies now offer hybrid or permanently remote tech jobs, which widens the candidate pool to professionals in other cities or overseas. Hiring managers need to be certain that their chosen candidate has the technical skills required to do the job, therefore the interview process is divided in to two (or more) parts:

  • An initial phone or video interview to establish your personality, experiences and qualifications.
  • A technical interview to establish your coding skills and problem-solving abilities.

Practicing professionalism and developing your interview skills could help get you through to the technical interview. Here are our top interview tips…

Interview Tips for Tech Professionals

1. Research the Company:

Whether you’re applying for Data Scientist, Software Engineer or Web Developer, it’s important to research the company thoroughly. This will help you craft meaningful questions for your interview and decide if the company is the right fit for you.

Take a look at the company website to learn more about their products and services, customer demographics and competitors. You can learn more about a company through:

  • Social media: A company’s social media accounts are a window in to company culture, activities and achievements. You can get a better understanding of the company’s values and priorities based on what they are willing to publicly share.
  • LinkedIn: Find out about new hires, promotions, vacancies, and company statistics. You may also be able to learn more about your interviewer, their job and career background. Do you have any common links that could help you build rapport, such as mutual connections or interests?
  • Glassdoor: Enables current and former employees to share honest feedback about their interview experiences, salaries, work environment and company culture anonymously.
  • Google and Google News: You may discover that the company is expanding or that they’ve formed a new partnership. This knowledge can help you determine company growth/success.

2. Practice Answering Common IT Interview Questions

Before the initial interview, research common IT interview questions online and practice answering them.

Most interviewers start with an opening question about yourself and your experiences, then gradually move on to more technical questions. Here’s how you should structure your answers to opening questions:

  • The past – what is your academic background and relevant work experience? How did you get to where you are now?
  • The present – what is your current role? What do you do and what are your top accomplishments?
  • The future – what are you looking to do next? Why are you interested in the position?

Practice answering common behavioural questions using the STAR method (explained below). Try to incorporate a relevant project you are most proud of in your answers to help explain your contribution/success.

3. Tackling Behavioural Interview Questions

A behavioural interview is a type of interview which tries to assess your past behaviour in order to predict your fit for the job. It means they want to hear stories about your past, which might indicate your ability to do the job you are interviewing for.

Thus the importance of being able to tell a story in relation to what you might be doing on the job, is one of the best ways to show them you are capable. You might have specific experience or achievement written on your resume that indicates, “Yes, I’ve done this before.” However, it’s unlikely that all of the details are spelled out on your resume, so greater context is necessary in order to explain the relevance. This is where your story telling powers come in.

Examples of Behavioural Interview Questions:

  • How do you balance focusing on your day to day tasks without losing track of the long term vision?
  • Tell me about a time you worked on a project that had impact beyond your immediate client/customer/organisation. How did you approach this task?
  • Can you describe a time when you had a conflict with someone at work? What did you do?
  • Tell me a time when you helped build a more inclusive working environment. What problems were you trying to address?
  • Was there a decision you made that wasn’t popular? What did you do?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you convinced a client to make a challenging decision? How did you do it?

4. Preparing Questions For The Interviewer

Prepare a few technical questions and generic questions that you can ask your interviewer. For example, you may want to find out what coding languages they use, current projects, or people you’ll be working with.

Some examples of generic interview questions:

Asking this question enables you to learn as much about the role as possible.  It will give you an idea of what the employer’s expectations are, and what skills and experience are needed.

The people you work with will inevitably impact your workplace experience, so it’s in your best interest to find out more about the team. Note down names of people you will be reporting to and working with so that you can do your own research later on

Asking this question will give you an insight in to the type of working environment, work-life balance and benefits on offer.

Enquiring about development opportunities shows the interviewer that you’re serious about your career and committed to a future with the organisation. It will also help you to assess whether a long-term career with the company is a possibility.

Asking about future plans reiterates your commitment to the company. The response you receive will give you an insight into the company’s progression plans and its place in the market, and a general idea about job security. You may also get a heads-up on any major upcoming projects.

The STAR Method Explained

@jonathanrhysrecruit Over 80% of tech companies ask behavioural interview questions during the interview process to determine if a candidate is a good fit. Practice answering these using the STAR method for better success! #interviewtips #interviewprep #recruitertips #starmethod ♬ original sound - Jonathan Rhys Recruitment

5. Setting A Good Impression

It is important you dress smart for any kind of interview, whether it is in-person or remote. This not only sets a good impression that you are a trustworthy professional, it will also help you get in the right mindset for an interview. If you’re ever in doubt on what is an acceptable dress code, ask the recruiter.

6. Practicing with Mock Interviews

Practice makes perfect – particularly with job interviews. Mock interviews help you practice your personal skills, such as communication and problem-solving.

However, for more technical skills, such as Computer Science and coding, you may want to use online resources. LeetCode, HackerRank, Codewars, and FreeCodeCamp are just some of the many useful platforms available that offer coding challenges and questions to help you practice. Try explaining your thought process and decisions making out loud as you solve each problem – interviewers will want to understand how you think. 

Remember, confidence comes with experience. As you progress in your career, you will develop your skills, broaden your knowledge, and become more experienced within your role – which will help you feel more confident. As your recruitment partner, we’ll be there each step of the way too!

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