The TRUTH About Tech Interviews
If you are reading this blog, I am sure you've been anxiously waiting to land a dream job, or your mind is constantly wandering, taking you to your dream company’s cubicle, cafeteria, employee engagement sessions, and whatnot.
** Snaps **
You come out of your La La Land, glaring at, “Hi, after reviewing your application, we are excited to move forward with the interview process...”
The thought of working with such talented people on cutting-edge projects excites you. But then, suddenly, that excitement turns into anxiety. Your palms are sweaty, butterflies in your stomach, and worst of all--you can't focus on anything but nailing that interview? Why does this happen?
It's because interviews are stressful!
But with over 20 years of experience in Silicon Valley, I am here to your rescue. In this blog, I’ll tell you how to overcome those fears and perform well in your next tech interview.
- The background on the interview process,
- What interviewers are looking for,
- and how you can behaviorally demonstrate that you are the right fit.
Let’s get started.
The interview process is meant to weed out candidates
According to Glassdoor each corporate job offer attracts 250 resumes. Of those candidates, 4 to 6 will get called for an interview, and only one will get the job. So, even as you get your interview notice, pat your back; you are already shining (and if you haven’t, you are still shining).
There are over one million technical jobs in the United States (based on data from Emsi Job Posting Analytics). That means that many people are trying to get that same position for every job posting! In most cases, hiring managers can't interview everyone--so they ask behavioral questions to weed out candidates.
Technical Interviewers are looking for specific qualities in the candidate
For technical positions, interviewers are seeking candidates with the behavioral fit. Behavioral fit includes technical skills and the person's behavior and ability to perform in a technical role. The STAR model is a heuristic for technical interviewers when they are assessing technical candidates and their fit. The STAR model was developed at Google but has been helpful for other technical institutions, including MIT, Raytheon, and NASA.
It's an acronym that stands for:
S: Situation or a Brief Background of the technical challenge
T: Task they had to solve. Steps they took and how they solved it.
A: Approach taken, and that approach was sound, even if the solution failed, i.e., candidates can explain technical answers in simple terms that the non-technical can understand (which you should practice). The context for data structures and algorithms is good here too! Are there side effects? Is this more efficient than other approaches?
R: Results--what were the results; did they achieve what was expected? How does it compare to other solutions? Did anyone take issue with their technical abilities/approach before, during, or after the project? If so, why/how were they able to overcome that?
There are many different types of interviews, but they all have the same goal: finding a qualified person for the position.
Everyone has technical skills. There are tons of technical certifications out there, and specialized experience can be obtained through technical internships or relevant courses (coding boot camps, for instance). However, the technical behavioral fit is subjective to the situation, and its examples include past technical challenges you have solved. It's helpful to explain your role on a project and how you overcame technical hurdles. Remember that technical behavioral fit is about technical challenges and how you overcame them (or learned from them).
What are some examples of behavioral fit questions?
- What technical challenges have you overcome?
- What are some technical projects that you completed successfully?
- Have you ever encountered technical difficulties while working on a project with a coworker, and how did each of you approach it?
- What is the area of expertise you would like to progress in, for example—coding, engineering, etc.? Do you have any ideas about what projects you might work on if hired by our company?
Prepare yourself with these three tips before your next tech interview!
**Prepare yourself with these three tips before your next tech interview! **
- Ensure you know the technical skills and technical behavioral fit desired for your interview.
- Prepare examples of your technical skills and technical behavioral fit to prove your technical prowess.
- Practice how to explain solutions in simple terms that non-technical people can understand.
Know the TRUTH About Tech Interviews before your Interview
To stand out from the crowd, you'll need to answer questions efficiently in a format that they're trained to look for in candidates based on the STAR model. A strong technical behavioral fit will stand out when answering technical interview questions, which will help you land your next technical job! Therefore, it's always wise to be as knowledgeable and ready as possible before an interview--especially when it comes down to your future career prospects! Fortunately, we've got just the thing for you: our online course will arm you with all of the skills necessary to master Tech Interviews. You can sign up today!