We’ve all been there: you’ve found the perfect job post, send in your application, and get an answer back–they want to interview you! The excitement quickly turns to dread: what if they ask you things you don’t know? Or what if they expect a level of experience or skills you don’t have?! What if you forget everything you know about interviewing?! These anxieties are completely normal and trust us, we’ve all been there.
But when it comes to these interviews, you don’t need to worry. The hiring manager saw your resume, was impressed, and thought you’d be a great fit. And they’ve already liked what they’ve seen on your resume, that’s why they’re interviewing you!
Put those doubts aside and start preparing for the interview. Yes, you should still prepare–you don’t know what will come up! To land that dream job, make sure you follow our tips and tricks for mastering technical interviews below.
Before, however, let’s break down the interview itself and what you can expect.
What to Expect During an Interview
Interviews can be intimidating, we get it! We’ve been there too. But the good thing is that interviews tend to follow the same general setup and the majority of interviews fall under just a few categories. Let’s dive right into the different types of interviews:
The first phone interview: you can expect your first point of contact with a company to be with an HR representative, who will give you some basic information about the company and role. During this call, you can expect them to ask you basic questions about yourself, your salary expectations, and any other relevant information regarding the role. Take the chance to ask any pertinent questions you may have about the role.
The first interview with your potential boss: if you pass the first phone interview with HR, you can expect to hear directly from your would-be supervisor. You’ll be asked to schedule an in-person or remote interview where you’ll have a better idea of the job, the day-to-day responsibilities, and get to share your experience and skills.
The technical interview: again virtually or in-person, you’ll receive a task from your potential employer and have to complete it within a certain time frame. The details of this assignment will vary, but we’ll get into that later!
The team interview(s): this stage can be a bit lengthy, depending on the size of the company and the role for which you’re interviewing. If everything went well with your technical interview, you can expect to meet with various team members to check overall compatibility and ensure that you’re a good fit.
It sounds like a lot and some interview processes can last a long time. But remain patient and stick to it–your dream job is just around the corner. All these interviews differ in length, style, and content, but they generally follow the same setup:
Greeting/introductions: as you’ll be meeting lots of new people throughout your interview process, expect to introduce yourself a lot. So much that you may get tired of hearing yourself speak! But every potential team member wants to know who they’d be working with, so expect to hear similar questions about your experiences, education, and skill set many times throughout your interviews.
Initial questions: with introductions out of the way, it’s time for some questions! The interviewer will ask you, the interviewee, questions. It’s pretty straightforward–there’s no need to stress! Answer confidently and honestly and you’ll be all set.
Deeper questions: it’s time to get into the real stuff. The interviewer will ask you about your more technical abilities and include situational questions to see how you’d react in the role.
Your questions: the interview will close with the chance for you to ask any questions you have–take advantage of this moment and ask about the company culture, expectations, and any other doubts you may have.
Okay, you got it–you know what to expect from an interview and what’s going to happen. So now let’s dive a little deeper into technical interviews and how to succeed at them.
Technical interviews are quite common in fields like engineering, science, and software roles, where your hard skills are absolutely essential to your performance on the job. Like we mentioned before, you’ve made it to this point because your potential employer is impressed with what they’ve seen and think you would be a good fit.
To prepare for the interview, we recommend:
Reviewing the job description for the specific skills that are required: the job posting is a great way to get an idea about the questions you might be asked and the things you’ll be expected to know. Make sure you practice each skill beforehand so you’re ready to show off your knowledge during the interview.
Researching the company: a quick internet search can help refresh your memory about the company’s mission, values, and purpose. You’ll also learn more about the services they provide, which will help you when solving problems during the technical interview.
Reviewing some of your best work: interviewers like to hear about actionable skills and sharing some of your accomplishments, along with data that backs up your claim, can help prove you’re a qualified candidate.
And during the interview, here are some of our favorite strategies to keep in mind:
Show the interviewer your thought process: you may want to wow the interviewer with your quick thinking and skills, but it’s best to go slow and explain each step of your thought process to the interviewer so that they understand why you’re making the choices that you’re making. They also want to see how you handle new and tough problems, so explaining how you work can help show you’re a great candidate.
Be honest: if you don’t know how to do something, be honest! It may seem counterintuitive, but a huge part of technical roles is learning from others and being prepared to take on new challenges. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or for some assistance if you need it–trust us, employers would rather you do this than pretend you know what you’re doing.
Provide multiple methods to solving the problem: in tech, there are usually a few “right” ways to solve a problem and showing the interviewer that you’re capable of viewing a problem from multiple perspectives can help prove your expertise.
Interviews can be daunting–we get it! But with these tips and strategies, you’ll be well on your way to landing that dream job. And if you’re looking for the skills you need to master that technical interview, look no further: Ironhack’s bootcamps teach you exactly what you need to land that dream job in tech. See you in class!