Common job interview questions in Tech
In my recruitment career, I’ve crossed paths with many candidates from the IT and Technology sectors. Part of my job as a recruitment consultant involves preparing and helping candidates succeed in their job interviews.
In this article, I’ll be sharing common questions encountered by candidates during their job interviews for technical positions. I hope that going through these questions and preparing the answers to them beforehand will help you succeed at your interview.
Questions that test the candidate’s technical skills
Technical questions fall into five main types:
1: Specific questions pertaining to the candidate’s technical expertise
For such questions, the interviewer may go through your CV and ask you specific questions to test your level of technical expertise. These may be questions pertaining to programming languages such as Java, C++, Python, Go etc.
2. Whiteboard coding questions
These are mostly scenario-based questions such as:
· How do you develop a complex system?
· Can you go through with me the process involved in a XX project? Tip: For such questions, it’ll be ideal for you to talk about the steps in the project from the start to finish.
· What best practices do you follow when you do a XX project?
· What are the biggest challenges you currently face or have faced previously? Can you explain to me how you overcome them?
· What were/are your responsibilities in the XX project?
3. Questions related to developing complex algorithms and logic problems
For logic problems, the interviewer will be looking more at how you arrived at the solution, rather than whether your solution is correct. When you are asked such questions, don’t be nervous, take a minute or two to process your reply in your head, and be clear and confident in your communication. Provide details to the steps in your thought process and how it eventually led to your solution.
4. In-depth questions regarding systems design, data structure and computer science fundamentals
5. Online coding sessions
Increasingly, I see more tech firms arranging online coding or pair programming sessions for candidates interviewing for developer positions. Pair programming is a software development technique in which two programmers work side by side at one workstation on a single block of code. Such exercises test the candidates’ coding skills in their preferred language in a real-time environment.
Questions that test the candidate’s soft skills
1. What motivates you as a developer?
2. Why do you want to work with us? Tip: Share at least three reasons
3. What do you know about our company?
4. What is your career plan/goal in the next 3-5 years?
5. Why do you think you are suitable for the role?
6. Do you think you will be able to fit into our culture?
7. How would you be able to add value to the team/projects?
8. Do you have any questions for me?
- Always be prepared before you go for the interview. Research the company and derive at least 3 questions you want to ask the interviewers. Examples of good questions are:
- Can you share with me what is your experience working in this company?
- What do you enjoy most?
- What is the biggest challenge you and the team is facing now?
- What are your expectations of the new hire?
- If I came in and did a good job, what will my career progression be like?
- If you don't understand the questions asked by the interviewer, clarify before replying.
- If your answer involves making certain assumptions, make this clear to the interviewer in your answer and ask the interviewer if it’s a correct assumption.
- Be prepared for your coding assignment. Make sure you have installed the required software on your laptop.
- When answering questions, be as clear as you can and elaborate your thinking process. It is not uncommon for the interviewer to have different ideas, particularly for coding questions. Be open-minded as the interview is also an opportunity for you to learn more about the company, yourself and exchange views with the interviewer. Don’t get defensive when you receive feedback as this will leave a negative impression or indicate that you are not a team player.
- Listen carefully and show keen interest throughout the interview. Maintain good eye contact, smile and be positive.
- Brush up on your tech skills by doing quick coding exercises on LeetCode, HackerRank and Github.
- Submit your solutions only when you are 100% satisfied. Integrity and ethics are important too, do not copy solutions off the internet.
All the best for your interview! For comments and feedback, you can reach me at Stella.Li@evolutionjobs.sg.