The technical round of an interview is used for the interviewer to assess your technical ability. It’s a way of shortlisting candidates on their ability and technical knowledge that will be needed for the job position. The employer can see your skills and abilities written on your CV but being able to clearly see what you are capable of can avoid hiring the wrong person for the job.
The interview tasks
You can be asked to take part in one or more challenges or tasks - It is likely that the interviewer will tell you about the tasks beforehand so that you have some time to practice and perform to your best ability on the day. It is likely that a technical interview will be one of the rounds in your interview and it won’t happen the first time you meet the employer. They want to know your true ability and sometimes giving you a task on the spot, with no time to prepare can cause unnecessary nerves and can seriously affect your performance. So, take the time you are given to prepare thoroughly.
You will tackle job related problems - You are unlikely to be given a task that won’t relate to the job you have applied for. It may be something that you won’t have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, but the interviewer seeing that you are up to challenges can increase your chances of a successful interview.
Prepare!! – Once you know that you are going to be taking part in a technical interview, practice and prepare. It’s not something that you would just want to walk into without taking some time to look over the task and do some sort of preparation. Give yourself the best chances and take a decent amount of time to look over the task. You may not be given the actual task that you will be solving on the day, they may just give you an outline and a practice question.
Talk the interviewer through it – Make sure you are thinking out loud and explaining your thought process. They want to know how you think. If you have different ways of solving the problem, talk through the different options you have before deciding which way to go.
Double Check - Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something is unclear or you need extra information for the task. Asking questions shows that you are thinking well and have good communication skills if something isn’t quite right. It shows how you may work with other engineers and how you would fit into their work environment. Always clarify exactly what the task is if you are unsure, they won’t criticise you for it.
What skills will they be looking for?
- Problem solving
- Analytical thinking
- Ability to present ideas
- How you handle feedback
- Technical knowledge
Presenting your work
After you have completed the task to your best ability, the interviewer may want you to discuss how you did it and why you chose to do it that way. Being able to present your findings and share with another engineer, shows that you are confident in your work. Openly discussing your work also leads to wanting feedback (Which the employer is more that likely going to give you). Being able to answer questions about your work and bounce around ideas shows great team work and ability to work well in a team. If you have any questions make sure you are asking them, it shows willingness to learn. But it is still very important to have some questions prepared as usual.
Technical interviews can be nerve wracking because the interviewer is assessing your ability to work for the company. However, if you are able to prepare well beforehand you can really ace the technical round of your interview. Try and use some of these tips and get to know the task very well before hand and you can have a very successful interview.