Technical Interview Questions

Use technical questions to assess programming and engineering skills.

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How technical interviews can work for you

Technical interviews require specialized know-how of software and tech-language. 

To make sure you ace your next tech hire:

  • Figure out what basic tech skills are needed.
  • Use questions that test for these basic skills.
  • Ask managers what to expect from candidates’ answers.
  • Include a written coding assignment in the hiring process. Remember to let them know it’s coming and email detailed instructions. Give them time and be clear about the deadline.
  • Look for how candidates apply theoretical know-how on the job.
  • Delve into their resume examples. Ask them detailed questions about past projects.
  • Choose the right questions based on the role level.

Top tip: Ask about specific experience related to your company software to see how they’d perform on-the-job. 

Technical interview questions

For entry-level roles

  • What are your favorite programming languages?
  • How would you ace the troubleshooting process for a crashing program.
  • How can you debug a program in use?
  • What area are you pro in and where do you want to learn more?

For senior-level roles

  • Tell us about a time you’ve aced improvements to an IT infrastructure? 
  • How do you best gather user and system requirements?
  • How’s your layman speak? Have you ever had to share with a non-tech audience? How did it go?
  • What do you focus on when reviewing somebody else’s code?

Assignment review

  • What would you have changed if you had more time?
  • How would you have coped with a deadline you couldn’t meet? What would you prioritize?
  • What were your two most challenging things about this assignment? How did you complete the assignment?

Resume review

  • Have you ever used [a particular] software?
  • Tell me about your previous project. Who did you work with and what was your role? How did you meet the deadline? What did you learn?

Candidates to look for

  • They’re up-to-date: Look for candidates who follow tech trends, test new software, attend coding meetups and are into tech forums and blogs.
  • They have experience: Test candidates for answers that show how they perform in real-life projects.
  • Out-of-the-box thinking: Innovative solutions reveal a creative mindset needed for the role.

Candidates to avoid

  • Unclear answers: Candidates who can’t explain their resume might not be honest about what they’ve actually done (or not).
  • Uninterested: If they can’t talk passionately about side projects or their favorite tools they might not be very committed to the field.
  • They’re inflexible: No candidate will know everything, but if they can’t adjust to your way of working they might not be a great culture fit.
  • Bad team players: Even if they have an independent role, candidates still need to communicate with the wider team. Poor team skills, rudeness or arrogance indicate a bad team player.
  • Poor initiative: Avoid candidates who lack a proactive mindset or who don’t show an innovative spirit.

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