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Preparing for a Technical Interview

It goes without saying, that plenty of research and a good night’s sleep help to make an interview successful. But, how can you ensure you make the grade when it comes to interviewing for an IT or technical position?

Salesforce solution First, you have to be prepared for anything, whether it is mock requirements gathering and solution overview, writing a specific piece of ‘code’, whiteboarding a complex technical solution, or just plain old Q&A. The key is that you need to be able to demonstrate that you have the right level of technical competency. In this respect, the two most important preparation tools are always going to be your CV and a Job Description, or understanding of the role advertised.

The interviewer will be looking for you to establish that you possess and are confident with all the skills listed on your CV, so it is important that you do not embellish too much!

Plus, they are going to want you to demonstrate that you will be able to fulfill all, or certainly most of the requirements of the role you are interviewing for.

It is therefore essential, that you prepare for any potential gaps in your knowledge and be honest with responses. Identifying skills gaps in advance will enable you to field these questions more successfully during the interview. Simply saying you ‘don’t know the answer’, is not the best way forward. Instead highlight where particular skills did not fulfill part of your current role or knowledge base, but answer what you can to show some level of understanding.

Aside from the obvious interview rules, which include; being on time, smart, honest and having positive body language, below we give you a quick run-down of the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of technical interviewing.

Do: Listen. It is very easy to become absorbed with the points you want to make next, that you end up not fully listening to the questions being asked. This could end up in you ‘fluffing’ your way through a questions and come across of lack of knowledge or uncertainty. Prepare a list of points you want to make during your interview in advance, and use this as reminder – that way you can give your undivided attention to the questions being asked by the interviewer.

Do Not: Underestimate soft skills. You might be forgiven for thinking that a technical interview was just that, but never underestimate those skills that form part of a character assessment. In today’s workplace, where people skills are just as important as your level of technical competency, it is inevitable that the interviewer will want to see how well you interact with other people.  Particularly for a role that will include contact with their clients.

Do: Avoid fillers. In order to appear confident with your responses, try to avoid uncomfortable silences or filler words such as ‘er’ and ‘um’. However, with complex technical answers, you may wish to let the interviewer know that you are taking a moment to consider before answering, to give yourself time to organise your thoughts and the response.

Do: Understand the question. Make sure you fully understand the question being asked, as this will help you to remain focused when answering. Going off on tangents could be perceived as a lack of understanding or focus, so try summarising any complex question back to the interviewer to ensure that you have understood the key points- and stick to these when answering.

Do: Actively take part. Asking questions as you progress through your interview is a great way of demonstrating that you are actively taking part. Intelligent questions, that have not yet been addressed during the interview, go a long way to demonstrating your interest in the role and company.

Do: Avoid conflict. If you find yourself in a situation where you answer a technical question incorrectly, never be dismissive or argumentative. Show respect at all times.

Do Not: Compete. You should under no circumstances try to compete with your interviewer, even if you have a much higher technical understanding then them. People tend to warm more to others that are self-deprecating, as long as it is not detrimental to demonstrating your skills, than those that comes across as a ‘know it all’.


2013-05-27T15:29:05+00:00 Careers, Work Tips|