The Enigma Guide: Technical Interviews
Many of our candidates will be asked to undergo a technical interview which means we receive a lot of requests asking for advice when it comes to what to expect and how to tackle the interview. As technical interviews are usually part of the process for the majority of our candidates, we thought it would be a great idea to provide you with our essential tips for technical interviews:
- BE HONEST ON YOUR CV
Technical tests and interviews are an assessment of skills and abilities you have stated on your CV. It is essential that your CV reflects your true capabilities, as this is very often the basis for the technical test which an employer will set for you. By being dishonest on your CV, you set inaccurate expectations of your skills from the employer, making you look worse off. If you have listed a skill on your CV, be prepared to talk about this experience in a technical interview.
- PREPARATION IS KEY
The recruitment process for many of our technology clients can consist of two or three stages, one of which is an online technical test. Correct preparation for this test can help you pass with flying colours, so take the following steps before your test:
- Ensure you are in a quiet, distraction-free place
- Ensure you have a strong and reliable internet connection
- Allocate enough time to complete your test
- Ensure you have everything you need to hand – any books or resources you may require
- Have a cup of tea, coffee or water and relax
- USE THE JOB SPEC AS A GUIDE TO TEST/INTERVIEW CONTENT
Employers will very often use the job specification which you applied to, to structure their technical interviews and tests. If the job spec stresses a particular set of skills this will be the focus of the technical questions. If there are certain skills listed as desired but not necessary, but you have it on your CV, again be prepared to be asked about it.
- PERSONAL PROJECTS
Clients love to see a candidate who is passionate about what they do – outside of work! If you develop personal games/ websites/ apps – bring examples of these to your interview. If you’re applying for a role which requires content creation bring in examples of your personal blogs and articles to show off your creative skills!
As Techcrunch would say: ‘There is no excuse for software developers who don’t have a site, app, or service they can point to and say, “I did this, all by myself!” in a world where it costs all of $25 to register as an Android developer and publish an app on the Android Market.’
- BE WILLING TO LEARN
Technology businesses, especially those which are smaller and more agile, can offer candidates experience across many disciplines. The best candidates are those who are willing to explore, learn, help others and collaborate on projects which could offer them more than they interviewed for! Be sure to give genuine examples of working across teams, and remember to ask for opportunities to do so in the role you are interviewing for.
- CLOTHING CULTURE
One of the most common questions we get asked is what to wear to an interview for a technology company. The culture at many digital, software and electronics companies does tend to be more relaxed and this is reflected in what they wear. Going for an interview at one of these companies you want to look professional yet look and feel as though you fit into the culture. Here is our advice:-
- Look at their company website/blog to get a feel for what to wear.
- Smart/casual is key.
- Casual does not equal dirty. Always wear clean shoes, t-shirt and jeans.
- Above all, be comfortable. You are being hired for your technical skill; not your ability to pick out matching shirts and shoes.
Not quite at the interview stage yet? Read our guide to CV writing and Cover Letters! If you have any other questions on technical tests, interviews or working in technology drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Get in touch at email@example.com to discuss how we can help you find the right candidates for your business.
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