Technical Interview Preparation Checklist or Technical Interview Toolkit

Tech Interviews are generally the mammoth of all interviews. When it comes to kickstarting Technical Interview preparation, you may automatically enter into an inexplicable state of mind where you don’t know how or where to begin the preparation? Whether you are introvert or extrovert, experienced or fresher, prepared or unprepared – technical interviews remain unpredictable. The reason being, meeting entirely new people who can ask you any form of challenging question. Therefore, you don’t only need to focus on your theoretical tech-based preparation. But also prioritize other factors of the interview that generally appear easy to handle. However, it can really get you stuck.

Today, let’s review what the most common technical interview kickstart process is? This will help you to make up a state of mind as per the tech job interview norms that are generally adopted in organizations. Above all, this reading will also introduce you to an all-inclusive technical interview checklist. Hence, you don’t miss out or get puzzled at a sensitive spot during the interview. Let’s begin:

Specialization = Field of Work


Technical Interview preparation begins with – discovering a balance between what you are specialized at? Versus, what the technical job you are applying for especially demands? For example, if you are specialized in coding (programming languages) whereas the job is demanding competitive data structure skills, it can be an unbalanced situation for the candidate. Hence, ask the major question to yourself, can you handle data structuring? Are you good at it? And, are you ready to compromise on your career that could have been coding-based?

Thus, one of the first steps to begin technical interview preparation on LinkedIn is “applying for jobs that reflect on your specialization.” The reason being, if you pick a different field of work, you will begin to gain experience in the respective field. Therefore, it would be challenging to change the field ahead in the future.

Some may call it a pre-step that should be considered before the preparation. However, more often, candidates keep applying for the job out of discomposure. Thus, it is crucial to think of it.

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Learn about the organization


When you meet someone new, it is often to remain one step ahead. This is why you seek information about that person. What do they like and dislike? What are their life goals? The same concept goes with technical job interview preparation. It is simply better to learn anything and everything about an organization before you decide to step into their office for a job interview. What should you learn? Here’s a list of things:

  • Origin of the company;
  • Goals and objectives;
  • Noteworthy achievements;
  • High-end projects they are handling;
  • What is their business strategy?
  • What are they mainly acknowledged for?
  • Will you be a valuable addition? If yes, in what way?

You must know it!

How do you introduce yourself?


Soham Mehta, the CEO of Interview Kickstart mentions “All interviews generally kickstart with one statement/question, i.e.., tell me something about yourself.”

One of the greatest advantages of this statement is that it gives candidates an open field to play. How? Well! More often than not, interviewers have a pattern. They don’t ask questions based on what you have written on your CV. Instead, they carry out questions from your previous answers. Therefore, whatever you tell the interviewers about yourself, there are 99% chances that they will ask you something out of your answer.

So, in the introductory statement, candidates simply use resume-textual language. It gives an impression that they don’t want to even try for a fresh introduction. Don’t make such mistakes. Instead, innovate an introduction that tells the interviews about the following aspects:

  • Your Name and Where do you come from?
  • What have you done in the past?
  • Instead of naming previous employers, describe the projects you have done for them. For example, say, “I was a part of XYZ campaign, where I played a role as the Web developer, etc.”
  • You can also state how you helped in the successful implementation of the project.
  • You can also state how you can contribute to the new organization?

In this way, you will be willing to convey your best interest in the organization, that too, in the very beginning.

Polish your problem-solving skills


Have you ever wondered why technical interviews are such bugbears? Well! Here’s a simple observation, unlike other job interviews, technical job interviews Kickstarts with the introductory interview, On-site interview, Problem Solving, System Design, and Behavioral/Experience-based interview. These five aspects construct an ideal group of three interview stages for a technical interview. Now, the introduction is easy. In today’s era, it is commonly done over phone calls. But, when it comes to “problem-solving” or “practical interview,” you may face challenges. The reason being, it quite possible that you have forgotten how to do a mathematics problem due to a lack of practice after college? Similarly, if there’s a gap between your training period and interview timing, there are chances that you will require to polish your skills.

For problem-solving skills refreshment, you must focus on acquiring the best knowledge of all CS Fundamentals. It includes Algorithms, Coding, Design Patterns, Data Structure, Fibonacci series, and so on. It is not crucial to dig deep on every subject. You only need to acquire keen practical knowledge of the CS fundamental that reflects in the job roles and duties you have applied for.

For example, if you have applied for an Algorithm engineer or computer programmer, the subject “Algorithm” will be essential for you.

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Problem Solving- Where to begin?


This is one of the most crucial technical interview kickstart preparation LinkedIn tips that often candidates miss upon. Let’s say a candidate “practices, practices, and practices” for a problem-solving interview. However, in the race of becoming ideal at problem-solving, the candidate forgets to focus on the “surrounding” factor as well as the “interview panel” factor. To begin with, problem-solving interviews are not akin to solving a mathematical problem on a whiteboard. It is quite distinctive. The reason being, in a problem-solving interview, your score does not simply base on – whether you solve or problem or not. But it also matters how you solved the problem.

Therefore, while polishing skills for problem-solving questions, you must also focus on practicing the following:

  • Explaining the problem to the interviewers. (It reveals your thought process).
  • Clarity, if needed. (In case you didn’t understand the question or you have additional questions concerning it, you must clarify beforehand).
  • Don’t hesitate to “improve” your answer. If there’s a shortcut or new theory behind the “improvement,” explain it to the interviewers.
  • Don’t panic. If you are unaware of how to solve the problem? You can simply say, “I know the topic, but I am not sure how to solve this one. In case you fail to solve a problem, it will create a bad impression on your confidence that you displayed in the first place.

Be attentive to important topics that reflect practicality


To kickstart technical interview preparation, LinkedIn can distress you. A technical interview is 70% about your practical skills and how you can perform technical tasks for the organization. In that case, you will need to focus on three aspects: problem-solving, system design, and behavioral pattern. Thus, if you begin to keenly prepare on every subject that comes under problem-solving and system design, you will not be willing to see any end of the preparation. Thus, check out the following significant concepts that you must focus on:

  • Technical Communication: Are you aware of all the terms and languages?
  • Time & Space Analysis: it is employed by several organizations.
  • Programming.
  • Error-checking and ratification of errors.

The above four are just basic concepts to begin the preparation. Some subject-focused topics are:

  • Data Structure (Strings, Arrays, Binary Trees, Linked List, Stacks, Queues, Graphs, etc.).
  • Algorithms (BFS, DFS, DNC, Binary Search, Sorts, Recursion, etc.).
  • Object-oriented programming (specific to the programming language you ace at).

Don’t forget to dress for the job


How to dress for a technical interview kickstart? Well! First of all, don’t go overboard trying to look like Einstein. A myth or basically a stereotype goes around “for technical interviews, it’s best to dress like a Nerd.” well! It is funny. However, some may take it seriously. If you are one such candidate out choosing ideal nerd-friendly spectacles, don’t do it.

So, to begin with, one of the best accessories that you can wear on your technical interview is confidence. It is not a crime to put trust in yourself. Apart from this, a formal suit or formal blouse with trousers is the best to go with. Avoid introverting your body language. Keep it simple. Follow-up general interview etiquettes. Say your dreams and goals out loud.

How far are you willing to negotiate?


When it comes to a technical interview, the candidate forgets to calculate a rough estimate of salary (that he/she expects). During the final stage of the interview, the panel may or may not ask, what are your salary expectations? And, if they ask this question out of nowhere, you may feel speechless. This is why thinking of this “monetary factor” is crucial. When the question pops-up, the chances of negotiation are high. The panel may not nod to your demand. Instead, they will offer you a lesser amount. In that case, you must know how far you are willing to negotiate. For example, if the company is offering only $3,000 per month. Whereas you asked for $6,000. It can create an edgy situation for you.

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Technical interviews are rather unpredictable. You can never prepare for it 100%. But, even if you lack at some point during the interview, it is crucial how you pick yourself up and keep going. This Technical Interview Toolkit covers all forecastable factors of a tech interview.

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Published By: Souvik Banerjee

Souvik BanerjeeWeb Developer & SEO Specialist with 15+ years of experience in Open Source Web Development specialized in Joomla & WordPress development. He is also the moderator of this blog "RS Web Solutions".