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Best Practices: How to Prepare for a Technical Interview

By April 26, 2019 August 28th, 2019 No Comments

Looking for ideas on how to prepare for a technical interview? Learn the one critical thing you must do during the meeting.

How NOT to Prepare for a Technical Interview

The best IT staffing firms in Dallas all have one common objective during the technical interview – exchange the most accurate and relevant information as possible in the time available.

Because of the highly competitive nature of both IT candidates and tech recruiters, the most common mistake by either party as they prepare for a technical interview is to consider it an adversarial relationship.

A bad tech interviewer is convinced that almost every candidate is lying.  The interviewer will attempt to discover that lie and prove that the candidate is unworthy so they can reject them.  Each candidate is stealing time away from other tasks and is an imposition, not an answer to the company’s problem.

A bad tech candidate will prevaricate, misrepresent, or outright lie predicated on the notion that once they are “in,” they can “fake it” until they “make it.”  They believe that it is easier to obtain forgiveness than permission.  When they are let go because the lie is discovered, they always seem surprised because they have already “proven their worth,” even though they’ve done just the opposite.

Related:  Top 5 Candidate Lies

Interviewer: How to Prepare for a Technical Interview

IT staffing firms in Dallas will agree the key to a successful technical interview is consistency.  As part of the ritual to prepare for a technical interview, try to isolate and identify your personal opinions vs. the facts you gather.  However you perceive them, positive or negative, it doesn’t matter if somebody has a different shade of skin color, religion is flamboyantly gay, uses crutches, or even a wheelchair.  You need to focus on their talents and if they can do the job.

Of course, the interviewee needs to fit the corporate culture but don’t try to create a culture by selecting only candidates that align with your values.  If everyone in your IT department is the same, expect a plunge in creativity.

As an interviewee, you also need to have a set of questions that is the same for every category of technical interview.  Of course, you can go “off-page” to pursue interesting talent discoveries, but every technical candidate should answer the same questions, and if the questions lend themselves to it, rate the answers from 1-5 in terms how well they address the question.

The result is that you are going to have something that is directly comparable to another technical candidate.  It’s not up to your memory, indigestion you experienced that Thursday morning, or the fact that your baby is due any day now.

Candidate: How to Prepare for a Technical Interview

There is nothing more valuable than personal integrity.  Don’t lie because it will be discovered and you will be terminated.

Be like the golfer who would never take a Mulligan; who counted every single stroke; who would never take a gimme.  That one day, when he was playing a round all by himself and got a hole-in-one, there was no question about it when he walked into the clubhouse and announced it.

On another note, remember that although you’re trying to show them that you’re a good candidate for this particular technical position, it is also your opportunity to learn about the company and their IT department.  This is your chance to ask questions of the person directly in front of you who has close personal experience with the company.

So as you prepare for a technical interview, do some research to identify your interviewer’s area of technical expertise.  They’re qualified to interview you, so Google them.  Of course, you can try stock questions such as:

  • Why do you work here?  What attracts you to this place?
  • What is the worst part of this job?
  • What are the members of the team like?

…but if you go just a bit deeper, you’ll be able to ask questions that differentiate you from other candidates such as:

I noted that you introduced a new strategy last year and it has created a whole new market for the company.  What would it take for me to join that project?  I have some novel ideas about where it can go.

The Takeaway: Interviewing with IT Staffing Firms in Dallas

In these tips for how to prepare for a technical interview, we hope we conveyed the importance of remembering that the recruiter, interviewer, and candidate are all human beings.  We all have failings and biases that we need to recognize and compensate for.  Once we have those under control, the technical interview achieves its full value by exchanging information so that both the candidate and the interviewer can decide if this is the right position/person combination.

By doing it right, you get the most possible out of the interview.  It’s your best chance for success!

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