Acing the Technical Interview

Have you ever wondered why you didn’t get a callback from the recruiter that interviewed you for a job role? You’re probably not doing something you should have done before heading to the interview. I’ll be writing about technical interviews where the stated purpose is to judge your technical aptitude and problem-solving style.

It is true that brilliant technical expertise can make you impress the employer in just one go but even the interviewer is aware that such cases are rare to find. Depending on the entity, the recruiter would prefer to hire someone who is creative and has innovative ideas than someone who only knows his algorithms. It is, in fact, one major reason as to why you should properly research about the job profile as well as the company, so you are aware of their requirements.

Interviewers might make you think they’re evaluating candidates strictly on their technical merits. They also evaluate closely how candidates talk about what they’ve done in the past as well as how they’re thinking and solving problems. 

How to prepare for a technical interview in 4 easy steps.

1. Select a project

Make a list of projects you’ve worked on that have had technical components. It could have been a project setting up an automated process, developing a new feature, or building an internal tool. Think about the projects you were most deeply involved with and the projects you have the most details about. Use these guidelines to help you pick what technical project you would talk about in your interview. Resist the temptation to pick a flashy project which you were involved with peripherally. Technical interviews are designed to get into the details, picking an impressive project that you can’t talk about in depth will set you up for failure. 

2. Do research

Once you’ve selected a project, review meeting notes and documentation from that project. Write down notes about the general overview of the project by answering these questions:

  • What problem was the project trying to solve?
  • Why was it important to solve?
  • Were there any technical issues that came up during the project?
  • What was the outcome of the project?
  • How did all the technical systems connect to each other?
  • What were the technical systems involved?

3. Focus on fundamentals.

The fundamentals of algorithms,  data structures, design patterns, object-oriented principles and the like tend to be the focus of many technical interviews. This means you will need to brush up on the technical aspects of your skill set and dive a little deeper into topics you have only general knowledge. Expect questions that cover everything from the fundamentals to higher-level concepts as well as logic problems and brain teasers. 

4. Practice the technical interview framework

Now that you have all of the content ready to answer the technical interview questions, practice delivering your answers. During a technical interview, it’s easy to gloss over small details that don’t matter and ramble on critical points, thereby making it difficult for the interviewer to follow your story.  When this happens, you won’t be getting the benefit of the doubt, especially where it’s important to highlight the right details. You have to put in some extra work in delivering your answers as interviewers evaluate your ability to communicate effectively.

An interviewer’s first impression is often a lasting one, it’s expedient you put into cognizance how you look/dress for the interview.  A technical interview doesn’t mean you should show up in denim jeans.  Rather, dress in a way that is professionally proper to the role for which you are applying

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re asked a question, make sure you understand it before diving in. If you don’t know the answer, that doesn’t mean you’re dead in the water. Whether you are a fresher or a professional with long-term experience, your technical screening round can be fun if you carry it with confidence and in the right direction.


There are 7 comments
  1. Nwabueze Okeoma Damian

    This is very helpful to me. I’ve been ignorant about this.
    Thanks a lot

  2. I love this article because of it’s accuracy in describing the need for adequate preparation before interview. I am motivated to share this.

  3. Fill out this field

    ……And this is why people don’t get callback from the recruiter that interviewed you for a job role??????? 👆🏾This ????????

    It’s totally unprofessional not to send a feedback email, oh we refer to inform you, this did not meet the standard, rather than disappear in thin air, when you clearly know time and effort was spent in a bit to attempt the project ….. atleast for the sake of “courtesy” totally disagree with this article then again your company ur rules……”don’t send feedback emails” great culture 👍🏾

  4. Nathaniel

    Very articulate and helpful..

  5. Vincent.E. Nwafor

    thank you
    This is very helpful to me.

  6. Michael Obilor

    Thanks for the insight, very much appreciated for sharing. I think it would be better if recruiters provide a feedback after job interview.

  7. Well done to the author. Love the content.

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