Developers
July 1, 2020

How to Prepare for a Technical Interview Remotely: Tips for 2020

Having the right mindset for a technical interview and understanding the problem-solving skills an organization is seeking is key to getting past this assessment and getting hired. Here are some tips and mindfulness exercises to get you there.
Source: Unsplash

The technical interview is arguably more difficult than a general interview, whether remote or not. For our sakes, we’ll go through some of the specifications of a technical interview, how to prepare, and what to expect for this round of interview(s).

How it works

The objective of a technical interview is for the interviewer to shed their technical knowledge and expertise on the subject matter that is explicit in the respective candidate’s CV. Make no mistake, this is not an informational interview on where you grew up or getting to know a candidate, this is a more serious interview that is meant to assess a candidate’s skillset, usually under pressure, with a given time limit. Assessments can be given on technical interviews and the questions are meant to get progressively harder.

Usually the way in which this is conducted is through a technical phone screening and then an invitation for an on-site assessment that could last anywhere from four to six hours. It is important to understand that the phone screening for technical interviews are an opportunity to talk up your hard skills and not to engage in personality type answers.

Going through your resume and being comfortable with the theory and hard skills (such as Coding Languages) you know is the first step for how to prepare for the technical interview.

Here are some other tips and tricks to successfully navigate the technical interview:

1.     Make sure that the skills you have listed on your resume are honestly the skills you can present during a technical interview.

2.     Do a practice interview. Get out a sheet of scrap paper, go to a sample technical interview for coding or something IT based, and become familiar with the timing of questions, the progression of difficulty, and the methodology that is needed to answer each question.

3.     Plan accordingly. You might be able to pull off a general interview at any time during the day, as it might be easier to “charm” your interviewer even if you are running on less sleep, but a technical interview is different. Make sure you are taking the technical interview when you are well-rested and have zero distractions.

4.     Go to the company website before the technical interview. If there is one way to get a better idea of what Coding languages you will need to know or what technical skillsets are desired, they will usually be featured on an organization’s website in some form or other.

5.     Pace yourself and show your approach. Don’t take too long on any one question and understand that some types of questions (puzzle-oriented), hiring managers are not necessarily looking for an exact answer, but rather the approach you took to get there. Your approach, when presented to a Senior engineer, for example, will show team members if both the interviewee and staff members have mutual thoughts on how to solve problems. This is key for getting hired.

Overall, the technical interview is really meant to pick a candidate’s brain, and understand how they approach problem-solving in the shadow of how an organization solves its own engineering problems. Still make sure to show your manners at the end of a remote interview if possible, or send a follow-up email after your assessment thanking your interviewer for the opportunity to show your skillsets. Remember your interview, technical or not, starts from the first point of contact, and goes until your results are submitted.

TagsTechnical InterviewRemote Work
Michael Robbins
Writer
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.

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DevelopersJuly 1, 2020
How to Prepare for a Technical Interview Remotely: Tips for 2020
Having the right mindset for a technical interview and understanding the problem-solving skills an organization is seeking is key to getting past this assessment and getting hired. Here are some tips and mindfulness exercises to get you there.

The technical interview is arguably more difficult than a general interview, whether remote or not. For our sakes, we’ll go through some of the specifications of a technical interview, how to prepare, and what to expect for this round of interview(s).

How it works

The objective of a technical interview is for the interviewer to shed their technical knowledge and expertise on the subject matter that is explicit in the respective candidate’s CV. Make no mistake, this is not an informational interview on where you grew up or getting to know a candidate, this is a more serious interview that is meant to assess a candidate’s skillset, usually under pressure, with a given time limit. Assessments can be given on technical interviews and the questions are meant to get progressively harder.

Usually the way in which this is conducted is through a technical phone screening and then an invitation for an on-site assessment that could last anywhere from four to six hours. It is important to understand that the phone screening for technical interviews are an opportunity to talk up your hard skills and not to engage in personality type answers.

Going through your resume and being comfortable with the theory and hard skills (such as Coding Languages) you know is the first step for how to prepare for the technical interview.

Here are some other tips and tricks to successfully navigate the technical interview:

1.     Make sure that the skills you have listed on your resume are honestly the skills you can present during a technical interview.

2.     Do a practice interview. Get out a sheet of scrap paper, go to a sample technical interview for coding or something IT based, and become familiar with the timing of questions, the progression of difficulty, and the methodology that is needed to answer each question.

3.     Plan accordingly. You might be able to pull off a general interview at any time during the day, as it might be easier to “charm” your interviewer even if you are running on less sleep, but a technical interview is different. Make sure you are taking the technical interview when you are well-rested and have zero distractions.

4.     Go to the company website before the technical interview. If there is one way to get a better idea of what Coding languages you will need to know or what technical skillsets are desired, they will usually be featured on an organization’s website in some form or other.

5.     Pace yourself and show your approach. Don’t take too long on any one question and understand that some types of questions (puzzle-oriented), hiring managers are not necessarily looking for an exact answer, but rather the approach you took to get there. Your approach, when presented to a Senior engineer, for example, will show team members if both the interviewee and staff members have mutual thoughts on how to solve problems. This is key for getting hired.

Overall, the technical interview is really meant to pick a candidate’s brain, and understand how they approach problem-solving in the shadow of how an organization solves its own engineering problems. Still make sure to show your manners at the end of a remote interview if possible, or send a follow-up email after your assessment thanking your interviewer for the opportunity to show your skillsets. Remember your interview, technical or not, starts from the first point of contact, and goes until your results are submitted.

Technical Interview
Remote Work
About the author
Michael Robbins -Writer
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.

Related Articles