10 best tips to face technical screening
Job interview words written on the calendar image via Shutterstock
You can definitely clear the first round of an interview for a programmer or a software engineering job. However, you will find it very difficult to clear the technical round where they will ask you all sorts of questions. In this article, we focus on the top 10 tips for facing any type of technical screening process.
Clearing the technical round of an interview is hardly a piece of cake. These questions are related to the job description you are applying for. Whether you are going for development of Java-based or Windows-based applications, you will be asked many types of questions.
In fact, your technical screening round could go up to two hours if you succeed in getting a job.
Here are the top 10 tips for facing any type of technical screening process.
1. Language knowledge
Thorough knowledge of the programming language is very important. Whether you are learning Java or .NET it is very important that you know every single detail about the language.
This is very basic; your screening interview will begin with basic questions about the programming language. Although you don’t have to know everything about every existing programming language, you do need to know the fundamental differences between them.
2. Practice beats theory
A thorough theoretical knowledge of the language is just the tip of the iceberg. You must know exactly how a particular piece of code works in practice. The interviewer will definitely want to know if you can write a piece of code. If you know how it should look like but you don’t know how to put it into practice, you will have a hard time.
3. Understand your role and decide if you are up for it
This is very important. If you wish to become a programmer, you are obviously expected to answer like a programmer. You will be asked to write various pieces of code and you will have to know a few things about programming.
However, if you are interested in a position as an architect, your knowledge must be different and better. You are expected to answer like an engineer and not like a programmer. So decide your role and prepare yourself according to it.
4. Understand the behavior of a program
For any technical screening round, you will be asked to write different types of programs. You have to know how good your program is going to run and you will have to know about declaring variables and allocating memory.
You also need to know what a function is going to achieve and how to minimize the code.
5. Understand the project
Projects are very important. Never take them casually. During your bachelor’s degree, you have to create a project and know all the details about it: the objective, how to complete it and what a particular piece of code is going to achieve.
If you already have a project under your belt, you know you shouldn’t take it lightly — especially when your job is at stake.
6. Learn all types of algorithms
You should always expect questions about designing algorithms. If you have an interview at a big company like Google or Microsoft, you will definitely be asked a lot of questions regarding algorithms.
Modern technology is all about designing smart algorithms. This is why you should learn different types of algorithms like divide and conquer algorithm, greedy algorithm etc. No one will ask you to design an algorithm on your own but this does not mean you shouldn’t have a basic understanding of algorithms and their functionality.
7. Learn the difference between a coder and a designer
Oddly enough, there are people who go to interviews and cannot differentiate between a coder and a designer. Keep in mind that a designer will design interface and a coder will write back-end code. There is a difference you should be familiar with.
If you are a designer then do tell to your interviewer that you are more of a designer than a programmer. Honesty is your ally.
8. Be ready to write a piece of code
Needless to say, you must expect to write a piece of code. You must try your best to learn a basic piece of code for designing either web-based or Windows-based applications.
You will definitely be asked to write a piece of code, so be prepared.
9. Be ready to answer the WHY questions
Any technical interview contains a lot of why questions. You will have to give a lot of explanations. You can’t lose your temper just because you are bombarded with questions, so, with the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will have to emphasize this: be prepared.
You will have to answer countless questions about your piece of code so you need to know what it achieves if it is reliable if it is going to consume a lot of memory etc.
10. Rome wasn’t built in a day — Preparation takes more than a night
You can’t prepare for a technical screening interview in just one night. You have to spend years learning programming and writing code. You have to read books and “get your hands dirty” because theory is nothing without practice.
It’s not just about the technical screening, though — you need to be knowledgeable if you want to be successful.