The Secrets No One Told You About Technical Interviews

The Secrets No One Told You About Technical Interviews

The very process of the interview is weird. How can one imagine learning everything about a person and deciding whether to hire just in 30-40 minutes. Technical interviews seem even more mysterious as they are more standardized and formal.

The technical interview is not like any other interview. It is a specialized and rigorous process aimed at evaluating your practical abilities as well as checking your knowledge base and technical skill level. Those who have some previous technical interview experience know that this process includes numerous complex stages like whiteboard challenges, remote coding tasks, or even full days of onsite coding. 

The standardized procedure of a technical interview seems fair to all candidates. This is quite right when all the players follow the same rules. As there is no unified set of these rules, there is still space for some moves. Here are essential secrets no one told you about technical interviews. 

1. Two-way interest 

Many candidates perceive technical interviews as torture or a challenging quiz. An interviewer is a demonized person willing to destroy and humiliate the candidate. Asking difficult and even tricky questions is their way to ruin your confidence. 

What many people don’t know is that an interview is always a two-way street of interest. Thus, as much as you are interested in getting your dream position, employers are eager to hire a perfect match. For many hiring managers, this process is as tiring and challenging as for candidates. Besides, according to Glassdoor, the average interview process takes 22.9 days, which is an equally long and stressful period for both parties of the recruitment process.

2. Asking questions

All job seekers imagine interviews as a process where only an interviewer has the right to ask questions. However, the situation is quite the opposite. At every interview, there is a time when a candidate is to take the floor. 

Interviewers often ask the candidate this question: “Do you have any questions for us?”. Many candidates are scared to death of this question. Thus they never get prepared for it, and that is a huge mistake. 

First, not asking questions seems like you are not interested in the position. Good candidates always prepare a whole set of questions to ask at the interview. A secret interview tip for you here is, don’t keep the questions for the end. Asking questions during the conversation sets a positive tone. The interview runs less stressful and much smoother when all the participants benefit from the questions asked. 

3. Showcase soft skills

Taking a technical interview always means concentrating on your qualifications and practical knowledge. Candidates tend to focus on solving problems and coding tasks so that they forget about soft skills.  

However, the importance of soft skills should not be underestimated. That’s true, and the recruiters look for a professional who will do the job. At the same time, they look for a person who will join the team and share company values. 

Sometimes there might be direct questions about time management or teamwork. In case you are not asked these questions, take the initiative and mention some soft skills on your own. 

4. Concentrate on yourself 

Candidates often tend to concentrate on the competition. All the job seekers share a common belief — the most qualified and candidate gets the position. Thus, the competition gets harsh when there is a chance to demonstrate the qualification practically. 

However, focusing on how everyone else is doing distracts and makes the situation even more stressful. Another secret among the best interview tips is that the competition does not matter.

The ability to concentrate on yourself is a sign of self-awareness and balance. These are the qualities that attract the attention of the interviewers. Forget about the spirit of competition, talk to other candidates, exchange compliments and pleasantries but do not discuss professional matters to ruin your inner tranquility. 

5. Stuck? Stay calm, think out loud, and try new ideas

Getting stuck in a technical interview happens to the best of us. There is nothing extraordinary, and this is not the end. 

The technical interview’s essence is to see how you can apply what you know to a situation you never faced before. Thus, none expects an immediate solution from you. The best thing you can do when you are stuck is to ace the situation with dignity. 

Take a deep breath and use the following secret tips to find the way out:

1. be honest and admit you are stuck
2. ask more questions to get out of the dead-end
3. try to simplify the problem by breaking it into pieces. 

6. Salary offer negotiation

Salary negotiation is a challenging yet right stage of an interview. It’s only okay to discuss this matter and find a balance between your expectations and the offer made. 

There is an old school method to wait until the interviewer brings up this matter and agrees almost immediately to the offer. Such requests usually sound like “You are going to start with a 5$ rate for your probation period and then be eligible for a raise based on your performance.” However, this case is ok only if you are just starting your career in the technical field. For experienced candidates, this is not the right choice.

Nowadays, an interview is a long, multi-step process that requires time and effort. Leaving salary negotiation for the last stage may result in a considerable waste of time. The secret is the ideal candidates have confidence and know how much they are worth right from the start. 

Wrapping up

Remember, you are a professional, and it is not a secret. The success of the interview depends on numerous factors, but a key player in this game is you. Armed with all those tips we mentioned above and a healthy dose of common sense you can solve any problems and show your best.

These tips are focused on reinforcing your confidence and self-awareness. Don't be afraid to communicate your goals, expectations, and doubts to a recruiter. Hopefully, your next technical interview will be a huge success. 

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