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Tech Interview Tips

Handshake at a tech interview

As an IT staffing agency, Keenbee Talent Solutions knows a thing or two about tech job interviews. One of the things we’ve learned is that even the most experienced IT job candidate can choke up on a tech job screen. 

Interviews are intimidating. It’s worse in technology because the field is so broad it’s hard to know what the interviewers may come up with. There may even be a tech screen, which tests your IT acumen by giving you a problem to solve, or worse yet, making you do it in front of an audience on a whiteboard. Some companies make you go through multiple interviews with a variety of people. It’s exhausting, nerve-wracking, and way more drama than you should have to deal with. But believe it or not, there are ways you can prepare for an IT interview. We have some tips that will help you the next time a tech job recruiter gives you a call. 

How to Prepare for the Two Types of IT Interviews 

Generally, there are two types of IT interviews: 

· Soft skills interview 

The first interview, often with a tech job recruiter, is where you find out more about the job and the company. Often, the tech recruiter isn’t technically trained. They’re focused on matching your credentials with a job req. They’re also focused on the soft skills that you can’t learn from a coding class. You may have several versions of the soft skills interview with multiple people as part of the job-seeking process. 

· Technical interview 

The other type of interview, which usually happens after the first soft skills interview, is the tech screen. Every IT professional groans when thinking about going through a tech screen. It’s hard to know exactly what questions the interviewers will ask—except—you have one important clue. That’s the job description, of course. To get ready for your tech screen, think about your skills in relation to the job description. Be ready for scenario-based questions that will have everything to do with the JD. You can also research some of the more typical interview scenarios during tech screens. 

Generally, there are three ways to prepare for both of these types of interviews: 

1. Get to know the company you’re applying to. We’re going to tell you the same thing we tell every candidate: To prepare for your job interviews, you must first do your homework on the company. This includes: 

a. Understanding their mission and values before you interview. 

b. Having a sense of what the company does. 

c. Knowing what kind of IT product will you work on? 

d. Understanding, if you can, their IT infrastructure and stack? 

e. Checking out any blogs or press releases on the company website and in social media. 

f. Finally, do you know anyone that works there to give you the inside scoop? 

2. Understand the job requirements. You should understand every tech keyword in the job description and if you don’t shame on you. Try to come up with a list of questions about the job itself. Can you spot any holes in what you think your job duties will be and the job description as it’s written? 

3. Match your skills to the job requirements. You should be prepared to talk about projects you worked on that were similar to the job description. Practice describing some of the work you did. Try to share your experiences in a way that highlights the skills the company seems to be looking for. 

Now you have the groundwork for going into the interview process. But you’re still missing an important step, which is preparing for some of the most popular questions that we witness at most tech interviews. 

Popular Tech Interview Questions 

While you may be sweating your tech screen, the reality is that you probably won’t have many true technical questions to solve. Why? Because it’s expensive to take IT talent away from their daily tasks. Chances are, you’ll mean a couple of true technologists but also IT job recruiters, hiring managers, and supervisors. 

This means you may have less of a tech grilling and more questions related to your work ethic, experiences, and overall outlook about the work you do. Some of the most popular tech questions that we see IT staffing agencies use include: 

· How do you keep your skills current? 

Tech job recruiters are looking for an effort on your part to stay on top of ever-changing technologies. What are you reading? Are you working on a certification? Are you part of a Meetup group? Be prepared to talk about everything from your favorite developer podcasts to the Udemy courses you’re undertaking. 

· What are your favorite tech tools and why? 

If this question comes up, don’t be afraid to let your natural passion for technology shine through. With such a big tech shortage today, if you show how eager you are to learn more, you stand a better shot at a job you may not be fully qualified for. 

· What was the latest tech project you worked on in your spare time? 

Hopefully, you mentor junior tech talent or you have an app on the AppStore. Maybe you love video gaming or have a Raspberry Pi in your basement. Into drones? Great. Do you have a website where you share all these fun projects? Even better! 

· What are the pros and cons of working in an Agile environment? 

Most companies have moved beyond Waterfall to Agile so this question will likely come up at some point. If you’re asked this question, you should frame your answer in ways that highlight your ability to collaborate and communicate with your team within the Agile methodology. 

· What tech changes do you think will impact your job in the coming years? 

This question is designed to gauge your broader understanding of a changing industry. You can talk about digital transformation or robotics process automation (RPA) or even how artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms are working their way into almost every IT product now. There are also big data which is a topic in and of itself. The point is to highlight that you’re paying close attention to both the big and small picture of IT innovation. 

· Why do you want to work for us? 

Hint: Don’t say, “Because of the money.” Since you’ve already done your research on the company, you’ve probably formed an opinion about why you’d like to work there. Talk about the company values, the products, and services they offer, or the mission. 

You should also be prepared to explain any of the technologies found in the job requirements. Explain things in a way that a layperson can understand if you’re working with a hiring manager who lacks technical skills. You can show off your technical acumen a little more with someone on the IT team, of course. But you should also be able to explain complicated technical projects in a cohesive, intelligent way. This takes practice—which is why you should give this some thought before the interview. 

Benefits of working with an IT Staffing Agency 

Another great way to prepare for your tech interview is to work closely with an IT staffing agency. Tech job recruiters are heavily invested in making sure you are prepared for the interview process. So, once you’ve interviewed with a staffing agency and passed their initial screen, they are a resource that could become your ace in the hole for the next tech interview. Here’s why: 

· First, tech job recruiters work for you for free. If you have a good one in your corner, they will articulate your skills to top employers. An IT staffing agency recruiter can bridge the gap between your candidacy and an employer you’ve been targeting. 

· Second, tech temp agencies are a great resource if you’re looking for the flexibility of short-term IT work. Increasingly, we see candidates benefiting from these types of flexible work arrangements. The tech temp agency can help you move from contract to contract seamlessly without you having to do the work of finding your next assignment. 

· Third, an IT staffing agency can provide you with a sounding board for your interview skills as well as your resume. Tech job recruiters are a great free resource that can help you hone both your approach during your interviews but also highlight your best skills on your resume. 

· Fourth, your tech recruiter is tasked with representing your skills to an employer. They, in effect, “pitch” your credentials to key hiring managers with a company. It’s a huge benefit if you’re targeting a particular company to break into. Basically, the recruiter sells the employer on your candidacy before you even hit the first company interview. It warms up the audience you’ll be presenting to during the interview process. 

There are literally dozens of IT staffing agencies in the marketplace. Finding the right one may seem more stressful than actually doing the interviews. We can help with that, too. 

Ace Your Next Tech Job Interview with Our Tech Agency Today 

Keenbee Talent Solutions is the leading IT staffing agency in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico. We know a lot about the tech field and can help by reviewing your resume, helping you conduct a better interview, and landing the job. Call on us. We can help. 

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