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  • Bethany Williams

Boost Your Technical Interview Skills with Mock Interviews

Technical interviews are different from other types of job interviews because they are centered on a specific skill set and there is more focus on problem-solving than normal conversation. This makes it even more important to prepare for these interviews with mock interview exercises. A mock interview helps you practice with the help of a friend, family member or preferably a career coach who acts as the interviewer. These mock interviews can help you boost your confidence, take some stress out of the real thing and increase your chances of getting an offer by showing that you’re ready for the technical interview.

What to Expect in a Technical Interview

A technical interview is different from normal job interviews because it focuses on a specific skill set. It’s about problem solving and whether you can meet the requirements of the job. You’ll likely be asked questions about what you know, how you approach problems or situations, and if you have any experience with certain technologies. Some common questions are: What is the difference between an algorithm and a program? What is the difference between data and information? What is the hardest bug you’ve ever had to fix? What do you do to stay current? You may also be asked to write code on a whiteboard, create a program or write out a solution to a problem. These types of interviews can be intimidating, but luckily, there are ways to prepare that can help you feel more prepared and confident.

How to Prepare for a Technical Interview

You should start preparing for your technical interview as soon as you are given a date by the hiring team – even if that’s a couple of weeks before. The more time you have to prepare, the less anxious you’ll feel going into the interview. Here are a few key areas to focus on in your preparation:

- Know your resume inside and out

- Understand the company and the job you’re interviewing for

- Review your skills and abilities

- Practice with a mock interview

- Create a list of questions to ask.

While these steps will help you get ready for the interview, it’s also important to know that there is no magic formula for acing a technical interview. Every interview is different and there isn’t a foolproof way to get a job offer. The best thing you can do is prepare as much as possible and trust that you are ready.

How to Have a Successful Mock Interview

A mock interview is a great way to get comfortable with the process of a technical interview, and it can help you predict how well you’ll do in a real interview. You can find interview partners in a variety of places, including online communities, university career centers, professional associations or even our preferred choice, Coachable (yeah that's us haha). Here are a few tips to help you have a successful mock interview:

- Have a technically knowledgable individual interview you.

- Meet in person or use the same setting as you would in a real interview.

- Ask your interview partner to make it a realistic experience. For example, tell them they can make you feel nervous if they want to.

- Rehearse your answers to common interview questions.

- Try to find someone who has worked for a similar company or in a similar job to do the mock interview.

- Make sure to give your mock interviewer feedback after the mock interview.

Four Important Steps During a Mock Interview

- Breathe: The interview might feel like a stressful situation, but it’s important to stay as relaxed as possible. When you’re stressed out, your mind will not be able to think logically, which is essential during an interview. Practice some breathing exercises before the interview to take some of the stress out of the situation.

- Be yourself: You don’t have to pretend to be someone else just to get a job offer. During a mock interview, be yourself, talk about your passions and show them who you really are.

- Review your skills: You don’t have to have all the answers to the questions being asked, but you do need to know your skills and be able to talk about them confidently. Make sure you review the skills listed on your resume and be prepared to talk about them during an interview.

- Review the company: Before going into an interview, be sure to research the company you are interviewing with and know a bit about their culture. This will help you tailor your responses to fit the company more and show you’ve done your research.

Key Takeaways

A technical interview is different from other types of job interviews because it’s centered on a specific skill set, there’s more focus on problem-solving than normal conversation and they usually involve writing code on a whiteboard. To prepare for your technical interview, start preparing as soon as you get a date, know your resume inside and out, review your skills and abilities, practice with a mock interview, be yourself and review the company culture. These mock interviews can help you boost your confidence, take some stress out of the real thing and increase your chances of getting an offer by showing that you’re ready for the interview.

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