Regardless of how experienced you are, interviewing for a software engineering role can be daunting. There is no shortcut to getting your dream job and you are likely to be competing against a lot of other talented, experienced and impressive candidates. To ensure that you stand out for the right reasons, and to make sure that you have a good shot at securing a software engineering position quickly, you need to know what to expect from the interview itself.
The Structure of a Software Engineering Technical Interview
You are unlikely to find a ‘one size fits all’ interview process for software engineering roles, as employers approach recruitment in a variety of ways. But, the majority of software engineering interviews involve a technical aspect. This is often done via Zoom and it’s likely to involve working on a series of coding problems. Instead of asking questions and judging your answers, an employer uses a technical interview to really see what you are capable of.
An employer needs to know that you are as skilled as your CV suggests, and you need to be able to write code and manage programming languages when under pressure. This gives an employer the chance to see what you can do, whilst also assessing how you approach and tackle a task. They want to see how you think, work and collaborate, as this will provide an insight into whether you are likely to be a good fit within the existing team.
A lot of people assume that a technical interview is designed to trip you up, but that is not the case. It’s designed to see how you tackle real problems, similar to the problems you will be facing if you are hired. It’s your time to shine, so go above and beyond what is being asked of you. This will help you to stand out from other candidates.
Preparing for a Technical Interview as a Software Engineer
One of the most important things that you can do as a software engineer is practice. You won’t know what you’ll be asked in a technical interview, so practice a variety of skills as much as you can beforehand. Though you shouldn’t stress yourself out and treat it like revising for an exam, you don’t want to be left stumped when faced with a complex task. It’s a good idea to choose one programming language and stick to it in a technical interview, focusing your attention on the language that you are most comfortable with. The majority of technical interviews will allow you to pick your language, so choose the one that’s going to impress a hiring employer the most.
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