How to prepare for a Technical Interview
Interviews can be tough for anyone to face, especially at dynamic, modern organizations where interviews are planned rather than held in an ad hoc manner. Engineering interviews, in particular, are an area of intense interest for potential candidates, because they tend to be very structured. In addition the hiring of software engineers is still projected to grow much faster than that of other fields over the next few years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So interviews become a critical way for both employers and employees to differentiate themselves.
Interviews are also an area that isn’t given enough attention by both candidates and the companies hiring new employees. But people and companies aren’t all the same, and rather than trying to fit a square candidate peg into a round open position hole, it is better for the candidate to find the ‘square’ position and the organization to find the ‘round’ candidate. One of the issues is making sure that candidates are in a position to show their capabilities well and that companies demonstrate their ability to provide a great career opportunity so that both parties get a good understanding of whether or not this is a fit.
The WePay Engineering Blog has a post by Matt Clower that addresses many of these issues and specifically looks at how candidates can best prepare for technical interviews. The post covers understanding interviewing, making the most of whiteboard and coding sessions, preparation and etiquette, technical phone interviews and planning and practice.
We’ve also put together a video to help engineering candidates with technical interviews which contains advice from many experienced engineering interviewers and candidates. It covers many of the same points and includes advice about understanding that interviews aren’t adversarial, that you have to convey a lot more than coding skills and the importance of good communication.