How to Answer Tough Tech Interview Questions
Employee Insights, Interview Tips, Job Seekers
Walking into any job interview can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re not feeling prepared. Knowing how to answer the toughest technology interview questions can help you feel more relaxed and ready, allowing you to impress the interviewer and securely land the job. It all comes down to practice, preparation, and going into the interview expecting the unexpected. Here’s how you can be ready for tough tech interview questions:
Preparing for Your Tech Interview
Before your tech job interview, make sure to do some research on the company to get a feel for what they do, their values and goals, and prepare a few questions about the company. Nothing is worse than when candidates go to an interview and can’t even speak to what the company does, which happens more often than you’d think. Knowing basic facts about the company and having a few questions ready not only proves your interest in the company and the opportunity, but it’s also a great way to get answers to some of the questions you might have.
Next, knowing who you are interviewing with is crucial. Take a few minutes to do some research on the interviewer as well. By taking a look at their LinkedIn and bio, you can get a better understanding of their background, the companies they previously worked for, as well as any potential professional connections. You never know – you might have attended the same college or have interests in common. Making a personal connection with the interviewer can be a great way to make yourself memorable as a candidate.
Prepare Specific Scenarios
There are many ways to prepare for an interview, but one of the best strategies to practice is to pick two or three specific scenarios that relate to the position you are applying for and consider how you would respond to them.
For example, if you are applying to a Project Manager position, one of the technology interview questions you could create as a scenario might be, “When was a time that a budget for a project did not go as planned?” The interviewer will be looking to gain insight into how you handle a problem, so think about how you would respond to this question in a way that showcases your abilities.
As you prepare, consider other scenarios an interviewer would ask about. What are some of the ones you have been asked in the past? Where have you had challenges answering a question? Thinking through how you would respond to these questions will help you prepare answers ahead of time so you will be more comfortable answering them in the moment.
Use the STAR Method
The STAR method is a great way to prepare for your tech job interview because technology interview questions are frequently situation-based and can be tough to answer. This will give you a framework for how to respond. These are the step-by-step instructions for how to answer situational interview questions:
- Situation: Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. You must describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past.
- Task: What goal were you working toward? Was this part of a larger project?
- Action: Describe the actions you took to address the situation with an appropriate amount of detail and keep the focus on YOU. You want to showcase your skills throughout.
- Result: Describe the outcome of your actions and don’t be shy about taking credit for your work. What happened? How did the project end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn?
During the final step, your answer can contain both positive and negative results. Just make sure to focus on your role in the scenario and what you learned from any negative results, such as how you might do things differently next time. This is a chance to show the interviewer how you took initiative, what you learned, how you worked to improve the situation, or how you otherwise adapted to make the best of things.
Sense the Interview Environment
Once in the interview room, it’s important to get a feeling for the environment and your audience. If you get a sense that the person interviewing you is a “bubbly” personality, then feel free to answer the interview questions with enthusiasm and respond accordingly if they want to chat. If you are getting the feeling that the hiring manager is more serious and direct, then aim for no-nonsense, precise, and detailed answers. Adapting to fit your audience will help you make a positive impression on your interviewer and show that you can read the room.
Ready to Find Your Next Tech Role?
Now that you know how to prep for your next tech interview, search our current opportunities and apply today! Our talent experts are ready to help you take the next step in your career.