Technical Interviews help job seekers find good-paying and rewarding positions and employers to recruit the best available talent in the field of computer technology.

Interviews for technical positions often involve detailed questions about specific technologies, development theory, problem solving and a host of other topics. The technical interview saves the company from hiring the wrong person and saves the candidate from taking a position that they aren’t qualified for.

Getting an interview

IT applicants generally get interviews through personal contacts, agencies, postings and advertisements.


Placement and consulting agencies often have valuable contacts with clients who are seeking employees and/or consultants. They are experienced at evaluating and matching the candidate’s skills with what their clients need. The agency typically receives its fees from the employer so its loyalties are typically inclined in that direction


A current résumé helps a technical interviewee stand out among the hundreds of others who may be applying for the job.
Technical résumés should be oriented toward a full-time position or a consulting contract. A consultant’s résumé needs to include technical and related skills, experience and clients. It should also contain lists of publications, patents, and other relevant credits.

Preparing for the interview

Preparing for the technical interview involves reviewing common concepts and terminology of the computer industry. Reading book magazines and articles about information technology, and attending technical seminars are good preparation techniques. Technical job candidates will also want to refresh the knowledge of the computer languages and software that they are familiar with.

An important part of getting ready for a technical interview is preparing for the types of questions that are likely to be asked. The applicant can ask his or her contact or intermediary about the specific job requirements and related issues. These job requirements may include software, applications and responsibilities such as design, installation, supervision and management. Technical job seekers should be prepared to answer and question that is relevant to their potential job responsibility.

The interview process

The objective of the technical job interviewee is to convince the interviewer to pass them on to the company’s decision maker or to convince the decision maker to offer them a job. The bottom line for the interviewee is to get an offer. Once a position has been offered, the applicant has the option of accepting or rejecting it.

The day of the interview

The onsite interview gives the employer the opportunity to evaluate the interviewee on a more personal level. It is the core of all interview processes. While technical interview patterns vary depending on the company, they all tend to share the same basic structure.

IT companies commonly use the “loop” technique for setting up the interview process. During the loop interview, the candidate will meet from three to seven(or more) people sequentially during the day. The people in the loop will target specific technical aspects to gain a complete perspective of the candidate as a professional.

As the applicant arrives at the interview, he or she will likely be met by the company’s recruiter. The recruiter starts the initial interview with generic questions about the applicant’s salary expectations, previous experience and personal goals. Next, the candidate is given an interview schedule with a list of the interviewers. A candidate’s success depends on his or her performance during those interviews. The loop will normally include a lunch interview with one or two others if the company is leaning toward a hiring decision.

Interviewing Frameworks

To facilitate hiring, many managers organize the informational aspects of the interview into frameworks. Frameworks help IT companies efficiently organize, analyze and collect enough data so that a final hire/no hire decision can be made.

The Input-Analysis-Output(IAO) Model

The IAO model addresses the concerns of both the employer and the applicant.
The employer analyzes the information presented by the applicant to judge their suitability for the position.
The inputs of The Model include the applicants resume, physical appearance, answers during the interview, written work including tests and previous work, questions, education and references.

The outputs of The Model include an appraisal of the applicants job skills, a work ethic evaluation and a job satisfaction forecast. An applicant’s goal is to assess what the position entails, the working environment and career path opportunity.

Evidence-Analysis(EA) Procedure

Evidence-Analysis is the process of verifying individual facts about the candidate’s employment, references and education. It measures the consistency and completeness of what both the employer and job candidate have claimed to be true.
The applicant has less physical evidence to validate than the employer. His or her sources of information include the company’s annual report, individuals the applicant knows who have worked for the company or manager and company policy as written employee handbooks and literature.
The employer has references previous work history and educational records that can be verified. Confirmation of the work done, people supervised, courses taken and salary history must also be checked.

The Job-Employee-Employer(JEE) Model

The JEE framework assesses the particular requirements of a position. JEE helps the employee to understand how his or her strengths relate to that position. A scale of 1 to 10 is used to measure the importance of each requirement.
A combination of the IAO and the JEE frameworks determine the compatibility of the applicant and the employer.

Questions and Answers

IT interviewers often ask applicants questions that are totally unrelated to computer technology. “Brain Teaser Problems” are often used to measure a candidate’s ability to use logic, reasoning and general problem solving skills. The applicant’s response to simple, non-technical scenarios gives the employer insight into how well he or she will be able to troubleshoot problems that require extensive technical knowledge.

Personal questions such as “Why did you leave your last employer?” or “Are you considering leaving your current employer?” are sometimes asked as a test of the applicant’s character. In hiring technical consultants clients are generally more concerned with the candidates job related track record--- specifically the hardware, software, and applications they have mastered. It is always important for the technical interviewee to establish credibility during the interview. Applicants should appear to be honest, confident, enthusiastic, courteous and inoffensive.

A good question gets new information from an applicant, something that the interviewer did not already know. Interviewers focus a series of questions to clarify a detail or ask open questions to get new material not previously covered or suspected. An honest answer is always best as it gives the interviewer the required information and also suggests other questions that will accentuate the applicant’s positives.

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