Learn How to do a Technical Interview

What you need to know to choose the right coding questions and conduct a successful technical interview.

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How To Do A Technical Interview

It’s no secret that the success of an organization rests on the quality of its team. As a hiring manager, the challenge of finding the best engineers falls on your shoulders. No matter how experienced you are at hiring new talent, the task of finding the next key player for your technical team can often be an intimidating one. 

With a rapidly changing and competitive market, many engineers and engineering hiring managers struggle to implement accurate and objective technical interview techniques without draining too much of their engineer time. Whether you’re leading a remote or live coding interview, knowing how to fairly and consistently assess candidates is crucial to the success of your organization, but it’s not always easy. 

The good news is that you’re not alone. If you’re struggling with technical interviews, there are tools and resources out there to guide you. Many organizations benefit from technical interview and assessment solutions such as CodeSignal, a specialized platform that helps technical hiring managers reduce hiring bias, save engineering time spent on interviews, and improve the overall candidate experience. 

CodeSignal helps improve your technical interviews by focusing on three key hiring pain points for engineering teams:

    • You spend too much time interviewing
    • Your best interview questions get leaked
    • You wish that your interviews could be more like pair programming

With technical interview solutions like CodeSignal, you’ll be able to find the best engineering talent faster and more efficiently than ever before.

How Do You Start A Technical Interview?

When structuring a technical interview, engineering hiring managers often focus solely on code tests and whether those tests meet the company’s quality standards. While having high-quality test questions is crucial, the success of an interview also relies on how you choose to start the interview process.

So how should you start a technical interview with a new candidate? The very first step is to think about the questions you want to ask. The answer to this question depends on what position you’re hiring for. For instance, Java 8 interview questions for a candidate who has 12 years of experience will differ from general Java technical interview questions. Similarly, senior developer interview questions will be more advanced and complex than questions for entry-level candidates.

When using CodeSignal to begin your interview, you can start by using the meeting URL to sign in as the interviewer. Then, CodeSignal will guide you through the remaining steps for signing in via your company’s preferred method. Once all participants have joined the interview, you can begin to ask your questions.

How To Conduct A Software Developer Interview

Conducting a software developer interview can often be a stressful process for engineering hiring managers. The first challenge is to come up with questions that will accurately and fairly assess the candidate for the level and language for which they’re applying. One option is to use common technical interview questions found online, but this risks candidates finding the answers prior to their interview, meaning you won’t be able to accurately assess their coding skills. 

Because of the risk posed by leaked questions, you might consider creating your own interview questions. However, this also comes with its own challenges. If you’re unsure of how to create questions that are suited to the level that you’re hiring for, candidates can be left with an interview that doesn’t match their skill level. For instance, creating your own junior software developer interview questions, though unique, might not provide accurate results if your questions are too basic or too advanced. Similarly, for a Java technical interview, you must ensure that your questions are suited to the candidate’s skill level in Java.

One solution is having scenario-based interview questions. Giving you a deeper understanding of how a candidate will perform within a specific role, scenario-based interview questions often provide hiring managers with a more accurate assessment of a candidate’s skills. Scenario-based questions essentially act as a test run, giving you a much more accurate understanding of a candidate’s technical ability.

Tech Interview Handbook PDF

Preparation is key for a successful technical interview. Before conducting an interview, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the format of a technical interview. This will help guide you through some of the best practices of a successful interview and ensure that you’re hiring candidates with the skills required for the role. 

If you’re new to conducting technical interviews, there are many resources out there for engineering hiring managers looking to improve their interviewing skills and create unique questions from scratch. While you might consider downloading a PDF tech interview handbook online, there are many other options that can supplement your reading. For instance, a software engineer interview guide can provide you with crucial information to use when conducting an interview. Additionally, a frontend interview handbook is vital if you’re interviewing a frontend engineering candidate. 

In addition to technical interview handbooks, many hiring managers also find it helpful to study specialized practice questions, frontend preparation techniques, and general interview questions to help put the candidate at ease at the beginning of the interview.

Whether you’re the one conducting the interview or the candidate being interviewed, being well prepared for technical assessments is vital. One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is by working with solutions like CodeSignal, a platform that helps engineering hiring managers build unique interview questions and accurately measure their candidates’ skills. For instance, CodeSignal helps hiring managers assess frontend candidates through a comprehensive build tool, package manager, and interactive preview that provides a complete overview of an upcoming interview.

Technical Interview Questions

One of the challenges of conducting an interview is deciding which technical interview questions you should ask to accurately assess a candidate’s skill set. While you may be tempted to use technical questions that are available online, this may not yield the best results. Many candidates will search for technical questions and answers ahead of their interview, meaning there’s a high chance that you’re not getting an accurate view of a candidate’s skills. To ensure you’re hiring the best talent, it’s important that your interview questions fairly and accurately test a candidate’s coding ability. This means crafting your own questions. 

When you’re creating your own technical interview questions, remember that one size doesn’t fit all. Technical interview questions should be based on what role you’re hiring for and what skills you require. For example, computer science interviews will require different questions than those used for other positions in your company. Additionally, you’ll want to prioritize specific programming languages when developing technical interview questions. For example, Java and Python are widely used, so it’s likely that you’ll have to test a candidate in these languages. If your company relies on Java or Python, involving these languages in your technical interview questions is essential. In general, ensuring that the candidates you interview are knowledgeable in the programming languages your organization uses is vital to finding the right person for the job.

How To Conduct An Engineering Interview

Preparing for an interview with an engineer requires its own skill set and research. Though you may have an understanding of technical interviews in general, knowing how to conduct an engineering interview requires some additional research. When searching for technical engineering interview questions that will accurately highlight a candidate’s skills, it’s common for hiring managers to run into issues. Among some of the common challenges an engineer faces when preparing to interview a candidate are:

    • Determining interview questions that are appropriate to the role
    • Filling positions fast enough
    • Spending too much time interviewing candidates
    • Ensuring that any question variations are equally challenging so that all candidates are assessed fairly and consistently

Given the challenges hiring managers face when preparing for an engineering interview, many choose to use technical interview software to help them conduct better assessments. Solutions like CodeSignal make it easier and quicker for hiring managers to interview candidates accurately and fairly by generating millions of question variations and reducing unconscious bias. They also measure algorithmic fundamentals and full-stack application development, while their built-in video and audio calling lets you code collaboratively with candidates. With CodeSignal, you can confidently hire the world’s best tech talent and, in the process, contribute to the success of your company for years to come.

Additional Resources

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