Preparing for interview questions is necessary whatever sector you’re in, but it’s also important to recognize that some companies tend to be more outlandish than others in what they ask of candidates.
Tech firms are well known for mixing things up with questions that are designed to push applicants to the limit and test the boundaries of their abilities. So to avoid being bamboozled by them yourself, here’s an overview of some of the tried and tested interview tactics in tech that you need to be aware of.
What tech product is most important to you, and why?
A prospective employer will want you to demonstrate that you’re a tech fan, especially if the role is reliant on your ability to engage with different devices, systems, and solutions from day to day.
This is an opportunity to either identify a product that’s for personal use, or one which is instrumental in your professional life and describe how it benefits you. In turn, this can tell the interview panel how you approach tech, whether it’s from an aesthetic perspective, a usability angle, or by appreciating the underpinnings that make it great.
What’s a project you completed in the past that gave you the most satisfaction?
Whether you’re interested in a career in project management, or you just want to establish how you work as part of a team, this is a question that lets you showcase your ability to collaborate and see something through to completion.
Such open-ended, behavioral interview questions are particularly common in a tech company interview setting, so one of the most important things to remember is to be clear and concise in your answer. Making use of the STAR strategy is sensible here, as it forces you to think about how to describe the situation, the task, the action and the result of your involvement.
For further support with handling behavioral questions, it’s worth considering a service like an Exponent which can help with interview questions that tech companies ask, and broader prep to boost your career prospects.
What aspect of the product we offer is least appealing, and how would you improve it?
This is a potentially tricky question to tackle because you might feel compelled to avoid criticizing any part of a potential employer’s product line-up. However, the intent is to test your faculties for ingenuity and innovation, and ensure that you’re not only able to identify problems, but also propose solutions to them that are workable.
Knowing a flagship product of a tech firm inside out is clearly beneficial in an interview context, because you’ll then be equipped to discuss what it does right, and also where it falls short.
What made you move on from your last role?
People change jobs for all sorts of reasons, and it’s not out of the question that you’ll be asked about your motivations for making a move during an interview.
Hopefully, you’ll have a clear idea of what’s driving you on to this new challenge, but if you don’t then it’s helpful to think about what catalyzed this decision. It pays to be honest here, because if you give an overegged story then it’s all too easy for it to crumble under further questioning.
Do you thrive in a remote working context?
This is a newer addition to the catalog of interview questions asked by tech companies, but one that has become necessary because of changing trends over the past few years.
Remote working is not only more common but also more desirable among many employees. In fact, a lot of companies may look to hire remote workers as a priority, because of the increased choice and flexibility it gives them.
Again, honesty is the best policy here, because you want to be clear about your preferences upfront, rather than finding that you’re either unable to request to work remotely further down the line, or are required to do so even if you work better in an office environment.
The more you plan and rehearse ahead of a tech interview, the easier it will be to impress the panel and score the job you’ve been dreaming of.
Researching the questions that a specific employer might ask is necessary once you’ve secured an interview, but having broad-stroke answers to general queries will help for all sorts of employment opportunities.