Technical Interview Questions

The below-given technical interview questions will help you in assessing candidates’ engineering and programming skills. Tailor these questions according to the position and job role you are recruiting for.

How to conduct a technical interview?

Technical interviews can be complicated, as you need to have specialized knowledge and understanding of related terminology. Prepare yourself before scheduling interviews with the candidates. Recruiters who interview engineers and developers should:

  • Coordinate with the concerned department to know basic technical skills an ideal candidate should have.
  • Create interview questions that will help you in determining if candidates have the required skills essential for the role.
  • Ask senior employees of the department what to expect from candidates’ answers.
  • Give a written assignment to test coding skills of the candidate.

During the interview process, assess how candidates apply their theoretical knowledge on the job. Analyze examples from their resumes and ask for examples. Here are a few resume-based questions you can ask during the interview:

  • Explain this project in detail.
  • What was your role in the team?
  • In how many days did you complete the coding part?
  • What was the outcome?

It is also essential to customize your interview questions according to the seniority level of the profile you are hiring for. For junior roles, focus on assessing strong and weak points and potential training requirements. For senior roles, find out how much experience candidates have with specific languages and tools you use.

Hiring Managers should ask tricky questions according to the team’s way of working and goals. Hiring Managers can also discuss candidates’ written assignments with them, ask follow-up questions and provide feedback.

Technical interview questions to ask candidates

For entry-level roles

  • Name the programming languages you are most familiar with.
  • Explain the step-by-step troubleshooting process for a crashing program.
  • What is the best way to debug a program while it is being used?
  • What is your field of specialization and what do you want to learn more about?

For senior-level roles

  • Do you have any experience in implementing important improvements to an IT infrastructure? What were they and how did you implement them?
  • What is the best way to collect user and system requirements?
  • What things do you keep in mind when explaining technical details to a non-technical audience?
  • What are your key areas of focus when reviewing someone else’s code?

Resume review

  • What did you learn from X project?
  • What was the timeframe and how did you complete the project within the timeframe?
  • Explain Z project in detail. What was your responsibility and whom did you work with?
  • Tell me about the projects where you used Y software.

Assignment review

  • What did you find most challenging about this assignment? What was your approach when working on the assignment?
  • If you are working on a strict deadline project what you would do differently to meet the deadline? Name the features you would prioritize.
  • If you had more time what would you have done differently?

Interviewing tips for technical roles

  • After the first screening, which is done over a call, give a written assignment. Share the interview process with the candidates and email them all the instructions. Give them sufficient time to complete the written assignment.
  • When checking the assignment, avoid focusing just on the right or wrong answers. Pay attention to candidates’ way of thinking. An out-of-the-box and innovative solution can prove helpful for the role.
  • Don’t ask too many theoretical questions as they can be monotonous. Besides, they don’t tell a lot about candidates’ problem-solving abilities. Also, ask behavioral and situational interview questions to find out how candidates perform in real-life projects.
  • Tricky questions and brainteasers don’t tell enough about candidates’ skills. Be specific. Ask candidates about the software you use and what is their approach towards a particular problem, that may occur in their role.
  • Computer Science is a constantly growing field. Look for candidates who enjoy learning new things and following trends. Prospective employees who test new software, take part in coding meet-ups and are active on technical blogs and forums are interested in their industry.

Red Flags

  • Order-takers: Candidates who can’t look at the “big picture” cannot understand your company’s objectives and needs. Look for candidates who engage in the complete software development lifecycle. These people are proactive and suggest solutions- they don’t just follow instructions.
  • Bad team players: Developers not only work in front of a computer screen, they also have to communicate with many people and teams regularly. Poor interpersonal skills and rude or arrogant nature reveal a lack of team spirit.
  • Inflexibility: You can’t expect candidates to be familiar with all the software or framework you use. But, candidates who are uninterested in knowing about your way of working are less likely to cooperate with your team. Look for candidates who show a willingness to learn and are not scared to learn about new systems.
  • Low on energy: Developers are passionate candidates who enjoy coding. Ask candidates what they like about their work or the tools they use often. Their answers can reveal how committed they are to the field.
  • Ambiguous answers: Candidates who can’t even explain their resume might have little or no involvement in the projects they have mentioned. Ask follow-up questions to know about their exact role and contributions.