How to Conduct a Technical Interview?

How to conduct a technical interview

How many people are using Facebook in San Francisco at 2.30 pm on a Friday? This question is an oddball, but it’s a google technical interview question shared by Glassdoor. Technical interviews are already time-consuming and challenging enough, yet not asking the right questions or lack of preparation for technical interviews adds more grind to the recruitment process.

The purpose of conducting technical interviews is to get a clear picture of the candidate’s skills and to understand how they can benefit your company. A technical interview should screen out unqualified candidates and take the brightest tech talent to the next steps of your recruitment funnel.

Fortunately, technology advancements are enabling recruiters to digitize important aspects of the selection process. Tools for skill assessment, conducting pair programming interviews with IDE, and AI-based behavioral analysis of a candidate’s performance during an interview expedite the pre-interview processes to identify top talent.

This guide focuses on the recruiter’s perspective to ensure an appropriate technical interview process while promoting your company as a compelling place to build a career. It offers directions on how to run the technical process to find quality candidates that will lay the foundation for a productive team.

What is a Technical Interview?

Technical interviews are multi-dimensional assessments that test candidates for technical skills. It is an invaluable step for recruiters who hire developers, software engineers, or professionals to build engineering teams.

Technical interview questions typically emphasize the evaluation of technical knowledge and skills such as –

  • Industry knowledge
  • Programming experience
  • Code quality
  • Technical communication
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Runtime
  • Data structures
Recruiters are now looking beyond resumes to accurately assess the difficult tech skills of a candidate. Click To Tweet

Recruiters are also evaluating soft skills in technical interviews such as communication, collaboration, and empathy.

Laszlo Bock, former VP of People at Google and author of “Work Rules!” – a book on creating high-performance cultures, discusses how Google transformed its technical interviews by including behavioral and situational interviews as a way to get a holistic view of a candidate’s skills.

What Makes a Good Technical Interview?

Designing the perfect recruitment process that is relevant to your company and boosts your quality of hires is an art.

With a quality shortlist in hand, recruiters can use different interview techniques to provide candidates with a compelling experience while effectively measuring their technical talent. A good technical interview helps you understand the candidate’s knowledge, attitude, and aptitude for learning. This can be achieved through a structured interview with well-defined questions and tests.

The technical interview should have these outcomes, which are achievable through good preparation and execution: 

  • Accurately assess the candidate’s job fit
  • Make effective use of time for both interviewer and candidate
  • Ensure a favorable interview experience irrespective of whether the candidate receives or accepts a job offer
  • Evaluate the accuracy of information provided by the candidate

How to Prepare for a Technical Interview?

Google’s internal research shows that the interview process and the interviewers, in particular, are one of the biggest drivers of a candidate’s overall satisfaction and can make or break a decision to accept an offer.

Before preparing for a technical interview, note down all the challenges you have faced with your technical interviews in the past. Some common challenges every recruiter needs to deal with are –

  • Lack of technical specialists to interview tech talent
  • Inconsistency and bias in judgment
  • Difficulty in measuring the tech recruitment metrics 

Whether the technical interview is hosted virtually or face-to-face the recruiter’s approach and preparation are key. Preparation for a technical interview should be done with the interviewer as well as with the candidates.

Preparing Candidates

A technical interview is effective when both the recruiter and the candidates know what to expect. Candidates should be informed of the interview duration, the types of questions to be asked, and the recruiter’s assessment goals.

Being forthcoming on these points with added information on who is interviewing will help candidates better prepare.

Preparing Interviewers

Interviewers play a significant role because they represent the company. The way they conduct an interview affects the candidates’ opinion of your organization and their final decision on accepting an offer. To be a good interviewer, it is important to understand the following:

  • The company’s hiring process and the interviewer’s role within the process
  • How to prepare for the interview and conduct a legally compliant consultation
  • How to assess job-specific technical skills
  • Be able to provide effective candidate feedback and provide a meaningful interview score

Conclusion

Technical Interviews are intended to filter candidates according to what recruiters are looking for in terms of technical skills. A poorly designed interview runs the risk of favoring candidates who are good at answering interview questions but are not a good fit for the role. By focusing only on one aspect without considering a candidate’s on-job performance, recruiters won’t get an accurate or complete picture.

There is no one magic formula for technical interviews. It is about finding the balance between non-technical and technical questions. The best format is one that moves away from being a judging or note-taking sessions that leave candidates nervous and unsure.

Technical interviews should involve a high level of interaction and allow mutual respect to assess if both parties are a good fit.

Save your time from interviewing unqualified candidates and choose WeCP to conduct live remote interviews via collaborative IDE, pair programming, and high-definition video calling to help you find the right technical talent just in a few minutes. Talk to us today!

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