Top 5 IT interview questions and how to answer them
August 28, 2018
Are you ready for your next job interview?
Many IT job seekers struggle with interviews. They know their technologies, they have the experience, they are interested in the role and in the company they are applying for, but they can’t make it through the interview process.
Interviews shouldn’t be a big deal. Every job is unique and every company has its own culture. Depending on the position, you will be asked about your skills, experience, languages, certifications, processes, systems and tools you have experience with. However, many interview questions are to be expected.
We’ve reached out to some hiring managers and came up with a list of the 5 top IT interview questions and we want to share these with you. Study the questions below, prepare yourself with succinct and relevant responses ahead of time and when you have your next interview you will be able to answer them with confidence.
1) What excites and interests you about coding?
Hiring managers will always want to know about your tech stack, but this is only one of the many aspects they are after when interviewing a candidate. With this fairly simple question, they can access your particular interest in coding, types of positions you may be suitable for, what motivates you to keep learning and how passionate you are about your job. Make sure you prepare your answer in advance. Be genuine and show them how you got into coding and why you are still passionate about it.
2) What’s the most exciting project you’ve ever worked on? What made the project successful?
Here the interviewer wants to see the level of complexity of the project and how you define success. The secret to answer this question successfully is to choose the right example and focus on key aspects.
Make sure you choose a recent and relevant project. We are talking about technology. Things change very quickly. There’s no point in talking about a project you worked on many years ago. Also, you don’t want to give the impression that your last big achievement in your career was ages ago.
Pick a project that was actually successful. This is your chance to make an impact.
Be specific. The interviewer wants to know your responsibilities, the challenges you faced, your process, solutions proposed and decisions you had to make.
Explain your role on the project, how you added value and how you helped other team members. Also, explain the outcome of the project, but don’t make that the focus of your answer. The success of the project is indeed relevant to the hiring manager, but your specific role and how you performed is generally the hiring manager’s main interest.
3) What was the most challenging situation you faced in a project? How did you overcome the situation?
This question shows the potential employer your ability to accept challenges and how you handle challenging situations.
You can easily answer this question by preparing beforehand. Pick a project that tested your technical skills and that had a positive outcome. Give the interviewer a short description of the project, the problem/challenge you faced and walk them through how you successfully used your skills to handle the problem.
It’s always important to set the context of your answer. The point in your career that you faced that challenge. What was challenging for you 2 years ago might be easy and simple these days.
4) What is your experience level with X technology?
When the interviewer asks you about your experience with X technology, they want to deeply understand how well you know the technology.
Most candidates will answer this question simply mentioning the number of years they have been using the technology.
That’s just the first step. They actually want to find out how comfortable you are with the technology. Mention projects you’ve worked on using the technology. List some projects where you used X technology and explain how you used this technology to solve challenging situations to showcase your experience level.
5) Why do you want to work for X company?
Not a technical question. However, this question always come up in interviews.
What is exactly the purpose of this question?
Well, first the employer wants to see If you are genuinely interested in the company and not only looking for your next role or a pay rise.
To answer this question, make sure you do your research about the company. Reference specific features of their product/projects and show how your skills and experience are in alignment with the requirements for the role.
Talk about the company culture and ask questions about it. Show them you don’t want any job, show them you want that specific job with their company.
Last but not least, show them how your career goals fit into the company.
Overall, the best way to prepare for a job interview is to study. Know your technologies, do your research on the company and on the role. Make sure you know who you are interviewing with and, whenever possible, check the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile. It’s all about studying and preparing yourself! The more you prepare, the more confident you will be answering any questions that are asked.
IT Recruitment Consultant
I am a real people person and spent over a decade in language studies, coaching and sales. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Languages and Literature, a Master's degree in English and a PhD in Translation studies (#nerd). However, a serendipitous event got me into IT recruitment. And I’m loving it! Why? Recruiting has allowed me to leverage my passion for building and maintaining rewarding relationships with my clients while remaining challenged to find the perfect candidates and, in my case, it has also allowed me to keep updated with all the technology trends out there. I take pride in ensuring that placements are a strong match for both parties. There’s nothing more exciting than helping smart people find their next challenge. If I’m not working, I’m probably learning a new language, enjoying a glass of nice champagne or traveling. Also, I love meeting new people and learning new things, so feel free to connect and share your experience. :) If you are looking at hiring or contemplating your next career move in IT hit me up on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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