Tips to Ace Your Interview: Tech Edition

Nov 6, 2018 by Rylan Lee

Interviews are a source of anxiety for many. They seemed laced with booby traps—a complex maze of Dos and Don’ts. DO talk about your interests. DON’T talk for too long. DO sell yourself. DON’T be too cocky… 

And when you’re applying for technical positions, you know that initial interview is the gateway to your technical interview. 

So how do you come out of an interview leaving your dream company’s recruiter with a lasting impression? How do you make it to that coveted technical interview?

We sat down with one of HMB’s recruiters, Amber Rush, to discuss three common interview anxieties—and how to overcome them.

 

 

Q:  Are there right and wrong answers?

A:  Ironically, Rush says, yes and no.

But—more “no” than “yes.” 

“Those, I guess, more open-ended things aren’t right or wrong,” Rush clarifies.

In that first interview, it’s all about letting the recruiters get a sense of who you are. Questions like “Tell us things you’ve worked on.”or “What are your goals for the future?”are angling towards getting a well-rounded picture of you. So, in that regard, you’re the only one who knows what’s right or wrong. In other words, just present yourself honestly.

…To an extent. Back to the “yes” part of Rush’s initial answer—she cautions that there may be “wrong” ways of phrasing your answers:

“Say you’re at a company, and things are not great, you can say that in a way that you get that across without bad mouthing-people.”

 

 

Q:  What if I’m not qualified enough?

A:  At an IT company—applying for a technical position—this is a big question. And Rush is blunt. If the skills are lacking, she says, the job will likely remain out of reach. 

But should you still apply? Absolutely!

“I have met folks in the past,” Rush explains “that do have such a passion, and you can tell they love this but aren’t quite there yet skill-wise to where we can utilize them. Those folks I will definitely keep in touch with for down the road once they have more experience.”

 

 

Q:  Am I talking too much? Too little?

A:  On top of worrying about what to say, now you’re worrying about how long you’re saying it!

Rush’s simple answer?

A good rule is to aim for a 50/50 split. You are talking 50 percent of the time; the interviewer is talking 50 percent of the time.

“Give enough detail to answer the question that they’re looking to know about,” she says, “but don’t go overboard.”

 

BONUS:

Memorize these three words:

Personality, Passion and Skill

This is your interview trifecta—and the recruiters, says Rush.

“Are they an outgoing person?” “Do they have a passion for technology?” 

These are the questions your recruiter has bobbing around in her head when meeting you for the first time. So hone in on communicating your

  • Passion for technology and the role you want.
  • Personality that’s a perfect fit for the company culture.
  • Skills that mean you have the technical proficiency to succeed.

 

Oh, and one more thing. Relax.

“It’s nice to just be yourself,” says Rush.

Load more comments