preparing for technical interview in IT

How to prepare for IT technical interview questions?

Job interviews can be sometimes traumatic for candidates, especially technical ones due to complexity and IT jargon there.
To feel confident and relaxed before and during the interview you should prepare yourself. You can be sure that after some preparations your talk with an interviewer will be smooth and more interesting. Today I will mainly focus on preparation for a technical backend interview, but you can also find here a few general tips which can help you in different types of interviews.
Remember that it is a subjective set of hints which may not be applied in all working places.

Technical backend interview CV form

First and very important thing is your Curriculum Vitae. In 99% cases the interviewer checks CV before the interview, to examine your skills, identity and basically all information you put inside the doc. To simplify this process for your interviewer you should put only useful information. If you applied for a Node.js developer position, there is no need to put information about your driver license or job positions before you started It career. Keep in mind that shorter CV is better CV. If you are able to put everything inside one – two A4 pages then your interviewer can save some time and will be more satisfied. Imagine a situation when your CV consists of five A4 pages but useful data can be stored on a half page and the interviewer has to read everything to obtain a few things, there will be an irritation, for sure. 

Be ready for live coding while technical backend interview

Sometimes, even if you have been assured that there is no live coding session during the interview, the interviewer can ask you to share your screen and e.g. do some trivial JavaScript tasks. So it is very important to be prepared for this kind of situation. You should at least be able to run JavaScript inside your browser dev console. Ideal environment preparation should include Node.js and npm, to be able to start simple http server, or run JS/TS snippets. 

Preparing for an IT technical interview? Repeat the basics 

Lot of mistakes during interviews are made according to the basics of selected technology. Candidates usually know the answers but they are stressed or basically they have to remind themselves how something works, but there is no time to think too long about basic stuff. To avoid such situations you should repeat the Junior’s knowledge before the interview, to look confident in this area. For backend Node.js position before your interview, you should repeat JavaScript things: operators, variable declarations, scopes, higher order functions etc. Also knowledge about basic aspects of the backend developer ecosystem: git, databases or Docker. And of course general knowledge: What node.js is? How does it work? What is npm? What is TypeScript?

Company’s website research will be helpful

Companies usually have blogs connected to their websites. You can take advantage of this and look for some hints. If there are a lot of posts according to Web3 it is a sign for you that this is something worth getting to know about, before the interview. Also technical blog posts can be useful, for example check this one:
The most common Node.js backend interview mistake
I answered there the most common interview mistake during Node.js interview at Concise Software. I can assume that you will get some useful knowledge and answers for interview questions if you check the company’s website beforehand.

Technical backend interview? Don’t be afraid to say: I don’t know

We are all only people! Noone knows everything, so don’t be afraid to say that you don’t know something. On the other hand you should answer at least part of the question. If you don’t know e.g. how the event loop works, tell the interviewer all you know about the topic. Engineers should know how to solve the problems so if you are able to satisfy the interviewer even if you haven’t answered the question fully – good for you! That’s why it is so important to learn the basics before the interview, even if you are a mid or senior developer.

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Prepare a portfolio for an technical interview

Link your GitHub account or attach your portfolio link in your CV. Activity after work in our occupation is something important. If your GitHub account shows that you do something after your regular working time it is a good advantage for you. Remember only to clean up your repositories before the interview, because it can be also a bad thing for you if you e.g. saved access keys instead of using environment variables. Also, don’t be afraid to tell the interviewer that you did something which makes you proud. 

General stuff

Besides everything I wrote above there are plenty more “general” things you should do before the interview. First of all: rest. It is a bad idea to schedule an interview right after your work. You cannot be fully focused if you are exhausted. Do at least 30 minutes break before the meeting. If your interview is an online one, check your internet connection beforehand (mainly stability). Don’t give up if you don’t know a few things, maybe the next question will be better. Don’t allow yourself to distract for example by phone or roomies.

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