Interviewing for a Tech Job: 5 Questions

Interviewing for a Tech Job: 5 Questions

Whether you’re considering an apprenticeship or a traditional job in the tech field, you can expect a series of interviews just as you would with any other position. You should of course be prepared for traditional interview questions like:

Tell me about a time when something didn’t go as you had hoped, and how you responded.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

How would your co-workers describe you?

With a tech role, however, you should also be prepared for more specific questions related not only to technology but the intersection of technology and soft skills, including your ability to communicate. Answers will vary depending upon your level of experience, but you should be prepared to address questions similar to these:

What do you do to stay current and keep your tech skills up to date?

Technology changes constantly. Your potential employer wants to know that you have the habit of putting in the effort to stay on top of those changes.

Which resources do you consult to help you do your work?

This is a similar question in that the interviewer wants to know that you do more than just show up and do the work in front of you. Your answer here demonstrates that you’re engaged with the broader tech world outside of your job. You know where to go to solve for the challenging questions.

Which technology products or services are your favorites, or least favorites, and why?

With this question, the interviewer is probably less interested in the specific products or services and more interested in the “why.” For him or her this is a glimpse at what makes you tick as a tech professional. This is not the time to go off on a rant, but if there are products or services that you feel come up short, be prepared to explain why you think so – and what you would do about it if you were in charge.

Let’s pretend for a moment that I work in another department and know nothing at all about tech. How would you explain so I can understand it?

This is a vital question that begins to uncover the way you’ll interact with others. In many roles, the very best technical skills are less valuable if you can’t communicate effectively with other team members. Your ability to translate the complex into layperson’s terms demonstrates an important component of those soft skills mentioned above.

Suppose we’re having this discussion two (or three, or five) years from now. How do you think technology will have changed?

Just as any interviewer will want your vision of where you see yourself in the future, they’ll be interested to see how much thought you’ve given to where technology might be going. There are no wrong answers here because no one knows for certain, but be ready to demonstrate that you’ve given the bigger picture some thought.

Even if you’re coming into a tech apprenticeship with no related experience, you can do the background work to answer these questions. With some research, you can tell an interviewer what you will do to stay current, which resources you think will be most valuable, and so forth. The fact that you’ve given these things some careful thought will set you apart from many other candidates.