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Top Technical Job Interview Questions For Experienced & Fresher Candidates

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." ― Benjamin Franklin.

Even tech masterminds can have a tough day during rigorous and intimidating technical rounds, especially if they do not know what to expect. In this epic compilation of the most common technical interview questions, you will find the key to conquer this dreaded round and best showcase your skills and experience.

Stick to this blog for the next few minutes and prepare yourself for the test of life.

Here's what this article will cover:

  1. What is a technical interview?
  2. How to answer technical interview questions
  3. Commonly asked technical interview questions
  4. How to prepare for your technical interview?

What is a technical interview?

A technical interview is a role-specific interview round that assesses if the candidate is the right fit for the job. Technical interview questions can range from logic tests to behavioral reasoning and brain teasers.

Unlike popular belief, a technical interview's purpose is not to frighten you with impossible questions and riddles. Instead, it is a test of how you will perform in a real-life situation and tackle the daily challenges you are expected to face in the said job.

Thus, during the interview, the interviewer will not only assess your technical know-how but will also look for additional qualities that you bring to the table. The interviewer will judge you based on your soft skills such as interpersonal communication, problem-solving attitude, and teamwork, and leadership.

How to answer technical interview questions 

The dreaded technical round is a field day for hiring managers. Not only do they get to test the candidate's technical proficiency, but they also get to see the creativity and methodology prospective employees use to tackle real-life scenarios.

Here's a secret…

Hiring managers can predict more often than not when a candidate is trying to tell them what they'd like to hear.

"But how is this helpful," you ask?

You get to be YOU.

You can be creatively authentic when you answer technical questions, showcasing YOUR methodology that YOU developed with experience.

Still confused? Here are a few tips to help you out in this regard.

  • Understand the question

Honestly, hiring managers will often be intentionally ambiguous and throw an occasional curveball here and there. If you come across one such question that does not provide enough information to solve it, ask.

 Verify that you understand the question and have enough data before you start solving the problem. Interact with the interviewer and extract as much information as possible. This approach also highlights your zeal, and giants like Apple and Google look for proactive employees.

  • Provide easy examples

For most of the technical questions asked in an interview, there is no right or wrong answer. When you are asked situation-based or reasoning questions, the interviewer is more likely to believe fact-based solutions than hypothetical stories.

Work with generic examples that you might come across every day. Pick up on big or small patterns that apply to the question. Draw parallels between these patterns and any problem you might have solved in the past. Remember not to give up mid-way. 

Let the company know that you're one who doesn't give up easily.

  • Start with the most obvious solution

"Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way" – Douglas Pagels.

More often than not, hiring managers will be looking for applicants who can see the situation with a set of new eyes. Sometimes, especially when facing deadlines, a direct approach using the most straightforward solutions works the best.

When challenged with aptitude technical questions, start with a generic, most obvious solution, and then build on it as you go further.

  • Look for improvements

As mentioned above, technical interview questions have been crafted specifically to test the methodology rather than the final solution. Thus, most interviewers will be interested in how you reach the solution and improve upon your initial answer.

Always look for methods to refine your answer. Never leave a lousy solution unattended. Find the missing pieces in your response, points you may have overlooked, situations you might have missed, etc.

  • Follow up

When you come across a question you think you could have answered better, take a note of it. Revisit this question later with a calm mind and think of ways to build on that answer.

A smart move would be to ask the interviewer the expected answer or clarification. Not only does this give you a chance to improve your response, but it also leaves the impression that you are a hard worker willing to learn new concepts without worrying about setbacks.

Commonly asked technical interview questions

Before moving on to numerals and logical reasoning tests, the interviewer will possibly ask a series of questions to learn more about you and how you tackle problems in real life.

  • Behavioral interview round questions

Technical round questions are similar to how other interviews usually begin: a set of generic behavioral problems.

The purpose behind these questions is to know more about the candidate as a person and how well he/she will alloy with the organization's culture.

Questions can range from teamwork and leadership to conflict management and work ethics. To answer these, make sure to provide a real-life situation to back up your answer and highlight your skills and problem-solving attitude.

Here are some of the most common behavioral interview questions that you might face during your interview:

  1. What was the most recent project that you worked on, and what were your role-specific goals and responsibilities?
  2. Do you like working in a team or alone?
  3. What, according to you, is your proudest achievement?
  • Situational interview round questions

After the behavioral round, the interviewers will, in all probability, throw situational questions next. In this round, they will test your abilities with hypothetical situations and then ask how you would respond to such workplace tasks.

Listed below are a few situational interview questions, most commonly asked in technical interviews.

  1. Discuss an instance where you went above and beyond your responsibilities for a client or a project.
  2. Have you worked with a co-worker that was unresponsive in giving inputs and feedbacks?
  3. How will you approach a task if you are not sure how to complete it?
  • Questions about your education

During this round, the hiring manager wants to know your educational background, role-specific technical training, and how you prepared for the job role. Without bragging much, get straight to the point and mention your academic accomplishments, special certifications, and on-job training sessions relevant to the position.

This round can include questions like:

  1. How do you keep yourself updated with the latest trends in the industry?
  2. What are your proudest technical certifications?
  3. How do you think your education prepared you for this job?
  • Questions about technical knowledge and experience

After the three rounds above, the interviewer will move on to test your technical prowess and experience. Apart from confidence over your skills, exhibit your soft skills, such as your communication skills and comprehensive abilities.

The specific questions will vary a lot based on the role that you are applying to, but a standard set of questions include the following:

  1. What are the coding languages you have worked with?
  2. How is SAN used?
  3. Describe the role of a continuous integration system in an automated build process.

Questions about Tech Tools, Systems, and Security

What they want to know

As you might have guessed, technical interview questions, most of the time, have a predetermined fixed solution. Employers will mention clearly in the job listing the topics a candidate must be conversant in and have complete command over them.

Apart from your proficiency in the said topics, interviewers will be looking for how you arrive at the solution, i.e., your methodology.

This approach allows them to look for role-specific qualities, such as leadership, management, hardworking, strong work ethics, etc. Thus, your fact-based solutions should highlight your knowledge and contribution to a project and your creativity in tackling a question.

How to respond?

Prepare to dive deeper into the essentials of programming, development, and cyber-security. While answering such technical questions, highlight the following characteristics in your answers:

  • Be a kind person
  • Show that you are willing to learn new concepts
  • Solid communication skills
  • Problem-solving attitude
  • Exhibit teamwork and conflict management 
  • Show empathy

These skills apply not only to big guns, such as Google, Amazon, and Netflix, but also to other companies in various fields. That being said, exhibiting these skills is easier said than done.

For the theoretical questions, you will most likely know the answers from your preparation. However, do not be blunt about the definition and try to back up your answers with real-life examples whenever possible. If you do not know the answers to a particular question, admit it to the interviewer and tell him/her how you would follow up and find the correct answer.

So, here are some of the most common technical questions asked in an interview for you to prepare beforehand. 

  1. Have you worked with any development?
  2. What programming languages do you prefer?
  3. What source control tools have you used?
  4. Describe the elements and appropriate uses of an in-tier architecture.
  5. Compare and contrast REST and SOAP web services.
  6. Define authentication and authorization. What are the tools used to support them in enterprise deployment? Define them.
  7. Describe your experience with Visual Studio.
  8. Have you used Eclipse?
  9. Describe SAN and its use.
  10. Describe clustering and its use.
  11. Discuss the role of DMZ in network architecture.
  12. What is a cross-site scripting attack? How do you defend against it?
  13. In network security, what is a honeypot, and why is it used?

Interview questions about Database Design 

As a database designer, your primary job role is to determine what data to store and how they correlate and fit into the database model. 

What they want to know

Once again, the interviewer is mostly looking for applied knowledge rather than theoretical definitions. You will be asked questions based on your technical familiarity gained with experience, similar to college exams.

How to respond

If you have previously designed databases or worked with automated-build tools, you will hopefully know the answers already. Therefore, exude confidence while answering, and focus on your skills while providing situations based on your experience.

Here are some of the most common interview questions on database designing:

  1. Discuss some databases that you have designed.
  2. What is the logical design of a database?
  3. Mention the steps to design a logical data model.
  4. What is a Null Value, and how is it different from Zero-value?
  5. What is the purpose of database normalization?
  6. When should you de-normalize database design?
  7. What differentiates OLAP from OLTP?
  8. What automated-build tools or processes have you used?
  9. What role do continuous integration systems play in the automated-build process?
  10. Mention how you monitor the most crucial database performance metrics.
  11. Do you know the key distinction between optimistic and pessimistic locking?
  12. Discuss the role of SNMP.
  13. Can you explain how an RDBMS organizes data into tables and fields?
  14. Identify what's wrong with the query below (followed by an incorrect sample SQL query)
  15. Write an SQL query to find the Xth largest entry from the ABC table, assuming there are at least 50 records in the table.

Trivia

Technical interview questions for freshers

Freshers should focus more on their curriculum and highlight the experience gained through internships (if any), as the technical interview questions will often resemble the college semester exams. Some technical interview questions for freshers can include:

  1. What do you think is problematic about coding?
  2. State some notable features of PL/SQL.
  3. What are the three primary sections of a PL/SQL block?
  4. What are the variable naming conventions in JavaScript?

Questions about your work habits and processes 

IT companies look for 'quality' people along with 'quality' code in this super-paced age, which is the primary notion behind questions on your work habits.

What they want to know

As an IT expert, you may be required to work solo or as part of a team, depending on the project requirements. Therefore, your prospective employers want to know how you work as part of a team and communicate with other team members. 

How to respond

Since these questions will be mostly opinion-based, the interviewer will look for hidden skills and traits in you through your answers. Express your willingness to learn new concepts and adopt new processes into your workflow. Demonstrate your interpersonal skills and back it up with situations you might have faced at your previous jobs.

Some common work habit questions you might be asked include the following:

  1. How much time do you spend on unit testing?
  2. Do you reuse the code that you develop? How?
  3. How do you keep your skills updated with the latest industry trends?
  4. What do you consider are the crucial elements of a successful team?
  5. Do you contribute to open-source projects in your free time?
  6. What technical websites do you follow?
  7. Are you a service-oriented solutions guy or a batch-oriented?
  8. Have you gone above and beyond your responsibilities to make sure that a project was delivered on time?
  9. How will you present a complex programming issue to someone not technically sound?
  10. Describe your research process when designing a new software system. 

How to prepare for your technical interview?

Do your homework.

Hiring managers expect applicants to be curious about the organization. During the interview process, you should find a lot about the company culture and work environment, but that is not the time for all the details.

"Use time as a tool, not as a couch" – John F. Kennedy.

Take some time before the interview to research the necessary information about the company. Tap into online resources and your network to find specific information regarding the interview process to get an edge over other applicants.

Brace for a whammy.

Expect a few curveballs, as hiring managers like to see how a candidate performs under pressure. Maintain your calm and display a positive approach to answer the question. If you get stuck on a question, do not be afraid.

Sometimes, you will face a few technical interview questions with no right or wrong answer or a sensitive topic such as intercultural smoothness. 

While answering these questions, remember that your tone and attitude are equally as important as what you give voice to.

Many companies' technical interview process involves a phone screening, whiteboard coding challenges, and remote coding projects. While you may not have to submit an assignment during the first technical round, be prepared for a few brainteasers here and there. 

Don't just talk - be ready to personify your expertise.

Remember, the best way to sharpen your skills is to use them.