Preparing for your next technical interview

Posted on: January 4th, 2017

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As a managed services and technology consulting company we are only as good as the people that support our customers. We go to great lengths to ensure we hire individuals that have the right technical background, attitude, and drive.

Over the course of the year MiCORE reviews hundreds of resumes and interviews dozens of candidates for open positions.

From my own personal experience, here are a few things that stand out and a few tips for preparing for your next technical interview.

 

Resume clutter

 I see many resumes where individuals try to demonstrate the breadth of their technical aptitude by listing development languages, operating systems, and databases they have simply seen someone else install or read a book on. In my opinion this is a big mistake for a couple of reasons. First, unless you are interviewing for an entry level position or are a recent college graduate, the hiring manger is looking for individuals that have hands on experience with a particular set of technologies and can solve real world problems. When you have a hardware and software skills section on your resume that takes up half a page you divert focus away from the key skill sets that are going to get you the job.

This may also put you in an awkward position when the hiring manager asks questions about one of the technologies listed on your resume and you can’t answer basic questions or provide examples on how you have used the technology. Skepticism starts to set in and the tone of the interview can change.

 

Always ask questions

From the hiring manager’s perspective asking pointed questions demonstrates that you are really interested in the position. It also will highlight your communications skills. Effective communication is an engaging dialogue and not simply answering questions posed to you.

It is always a good idea to prepare a list of 5-10 questions to ask during the interview. Forbes highlights a list of questions to get you started.

Always write the questions down so you don’t forget them during the interview.

 

Do your homework

It may sound surprising, but I have conducted interviews where the interviewee has no clue what our company does. Maybe they figure they are interviewing for a DBA position and that demonstrating their technical competency is the only thing that matters. Whatever the logic, bad idea.

Not knowing what the company you are interviewing with is a major red flag. #1 it portrays a lazy attitude and #2 candidates looking for a career look for organizations that align with their interests, goals, and values. If you know nothing about the company you are interviewing with you are simply looking for a job. Good hiring managers are looking for individuals that are looking to build a career at their company.

In preparation for your interview you should thoroughly review a company’s website to become familiar with their products and service offering and the types of organizations they do business with. It is also a good idea to review their company Linkedin profile to identify key leaders within the organization and gather information on the individuals you may interview with. It is also helpful to review a company’s Facebook page to gain some insight into their corporate culture. If you are interviewing with a public company you can dig a little deeper and review a company’s most recent annual report (10-K).