Technology

3 questions you’ll definitely be asked in a tech interview


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While a bad interview can sometimes feel like the hiring manager is trying to interrogate, trick or catch you out, a good interviewer will approach things differently.

Instead they will use their time to find out vital information revealing whether or not you’re a suitable hire, and the tone of the interview will be more conversational than confrontational.

That said, you’ll still need to prepare yourself for the usual questions surrounding your skills and experience, paying particular attention to how you can seamlessly weave both into answers about the position you’re interviewing for.

And with research from Korn Ferry estimating that it only takes seven seconds for someone to form an opinion after you’ve met, using the first couple of questions to warm up and find your flow isn’t feasible.

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So, with that in mind, we’re detailing the three questions you should prioritize ahead of any tech interview.

1.   What is your most career-defining role to date?

This question isn’t an invitation to share horror stories about past employers or launch into a lengthy description about why you want to leave your current role. Instead, use this question to reference key moments throughout your career which make you the best candidate for the job.

Did you move into a more senior role at some point and relish the opportunity to take on more responsibility? Did you experience a merger that required you to adopt a new way of working that challenged you but ultimately gave you more insight or improved processes? Use this question to add context to your resume and reveal qualities and characteristics about how you approach work, resolve problems and navigate periods of instability or uncertainty.

2.   What are your strongest tech skills and which do you use most often?

According to data compiled by interviewing.io, a technical mock interview platform, tech applicants now need to perform 15% better in technical interviews than they did in 2022.

This is arguably down to the vast number of layoffs the tech industry has witnessed in 2023—approximately 226,000 so far this year—and a recalibration after the Great Resignation which saw over 47 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs.

So instead of listing various skills that you’re vaguely proficient in, focus on the ones you’re really good at and genuinely use in your everyday work life––as this is where your value lies.

3.   What are you looking for in your next role?

Culture fit is just as important as skills and experience and a hiring manager wants to know that the person they hire will not only gel with their team, but embrace the values and culture of the company as a whole.

Use this question to detail your career goals, where you see yourself in five years and also how you like to work. For example, do you prefer to engage in deep work remotely and use in-office days to collaborate with team members? Are you looking for a fully remote opportunity? Do you want to mentor more junior team members or be mentored by leadership? Now is your chance to lay all your cards on the table.

If you’re ready to put your improved interview skills to the test, the VentureBeat Job Board is the perfect place to start your search. It features thousands of tech jobs in companies that are actively hiring, like the three below.

Senior Developer Technology Engineer – AI, NVIDIA, Santa Clara

NVIDIA is looking for a passionate, world-class computer scientist to work in its Compute Developer Technology (Devtech) team as an AI Developer Technology Engineer. In this role you will study and develop cutting-edge techniques in deep learning, graphs, machine learning, and data analytics, and perform in-depth analysis and optimization to ensure the best possible performance on current- and next-generation GPU architectures. You will also work directly with key customers to understand the current and future problems they are solving and provide the best AI solutions using GPUs and collaborate closely with the architecture, research, libraries, tools, and system software teams at NVIDIA to influence the design of next-generation architectures, software platforms, and programming models. View more details here.

Senior Performance Engineer, DigitalOcean, United States

DigitalOcean simplifies cloud computing so builders can spend more time creating software. It is seeking a Senior Performance Engineer who is familiar with some (not all) of its stack and tools, has a willingness and aptitude to grow into the role, is comfortable working remotely, and is excited by the idea of contributing to open source projects. As such, you will be tasked with developing and maintaining realistic benchmark applications that emulate customers’ environments, strategize performance characteristics and parameters for new and future product offerings and triage and fix operating system issues impacting the performance of product offerings. See the full job description here.

Principal Machine Learning Researcher, Autodesk, CA

The Fusion 360 Machine Learning team at Autodesk is looking for a Principal Machine Learning Researcher to conduct applied research, identifying new and creative ways to apply SOTA methods and frameworks to the design and manufacturing context, plan research projects to de-risk critical unknowns, document findings and recommend to leadership whether an idea is feasible and collaborate closely with product management, UX, and engineering teams for all stages of a project (ideation, applied research, prototyping, production-ready models) and with data engineers, ML engineers and ML ops to define, develop, train and test new algorithms and models. Get more information here.

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