Mock Interviews are, fundamentally, practice interviews. Like any other interview, one must also prepare for technical interviews. As a matter of fact, one must give more effort to technical interviews and prepare more rigorously. It is not a matter of technical interviews being harder than HR interviews but instead, it is the fact that technical interviews evaluate your skills, thus making it essential to hone your skills and practise technical problems; for example, during HR interviews, candidates are generally assessed in areas such as behaviour, personality and confidence.
Candidates are also evaluated if they are the right fit for the company and the company’s requirements. Meanwhile, technical interviews are all about understanding your skill level and your abilities.
The prime focus of technical interviews is to find out if you are skilled enough to carry out the daily tasks the job role you are applying for is demanding. Technical interviews are not just limited to assessing candidates based on companies requirements either, they also try identifying your other key skills and how good you are at solving problems.
Thus, it is absolutely essential to practise as many technical problems such as System Design problems or coding problems while simultaneously also sitting for Technical Mock Interviews.
Preparing for Technical Mock Interviews
Once you start preparing for your technical mock interviews, you must take this as seriously as you would during your real technical interview. Consider mock interviews to be your actual job interviews and prepare for them with the same level of dedication you would show the latter.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for your technical mock interview:
- The first and foremost is using the right mock interview platform or mock interviewer. You can choose to do it with the help of an online mock interview service or with the help of an offline learning institution. However, it is always recommended you do it online because you will be saving time and also avoiding the need to travel. With the help of the right online platform, you can also keep retaking online mock interviews as many times as you want.
- You can even opt to get interviewed by someone you know or someone who can serve this role effectively, either online or offline. It is advised that you do not choose your friends or family members as they might not be able to provide honest feedback and analyse your performance properly. Choose a senior you have reported to or a person with industry experience. It is even better if you can find yourself someone who has worked as a recruiter. If you cannot find someone from your circle, then try getting someone from your industry through platforms such as LinkedIn or GitHub. Even though you cannot directly send a message on GitHub, you can always ask your favourite domain expert to interview you through opening an issue on open source projects.
- Always select a professional setting that will simulate the interview environment that you will be experiencing. Try to be as professional as possible during the interview and be on your best behaviour. This will allow you to emulate the same easily during your actual interview.
- Be ready to join the interview (online) 15 minutes before the actual time or arrive 15 to 30 minutes early (if offline). This will help you not get late during your technical interview and you will especially find this to be helpful if you are facing device issues (online) or traffic (offline).
- Always keep your documents handy when going for your mock interviews as well. If you have digital versions of your documents, then keep them ready so that you can present them without taking up much time.
- Carry a notepad for writing down the feedback your interview provides. Go with a mindset where your objective is to identify what your interview wants. Research about the job roles you will be applying for and understand what your actual interviewers will be looking for.
- Revise technical problems and common technical interview questions that are commonly asked. However, do not memorise the answers and try to come up with answers of your own. Prepare your answers in a way that you do not sound robotic but interesting instead. This way, your interviewer will also enjoy taking your interview.
- Dress sharp and formally, how you would for an actual interview.
- Practise having formal conversations but with a friendly tone.
- Practise in interacting more about specific areas of a problem or a technology. Try to discuss technology, tools, systems or problems on your own in order to prepare for the mock interview. You can also choose to debate with yourself about solutions as well. This will open up your abilities to talk about the problems or questions that are thrown at you.
- You do not have to study a lot but make sure you study every single day. Make it a habit to look up things that you might need for your interviews.
- Practise problems such as programming problems or system design problems every day. Ensure that you revise your past projects and can talk about them in the interviews. Also, practise topics that are associated with your degree or credentials. You can also try honing skills that you have used as a working professional.
- Go through job listings and the different requirements of those job roles. Identify what companies will try to assess based on the roles you would go for. Research the interview experience of other people and go through mock interview videos on platforms such as Youtube. You can also use the Coding Ninjas CodeStudio in order to check the technical interview experience of hundreds of individuals.
- Practise programming languages such as Python, C++, C and Java.
- Identify the skills you lack and what your weaknesses are. Spend as much time as you can on improving those areas and upgrading your current skill set.
- Study Operating Systems, Computer Networking, System Design, Advanced DSA and DBMS.
- Study concepts such as Object-Oriented Programming and Dynamic programming.
- Practise writing code on paper or whiteboards with pen and markers. In a lot of technical interviews, you are asked to write code on paper instead of an IDE. Also, practise writing clean code. You can also prepare problems that involve identifying the problems in code and fixing them.
- Always use timers and time how long you are taking to answer a question or solve a problem. Try to best your time without messing up your answer or solution. This will help a lot when you sit for a mock technical interview or a real interview where there is a time constraint.
- This is an additional thing you can do and is definitely not compulsory, however, studies have shown that meditation, relaxation and exercising help in improving your performance and in reducing your stress levels.
- Start preparing for your interviews as early as possible. Even if your actual interview is months away, start preparing now.
What to Practise for Technical Mock Interviews
When it comes to technical interviews, it is always a good idea to practise technical mock questions and other questions from past technical interviews. However, there are certain topics, which if you study, will definitely help you during your technical mock interviews. Many mock interview services allow you to take a mock interview online for free.
Some of these services such as Pramp, InterviewBit, Interviewing.io and PrepBunk even allow you to take multiple retakes. There are even mock interview apps that you can use to take technical mock interviews from your phone. Most of these services come with a preparatory period, crash courses, study material and syllabuses that can help you prepare.
However, if you truly wish to ace your interview, then you can consider taking up a Coding Ninjas course such as the Interview Preparation course for Service-Based companies which will train you efficiently for your upcoming interviews through modules or classes and provide mock interview features as well.
However, if you wish to practise on your own, it is recommended you practise the following topics and the problems associated with them:
- Foundational Programming
- Loops and Functions
- Linked Lists
- Arrays and 2D Arrays
- Binary Search Trees
- Problem Solving
- Hash Tables
- Linear Data Structures
- Advanced DSA
- Graph Theory
- Dynamic Programming
- OS Foundations
- Process Management
- Memory Management
- Storage Management
- System Design
- Architectural Patterns
- Application Characteristics
- Web Applications
- Servers and Security
- Fundamentals of DBMS
- Data Modeling
- Entity-Relationship Model
- Relational Model
- Classification of Databases
- NoSQL Databases
- Database Optimisation
Frequently Asked Questions
You can prepare for a technical interview by studying various topics associated with the job role and by sitting for mock technical interviews.
You should not waste any time and assume that you have a lot of time for your upcoming mock interview. You should also not assume that certain topics are less important than others, especially if you have time on your hands.
You will answer questions that are asked of you, and based on your answers and how to go about solving problems, your performance will be evaluated.
You can prepare for mock interviews by finding out the syllabus of the mock interview and preparing questions and practising problems accordingly.
Candidates are expected to be smart, fast, knowledgeable, well-mannered and punctual during a good mock interview.
No, technical interviews are not hard, it is just that candidates must study before these interviews in order to pass.
Yes, there are paid technical mock interview services such as Tech Mock Interview and My Interview Practice.
You should prepare as soon as you find out about your technical interview, even if that is weeks ahead or even months ahead.
You can crack a technical interview with ease by enrolling in a course such as the Service-Based course or the Product-Based course by Coding Ninjas.
Mock interview practice is essential for finding success during your actual technical interview, thus, it is best that you either join a full-fledged program that comes with mock interviews or you use an online mock interview service in order to achieve the same results. There are many services that allow you to sit for mock interviews by software engineers working in companies such as Facebook and Amazon. Thus, it is absolutely essential to prepare well for your mock technical interviews, especially if you are spending money to sit for them.