It is obvious that you cannot crack an interview without practising for it. Even though you might be the best programmer/developer in the world, if you are unable to sell your skills with the correct communication, someone else might bag the job and you will be left with unemployment.
Yes, you have to be well versed with all the requirements for the job role but if you are lacking in soft skills then your value as an employee in an organisation will decrease exponentially. Do not worry as we have done the research for you; just read on to know more.
Soft Skills Required for a Technical Interview
It is no question that you need to have good communication skills and spoken English. Nowadays you can get your English scores higher by practising mock papers or old papers of IELTS and TOEFL but if your spoken English is not up to the mark, then we would suggest you join a spoken English class.
Do not be unenthusiastic during the interview at all as recruiters look for candidates who are passionate. These candidates would provide them with the most efficient work possible. You should also be able to prove to the interviewer that you have leadership qualities, so holding a position of responsibility on your CV will benefit you more than you presume.
How to Prepare for a Technical Interview?
Cracking the technical interview for a company would require you to master a few skills and be a jack of trades of some. Below are some topics which you definitely need to cover before you sit for a technical interview.
- Data Structures and Algorithms
- C/C++, Java, Python (You need to be well versed with at least one out of these three programming languages)
- RDBMS (Relational Database Management Systems) e.g. MySQL
- OOPs (Object Oriented Programming Systems)
- Operating Systems
Let us now talk briefly about each of these.
Data Structures and Algorithms: This is an absolute necessity for whatever job role you are applying for – be it data analyst, data scientist, database engineer, database administrator, cybersecurity engineer, or cybersecurity analyst. In order to get an idea about what questions can be asked from this section, you can check out Google mock interviews available online. Google emphasises Data Structures and Algorithms the most as these are the building blocks of computing. You can start with competitive coding as it significantly revolves around Data Structures and Algorithms. You can also visit www.codingninjas.com/codestudio/guided-paths/data-structures-algorithms for a detailed course on Data Structures and Algorithms.
C/C++, Java, Python: These three languages are the most widely used ones in the IT industry. Though there are many more languages, being well versed with one of these three languages will help you solve any question thrown at you by the interviewer. Try to take up a course on one of these three languages. Check out mock interview questions online and try to solve them one by one. Remember practice makes perfect. In case you are running low on time and are unable to do the research by yourself, we have got you covered.
Below are the links to a few courses which would help you get better at programming languages. These courses will let you learn Data Structures and Algorithms with the help of a programming language.
DBMS (Database Management Systems): Databases also make their way through every field. You need to at least have a basic idea of how Databases and Relational Schemas work. If you do not know how DBMS work, then please visit www.codingninjas.com/codestudio/guided-paths/dbms-database-management-systems
OOPs (Object Oriented Programming Systems): OOPs mainly revolve around four basic concepts. They are Inheritance, Polymorphism, Encapsulation, and Data Abstraction. These concepts are not difficult to learn at all and probably will take you a few hours to master provided you are well versed with a programming language, for example Java. You can definitely find many free and paid courses online to learn OOPs. To find out what questions you might get from this topic in your interview, you can search for ‘OOPs mock interview online free’ on your search engine.
Operating Systems: This is a very important topic and one that no candidate should skip. It is a topic that has a lot of concepts in it like CPU Scheduling, Process Synchronisation, Deadlocks, Time Management, and Memory Management. Answering all questions from this topic will ensure the interviewer that you have in-depth knowledge of computers as this tells you about all the background processes running the computer. We have an updated 2021 course on Operating Systems, feel free to check out the link below: www.codingninjas.com/courses/operating-systems
Networking: Like Operating Systems, Networking is a must-learn concept for every interviewee. This will help you learn how data is exchanged and transported in an Information System. There are mainly four types of Computer Networks – LAN (Local Area Network), MAN (Metropolitan Area Network), PAN (Personal Area Network) and WAN (Wide Area Network). You can visit the link below to further strengthen your concepts on Computer Networks: www.codingninjas.com/codestudio/guided-paths/computer-networks
General Preparation Tips for an Interview
Now that we have covered the topics that you need to practice for a technical interview, we shall move on to a few tips that would give you an upper edge over other candidates.
Firstly, know the company and the job role that you are applying for, research on them and their products/services. The interviewer might give you a question where he or she talks about a product and how you, as a data scientist or a software engineer can improve that particular product/service. So, you should always make sure that you know enough about the company to face a question like this.
After that, we move to your CV/resume. You should never lie about your skills and achievements on your CV as companies mostly do a background check before they employ you. If you are a beginner at Node.js and a master of C++ or Java, it is better to leave Node.js out of your resume. Companies do look for versatile candidates but your value as an employee goes up if you are a master of one skill instead of knowing a lot of skills at an entry level.
Furthermore, you should never be late for the interview. Companies respect time management a lot as most employees get paid by the hour. If you do not respect the company’s time, you as an employee are not an asset but a liability to the company.
Last but not least, dress properly as it roughly takes a human about a few seconds to get an impression of you. If you dress shabbily, then you definitely will not be able to make a good initial impression on the interviewer. Iron your shirt and pants, make it wrinkle-free and be sure to clean your shoes before you step into the interview room.
Frequently Asked Questions
Practising for an interview by subscribing to a mock interview service, using a mock interview app or sitting for one or many online mock interviews will definitely help you as you will face a vast number of questions that you might face during the real interview. Knowing the answers to these questions will boost your confidence. If you encounter a similar question to that of the mock interview, it would not take you even a little bit of time to answer it, this will definitely impress the interviewer increasing your chances of getting hired.
Remember to keep calm and not be anxious at all as anxiety will definitely hamper your cognitive abilities. If you do not know the answer to a question, do not say that the answer to the question is not known to you. Instead, ask for some time, a pen, a sheet of paper and whatever else you need to start solving the problem. Even if you do not find the correct answer, your efforts will not go in vain, the interviewer will still be okay with the fact that you tried.
The best answer to a question is the most obvious answer. If it is an easy question, do not consider it as a tricky question with a complex answer. You will only waste your time and resources thinking this way.
Well, the selection of other job roles is almost the same as that of a software engineer. If you are really worried about the interview, then you can apply for mock interviews for software engineers online. There are many recruiters for big companies that offer these services.
Practice is key! You have to practice solving more and more questions in order to strengthen your coding skills. CodeStudio by CodingNinjas is a great way to solve real questions asked by companies during technical interviews. It even has a real-time online compiler for you to check bugs in your code. The link for CodeStudio is www.codingninjas.com/codestudio .
It is recommended that you start with C/C++ or Java to have clear fundamentals. But, if you are in a hurry, then Python might just be the coding language for you as it has an easy syntax when compared to both C++ and Java.
Python and R are two widely used programming languages by most data scientists/analysts.
Companies emphasise most on Data Structures and Algorithms as they are the building blocks of Computer Applications.
It is very important to understand the value of practising. Your practice for a technical interview will determine your odds of securing the job. Make sure you have at least one project on your CV that you have actively worked on, and be prepared to answer questions on the same. Apart from this, your GitHub repository, internships and LORs (Letter of Recommendation) are your best bets at standing out from the rest.
Give Google mock interviews and participate in Hackathons if you have enough time left as they will increase both your coding and critical-thinking skills. If you make sure that you follow all the points mentioned above, and solve enough mock interview practice questions, there is nothing that can stop you from getting placed at your dream company with your desired job role.