What Are the Fundamentals to Brush Up on Before Your Technical Interview?

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If you are trying to land a new software engineering job, you will likely have to contend with a technical interview. Unlike traditional interviews, technical interviews involve much more than merely responding to questions. Instead, you’ll typically be given problems to solve, often on a whiteboard, so that the hiring manager can learn more about how you think and would function in the role.  

Before your next interview, it’s wise to spend a little time brushing up on software engineering fundamentals. That way, a simple question won’t derail you. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some basics that every software engineer should review.  

Software Engineering Fundamentals  

While the exact questions a software engineer will face during a technical interview will vary depending on the precise nature of the role and the company’s priorities, it is wise to assume that certain fundamentals will come into play. In some cases, a candidate will be asked about a specific fundamental directly. In others, the interviewee will need to rely on an essential skill to solve a problem.  

For a software engineering interview, it’s wise to brush up on class design, data structures, recursion, algorithms, debugging, and similar core knowledge areas. Additionally, candidates need to be comfortable discussing strings, arrays, syntax, data types, trees, stacks, graphs, linked lists, hash tables, and queues.  

During a technical interview, you’ll be asked to solve a problem. However, you need to be able to do more than write out a solution. Instead, you need to be able to discuss your problem-solving steps and the reason you pursued a specific path. As a result, make sure your preparation includes not just the capacity to use a skill but also the ability to talk about it while you work the problem.  

If you want to make sure that you are thoroughly prepared, review the vacancy announcement, and take a look at the primary duties associated with the role. Then, consider which fundamental skills or competencies are involved in the handling of those tasks. Anything that could be a core part of the job might come up during a technical interview, so make sure to brush up on all of those areas as well.  

Practicing for a Technical Interview  

Since practicing before an interview is always a good idea, make sure you dedicate some time to preparing for your technical interview. Often, you can find example questions online, giving you an idea of what you may face and an opportunity to refine your problem-solving process.  

When you find a question, use the whiteboard approach to find a solution and make sure to talk through your thought processes. This will make you more comfortable with this aspect of the technical interview, increasing the odds that you’ll excel in what can be a strange experience.  

Looking for a Great Technical Job?

If you’d like to learn more about technical interviews, the team at VB can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our skilled team today and see how our interviewing expertise can benefit you.  

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