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How to Talk Tech in Your Next Job Interview

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Questions asked during a tech interview can go in many directions. You will be asked questions that require a story-telling approach to cover technical and soft skills (behavioural questions), past projects and past roles – for these questions, use the STAR framework. Examples are: “Tell me about your last role”, or “Give me an example of a solution you’ve developed using .NET” or “Talk about this project you’ve mentioned on your CV”.

Other types of questions require that you demonstrate your competency in a specific area, for example, “Describe your experience with .NET” or “Have you used React before?”. Use the personal value proposition framework to prepare answers for these questions. You must have a range of value proposition statements ready to go and well-rehearsed – you can plan for these based on the selection criteria and requirements of the roles you’re applying for. An answer would sound like this: “I have 6 years of experience using React for UI development on 8 projects, including in my last role where I designed and developed the front-end for 3 different web applications. Would you like me to talk about one of those projects?”.

Once you’ve progressed through these common types of questions you will need to demonstrate your technical depth further and it’s likely this is more conversational. When you’re sitting in a room across from the Head of Engineering or a Senior Software Architect, while you don’t necessarily have to sound like a walking encyclopaedia, you have to imply unequivocally to the interviewer that you indeed are knowledgeable about the technology stack you use in your day to day life, be it a programming language, an algorithm, a framework or an IDE.

To prepare for these conversations, rehearse and refine answers to the following conversational questions about the tech areas that are relevant to your role, i.e. .NET, React, or Amazon S3. If you can talk with authority and confidence to answer these questions, consider yourself well prepared. 

  • What do you like about it?
  • What do you dislike about it?
  • What would you want to improve/change?
  • How would you compare it with A/B/C or D? (A, B, C and D being other tools or software that can do the same tasks)
  • What do you think about the latest release? (if relevant – could be ‘next release’)

For example, if you’re a Database Engineer, with expertise in PostgreSQL the queries above can be tailored as follows – 

  • What do you like about PostgreSQL?
  • What do you find most useful about it?
  • What are some of the things about PostgreSQL that frustrates you?
  • How would you compare it with NoSQL databases like MongoDB?
  • PostgreSQL has a new release planned, what do you think they’ll focus on?

The same set of questions can be tailored for Frontend Developers in the following manner –

  • What do you like about React?
  • What do you dislike about React?
  • What would you change or improve about the latest upgrades to React DOM Server as implemented in version 18.2.0?
  • How would you compare React with Angular?

This is of course not an exhaustive list of preparation questions but it is a good starting point that can complement your interview preparation roadmap. You should also prepare your thoughts around best practices, standards, and common problems or mistakes.

Now, you don’t necessarily have to memorise answers for all of the questions listed above for each and every piece of technology that is essential for the role you’re applying for. The best process would be to pick core technologies that are crucial for your role as described in the vacancy. This framework for addressing technical interview questions will assist you in delivering fact-based answers when asked about your technical competency during interviews and also help you come off as a dedicated candidate who keeps up to date with the trends of their niche.

Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but with practice, you can conquer interviews in no time. CV Writers’ Interview Coaching Services give you the opportunity to practise 1-1 mock interviews with an expert interview coach. Our coaches also provide bespoke feedback for improvement, and make sure you’re equipped with the right tools for interview success. 

Ben Wood
Ben Wood

Professional and executive Career Coach with seven years of experience providing CV writing and career services to 400+ professionals and executives, with specialist knowledge in public sector appointments, executive profile development, and tech/telco careers. Background of 20+ years in IT includes 10+ years at Telstra where he managed engineering and product development teams with up to 100 staff.

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