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How to prepare for a Technical Interview?

“Can you please explain the difference between a personal computer and an advanced computer”-A senior official of HCL asked an aspirant for a programmer post in an interview?

“Sir, the personal computer has ROM (read only memory) and the advanced computer only works on RAM (random access memory)”- The boy replied forthwith.

This was a technical interview in the campus of a premier institute of computer Science and such a thoughtless answer by the boy made him a laughing stock every where. He got admission in the course one year back and although learned about various computer languages but had never had any interest to know about computer hardware. His argument was there was no such need for software professional to keep updates about hardware.

Says a very senior recruiter for technical jobs- “if one technology is born today, it might get old tomorrow and can be dead day-after-tomorrow. God save those technologists who have no desire for knowing all in it”.

If you are pursuing a technical career, be sure that there would no end to learning in your life. Unless you are completely prepared, never make any attempt to step in to an interview. Your familiarity with your subject may fly in the face of questions from experts in this field. “I do not know” is the least appreciated reply from the people conducting it.

Guidelines before a technical interview

  • There is growing competition in the job market especially for the technical jobs. The reason is increasing number of institutions in the technological studies as well as growth in the strength of pupils.
  • The job market is also changing. Although there are new genres of jobs in the industries, the stability of the jobs is less because of the changing face of technology.
  • Day-by-day professionalism is also growing with the entries of multinational companies in various parts of the globe. HR managers keep on looking for the best talents from the industries. The result is cut-throat competition among professionals.
  • There is increasing focus on the personal qualities of professionals. The industries believe that an individual may develop by the training given to him but ethical values in the character of an employee can not grow by training.
  • The selection procedure has become difficult, involving in its folds razor-sharp techniques to eliminate candidates from the selection process.

How can you be best prepared before a technical interview?

Self-analyze your preparation- What is soul searching? It is when you know the good and bad of your thoughts and feelings, helpful in arriving at a correct decision. This helps in attaining perfection.

In the same way, self- analysis is more fitting term for the preparation before an interview. You correctly think about your positive and negative sides, necessary for a self-presentation before a technical interview. What you need to say about your back-ground, qualifications and experience?

Some of the typical questions in the interview are;

  • Tell us something about yourself.
  • How do you justify your technical background with the eligibility criteria for the advertised job?
  • What makes you think that we should hire you?

Keep yourself prepared with the most logical answers to such questions by consulting with your peers, faculty and experts in your field.

Make an analysis of your background- For a technical job, you need to make your own analysis of your technical background. This should not discourage you. Suppose you are applying for a position in Sales and you are an Electronics engineer, the right initiative would be to make a brain storming about own qualifications and experience vis-à-vis the eligibility criteria mentioned in employer’s advertisement. You might be having shortfalls as regards eligibility norms but the gap can be bridged up by your intelligent answers.

Suppose there is a remark in the interview that you are less experienced, you can mention examples of your extraordinary performances within your period of work in the present company.

The point here is to place before the interview board that experience does not mean only a time period rather tackling complex cases successfully within a period. Such relevant answers can be kept ready by analyzing background vis-à-vis expectations of the employer.

Keep your list of accomplishments ready- Keep your list of achievements in academic and jobs ready. It might be helpful to prove that;

  • What are your accomplishments in academic pursuits and on the job experiences?
  • Narratives of the situations where you took the leadership and solved the cases.
  • Proofs of solution of cases before the interview boards. The examples are letters of praise from faculties and authorities in the office.

Explain your important points-  Explain what makes you outstanding among so many candidates. Give illustrations of what were the real problems in your technical job and solutions provided by you.

Show off your achievements- “Accomplishment” and “achievement” are two different words. All accomplishments are not achievements. If you have received 1st division in B.Tech examination, then it can be termed as an accomplishment. But if you are a topper in the university, it is definitely your achievement.

In the professional sphere, a less qualified person can make an achievement. For instance, you are a sales engineer having a diploma in Electronics but you have achieved huge lots of sales of computers by outbidding other companies, it is definitely an achievement for you.

Make a very good projection of your career goals, hobbies and interests – It is best for you that you write your career goals taking into consideration the corporate goals of the employer. Such career objective can be more helpful in your selection. If you have hobbies and interests which support your credentials as a good employee, it will be more fruitful. For instance if you have an interest in reading all the industrial magazines or technical journals, you can easily impress the selectors. Hobbies which show your sportive nature are helpful.

Present your skills and specializations properly- If you have skill in any particular technology, highlight those neatly in the bio-data and present before the interviewers in detail. Special skills in any technical area can give more weight to your candidature. Similarly elucidate your specialization in the subjects along with the projects and term papers you have done.

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