3 Key Job Interview Tips for Software Engineers


interview_questionsAccording to a recent Forbes article, the average interview lasts around 40 minutes, but most hiring managers decide if they will hire the candidate within the first few minutes. In additional to making a perfect first impression, job candidates must demonstrate initiative, creativity and problem-solving skills. Hiring managers in the software engineering sector will likely verify the candidate’s technical competency and applied knowledge.

Prepare for White-Boarding
Whiteboard coding is a standard part of software engineering interviews. Job candidates often focus on preparing questions, but forget to practice the delivery of their responses. Interviewers use whiteboard coding problems to evaluate how clearly, quickly and concisely candidates verbalize their designs. Hiring managers pay close attention if candidates write messy code, run out of space or forget essential parts. Always write down the entire problem, create a few samples, use double-spaced lines and write slowly to improve legibility.

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Interview Preparation
Hiring managers will ask technically tough questions to find out if job candidates are practicing professionals or theoretical thinkers. They do this to determine the software engineer’s type, capacity and potential. The candidate’s answers to these questions may impact if they are offered a desk job with a pencil or a leadership position over a unit. Technical questions will require candidates to apply software engineering principles to real-world situations. Research the company to understand their programming preferences and practices. Hiring managers may ask casual questions about interests or hobbies to survey initiative and ambition.

Interview Questions
There will be questions about the candidate’s experience with industry standard software engines, platforms and packages. Avoiding sharing surface-level knowledge by discussing past successes, useful shortcuts and advanced techniques. Demonstrate that you are actively keeping up with technology changes and applications through professional development activities. This could be maintaining an Oracle, Cisco or Microsoft certification, or it could be consultant training through qualified staffing firms. Either way, be prepared to demonstrate your soft skills, such as collaborative teamwork, project administration and client relationship management.

Software engineering job interview questions may ask how candidate’s negotiate changes, meet deadlines, adjust priorities, resolve conflicts and handle simultaneous projects. It is best to practice sketching models, explaining algorithms and presenting programming solutions.