Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mastering the Art of the Technical Interview

Gabriel (Gabby) Silberman, CA
Erin Chapple, Microsoft
Traci Wicks, Intuit
Ellen Spertus, Google
Lindsey Fowler, Amazon
Nancy Amato, Texas A & M University
Beverly Walker, Lockheed Martin
Lynn Pastorius, Vanguard

This session was broken into 4 parts: technical questions, behavioral questions, questions for the interviewer, and questions from the audience.  Here are the main points from each section.

Technical Questions

  • Take control of the space [use the white board or any note paper provided]
  • Show your thought process, think aloud [the interviewer knows your thought process.  Thinking through things can help you come up with an answer you didn't think you knew]
  • Don't be afraid to ask for further clarification of a problem/question
  • In general, it is expected that you write compileable code although for complex solutions it is sometime acceptable to use pseudo-code
Behavioral Questions
  • Used because past performance is good indicator of future performance
  • When discussing team projects, be sure to include your individual contributions [Interviewers also observe how you speak of your teammates]
  • You can use an example when things didn't quite work out, but be sure in talk about what you learned and what you will do differently in the future
Questions for the Interviewer
  • Use this time as chance for self-reflection [if you made a mistake earlier in the interviews, perhaps with a different interviewer, you can use this time to correct yourself.  Interviewers will most likely meet as a group to discuss their impressions]
  • Ask how decisions are made in the organization and what the core values are [Make sure the core values align with your own]
  • Get different perspectives of the company by asking the same question of different interviewers [Remember, you're interviewing the company too!]

1 comment:

Linz said...

Official Conference wiki for this session:

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