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Navigating the IT Job Interview: Essential Tips and Tricks

5/24/2023 Karolina Szafrańska


Whether you’re an experienced Senior Developer or eagerly seeking your first IT job, the recruitment process can often feel like a nerve-wracking experience. But fear not, it doesn’t have to be that way at all! In fact, with the right preparation and a mindset of curiosity and openness, you can turn it into an exciting opportunity and approach an IT technical interview with ease.

Remember, it’s not just the recruiters who are on the lookout for a new team member – you are also searching for the perfect project and a team where you can collaboratively build amazing software together!

So, how can you best prepare for the interview with the recruiter and the technical assessment of your programming competencies? Our expert technical leaders and HR team have some valuable suggestions to share:

Prepare in advance and answer the questions honestly

Kamil Korga, Technical Leader (Backend):

Kamil Korga, backend technical team leader at Clurgo

Before the IT technical interview, be sure to understand exactly what position you are recruited for and what type of technology stack questions you can expect. If you’re applying for a job and you haven’t worked with some of the technologies mentioned in the offer, try to learn some of the basics or at least get a basic understanding of it – what it’s used for, for example. Ideally, a few days before the job interview, review the most popular topics from the technology stack. It’s not worth doing this at the last minute, because you run the risk of getting things wrong under stress.

During the technical interview, don’t worry if you don’t know all the answers, that’s normal – we’re not walking encyclopedias and we haven’t always encountered a particular problem/concept yet. Honesty is also very important – remember that when we ask some questions during an interview, it is a sure thing we know the answers. You lose a great deal in the eyes of a technical recruiter if you cheat or hedge.

Let us see how you approach the problem

Krzysztof Boczkowski, Technical Leader (Frontend):

Krzysztof Boczkowski, technical team leader (frontend) at Clurgo

When preparing for a meeting, remember to take your time to refresh the knowledge of the technologies you are familiar with. Remember that if you don’t remember something during the interview, a good recruiter will try to give you a clue. During the meeting, don’t be afraid to share your experience, because that’s your most important and unique asset. E.g. did you write unit/integration/end-to-end tests? Talk about what your work has been like from that perspective, try to be as specific as possible, and if you don’t know something, don’t make it up, just admit it. This will save you time you can spend on showing your strengths.

An IT technical interview also consists of practical tasks, such as writing a piece of code or preparing a code review. It sometimes happens that a roadblock comes up and prevents you from implementing a solution. This doesn’t mean that you are doing a bad job. You are human, and you have the right not to know everything. In such a situation, try to find another solution, talk to the recruiter, show them how you approach the problem. Keep in mind that the main purpose of these tasks is to find out how you work with the problem, how you get information, how you communicate with team members, how you write code. By communicating your ideas as well as your roadblocks you let the recruiter get to know you.

Do your research and take stock of your achievements

Katarzyna Wilczek, Senior IT Recruiter:

Katarzyna Wilczek, Senior IT recruiter at Clurgo

When making an appointment, remember to choose a day when you can calmly spend time on preparation and meeting. Before the interview, it’s always a good idea to visit the company’s website and learn about their business model, major projects or clients. In this way you will get an idea of what to expect, and perhaps prepare your own questions about things to be specified. It is a good idea to take stock of your accomplishments before the interview – you will likely be asked about your past projects.

Sometimes during the IT technical interview we also ask about some of your failures. Prepare for such questions by remembering that failures are a great example of whether you learn from your mistakes. Think of a situation that could be considered a failure, yet taught you something important and share this particular experience.

Approach the IT job offer as a list of potential questions

Kamila Binkowska-Szut, Senior IT Recruiter:

Kamila Binkowska- Szut, Senior IT recruiter at Clurgo

Analyzing the requirements for the role point by point is a good practice before the meeting. It is a sure thing that you will be asked about the technologies that are listed there.
Remember that speaking in your own words is OK 🙂 We don’t expect you to recite definitions from books, but you need to make sure that the key issues appear in your answer.

Also, prepare a few words about your work experience, e.g. what type of projects you were engaged with (custom-made software developed from scratch, application development, maintenance?), what business processes/industries you already know and what technologies/tools you work in. You may be asked to talk about what you currently do. It’s worth using this time to briefly present key information. If you are very experienced, choose 2-3 most interesting projects, preferably those that are similar to the role described in the job offer.

Looking for new challenges and feel ready to check those tips first-hand? Check our open roles in the carreer section!

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