Congratulations on being selected for an interview! If you’re at this stage of the application process, you have succeeded in convincing an employer to invest time in meeting you.
Now, it is time for you to prepare to answer questions on the spot and articulate what makes you a truly compelling candidate. Remember, our first answer to any question is generally not the best answer. So don’t let your first interview be your first time actually answering interview questions, which may include:
- General/Informational Questions – To assess your overall experience & cultural fit
- Technical Questions – To assess your tech knowledge, coding skills, problem solving & analytical ability
- Behavioral Questions – To assess your past experience & behaviors to determine potential to succeed
Here are a few tips on how to better prepare:
- Write out your answers to frequently asked questions.
- Practice saying your responses out loud.
- Practice with friends and classmates, or schedule an appoint with me!
- Ask for feedback on the content and organization of your answers (completeness, level of detail, how easy to follow) and your presentation style (pace, voice quality/tone, energy, posture, eye contact, hand gestures).
- Film or record your responses and review your performance. Be sure to observe your non-verbal communication/body language.
Here are a few resources to help you prepare:
- Interview Techniques (by UCI Division of Career Pathways)
- MSWE Mock Interview Questions
- Behavioral Questions – Interview – Success Stories Worksheet
As a MSWE student applying to tech positions, you should expect that all, if not most, of your interviews will be purely technical, or include a technical component. You can expect questions that:
- Relate to specific knowledge about the company’s technical activities;
- Relate to understanding technical work required to be completed as part of the job applied for;
- Relate to work completed as part of a degree course (if it relates to job); and/or
- Solve actual technical problems that you would likely face if employed.
Because technical questions vary depending on your interviewer, it is important that you are ALWAYS writing code, practicing how to implement data structures and algorithms, etc.
Check out the following resources to help you practice:
- CodeGym (Comprehensive site for Java programming. Sign up with your UCI email address then contact us to be added to the MSWE group.)
- Leetcode (Leading Online Programming Learning Platform)
- HackerRank (Join over 5 million developers to improve your coding skills)
- GeeksforGeeks (A CS portal for geeks including company preparation, must-do coding questions, step-by-step preparation, etc.)
- Codility for Programmers (Lessons and Challenges for Programmers)
- Pramp (Free up to 6 peer/professional interviews and unlimited if you recommend 3 friends to join. Suggested by MSWE students)
- Codechef (Online Programming Competitions and Contests)
- InterviewBit (See collection of coding questions asked by Google, Amazon, etc.)
- Interview Cake (Subscribe to get a free weekly practice problem)
- Cracking the Coding Interview Cheat Sheet (by CareerCup.com)
- Reference Google’s Technical Development Guide