The technical screening interview is crucial for hiring representatives for many technical roles. It evaluates a candidate’s technical skills, knowledge, and problem-solving abilities.
It is often conducted by a technical expert, such as a shared editor, software developer, or a specialist from the engineering team, who will ask the candidate a series of technical questions or present them with coding challenges.
Here we will discuss the technical screening interview process in detail and provide some tips on preparing for and acing this vital step in the hiring process.
What is a technical screening interview?
A technical interview is a job interview used to check a candidate’s technical skills and knowledge in a particular field.
The interviewing process evaluates the candidate’s ability to think critically, solve complex problems, and apply technical knowledge to real-world scenarios.
In addition, the results of the technical screening interviews are often used to determine whether a candidate is qualified to become part of the teams that can implement any idea across all platforms using a unified tech stack.
The technical screening interview process
Overview of the technical screening interview process 📝
The whole process typically involves the following steps:
- Initial screening: For example, the hiring teams may review candidates' resumes, cover letters, or portfolios to assess their qualifications.
- Scheduling the interviews: If the candidate is deemed qualified, they will be invited to participate in a technical screening interview. The team mentioned above may schedule phone interviews, on-site interviews, or an interview via email or a famous video interview platform such as Playhunt.
- The communication with the interview itself: The technical screening interviews may take some time. The interviewer asks the candidate technical and behavioral interview questions related to the role or presents them with coding challenges to solve.
- Evaluation: The specialist will evaluate the candidate’s technical skills, communication, and knowledge during the interviewing process.
- Feedback and next steps: The hiring team will provide the candidate with feedback on their performance throughout the technical screening interview. The candidate may be invited to move forward in the hiring process, or their application may be rejected depending on the communication results.
Candidates need to prepare for these steps. By doing so, job seekers can increase their chances of success in the technical screening interview and move forward.
Types of technical questions asked during the interview 🙋♀️
Some common types of technical questions that candidates may encounter during a technical screening interview include:
- The need to test the candidate’s understanding of technical concepts related to the job, such as programming languages, data structures, software development, algorithms, networking, machine learning peculiarities, or database design.
- Problem-solving questions require the candidate to solve a technical problem or design a solution to a technical challenge. The interviewer may ask the candidates to explain their thought processes and approach to the problem.
- Coding interviews include code review questions that involve the candidate reviewing a piece of code and identifying errors, inefficiencies, or areas for improvement. The candidate may also be asked to suggest ways to optimize the code. Sometimes, there can be an ask to write and demonstrate the live coding.
- Behavioral questions (including clarifying questions) assess the candidate’s ability to work in a team, communicate effectively, create a positive work environment, and manage their time and resources. The interviewer may talk with the candidate about the need to describe a past challenge they encountered and how they overcame it (even during a first interview).
However, the technical questions asked during a technical screening interview can vary depending on the company, role, and experience level for the position.
Importance of understanding the job requirements and qualifications 🤔
Understanding the job requirements and qualifications is essential for candidates during the technical screening interview. Here are a few reasons why:
- Helps with preparation: Candidates can better prepare for the technical screening interview by understanding the job requirements and qualifications. They can identify the specific technical skills, knowledge, and experience needed for the role and tailor their preparation accordingly.
- Demonstrates interest and enthusiasm: Work seekers can show their interest and enthusiasm for the role throughout the technical screening interview. For example, they can be genuinely thrilled, ask relevant questions, and provide insight about how their skills and experience align with the work requirements.
- Increases the chances of success: Candidates can ensure they are a good fit for the role and have the necessary technical skills and knowledge.
- Helps with career planning: Understanding the job requirements and qualifications can also help other candidates to identify areas where they may need to develop their most vital skills or gain more experience to be successful in the role or pursue similar positions in the future.
Understanding the requirements and qualifications is critical for candidates during the technical screening interview.
Common mistakes to avoid during the interview 🙅
There are several common mistakes that candidates should avoid during the technical screening interview. Here are a few examples:
- Lack of preparation: Among the most common mistakes candidates make is insufficient preparation for the technical screening interview. Consequently, it can result in low self-confidence, poor performance, and a missed opportunity to reach the goal.
- Failing to listen to the interviewer: Candidates should be attentive and actively listen to the interviewer’s questions and feedback. Failure to do so may lead to misunderstandings, incorrect answers, and a negative impression.
- Overcomplicating answers: A person should strive to answer even the general background questions concisely and straightforwardly. An overcomplicating answer can make it difficult for the interviewer to follow the candidate’s thought process and signal a lack of communication skills.
- Being dishonest or exaggerating: Candidates should be honest about their technical skills, knowledge, and experience. Exaggerating or misrepresenting their abilities can damage their credibility.
- No questions: Job seekers must take advantage of the opportunity by asking the interviewer questions regarding the company, the role, and the technical requirements. The absence of questions can signal a lack of interest or enthusiasm for the position.
Avoid these common mistakes and prepare effectively for the technical screening interview.
How to prepare for the technical screening interview
Candidates can start by reviewing the requirements, researching the company and its products, practicing coding challenges and technical problems, and refreshing their knowledge of technical concepts and best practices related to the role. Focus on each stage to come to the next round.
Research the company and read the job description carefully
As discussed earlier, the candidates should research the company and read the job description as it helps understand the organization’s mission, values, company culture, and technical requirements for the job.
Review and refresh technical skills and knowledge
It’s better to refresh knowledge of programming languages, frameworks, tools, and technical concepts related to the work.
Practice answering technical interview questions
Do your best to answer technical interview questions related to the position and industry to improve communication and problem-solving skills.
Prepare questions to ask the interviewer
Prepare questions to ask the interviewer to prove your interest in the position and gain valuable insights into the company's culture, expectations for the role, and opportunities for growth and development.
Moreover, asking questions allows candidates to clarify any doubts or concerns they may have about the role or the company, making it easier for them to make an informed decision if a job offer is extended.
Tips for excelling in the technical interviews
Candidates can use various techniques to excel in technical interviews, such as practicing active listening, maintaining a positive attitude, and demonstrating confidence.
Demonstrate strong technical skills and knowledge
Candidates should showcase their best technical skills and knowledge in information technology by providing a clear, concise, and accurate answer to the technical question.
Communicate clearly and concisely
Job seekers should communicate their ideas clearly and concisely to ensure the interviewer understands their thought process.
Show enthusiasm and interest in the company and job position
Employers want to hire genuinely passionate and motivated candidates about the work they will be doing and the company they will be working for.
Demonstrating a positive attitude and a genuine interest in the organization during the interview process can give job seekers a competitive edge over other candidates who may have similar qualifications but lack enthusiasm.
Showcase problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
Employers highly value problem-solving and critical-thinking skills as they are essential to effectively navigate workplace challenges. These skills involve analyzing complex situations, identifying problems, developing creative solutions, and making sound decisions.
Send a thank you note, follow up with the interviewer, and prepare for the next step in the hiring process
A person should send a thank-you note, follow up with the interviewer, and prepare for the “next steps” in the hiring process.
By following these preparation tips, people can increase their chances of success in answering every interview question.
Launch Your Technical Screening Interview Campaign with Playhunt
Playhunt helps to start a technical screening interview campaign (multiple rounds with multiple choice questions) and ace your next interview process.
You’ll get access to 15 free technical interviews for practicing and refining your skills by creating a free account.
It’s easy to track your progress, identify areas where you need self-improvement, and focus your preparation on the areas that matter most with Playhunt’s intuitive platform. Remember to read the job description and demonstrate your soft skills.
Whether you’re an experienced developer or a newbie, Playhunt can help you prepare for technical screening interviews and advance your career. Start your interview campaign with Playhunt today by creating a free account.
Playhunt provides hiring managers with an extensive library of technical interview questions and assessments designed to evaluate skills and knowledge.
Our user-friendly and intuitive platform allows your candidates to prepare for interviews (even an on-site interview where you can type answers) at their own pace and become new hires.
Moreover, you can use Playhunt to get detailed analytics and reports on each performance from the candidate pool.
That lets you quickly identify top candidates, make informed hiring decisions, and talk to the lucky ones. Playhunt developers understand the importance of finding the right talent for your organization.