Interviewing Guide

Check out the Career Center’s Guide to Interviewing here.

Technical Interviews

Technical interviews are common within the professional fields of CEMS. Technical interviews are when a company asked you to problem solve and demonstrate your knowledge and skills through solving problems on the spot. For more information on how to nail a technical interview, check out this article here.

This panel of professionals in various tech fields discuss technical interviews.
In Part 1, they address the following questions:
1. What is the purpose of a technical interview?
2. What are some examples of technical interview questions? (6:46)
3. How can job seekers prepare themselves for tech interviews? (10:10)
4. How to handle not knowing the answer to a question (15:11)

In Part 2, they address the following questions:
1. How do you feel about books like “Cracking the Code”?
2. Can you share an experience bombing an interview? (1:14)
3. How much time would you recommend for preparing for an interview?(8:10)
4. How hard is to shift between sectors in STEM? (13:01)
5. Do students need to do special projects outside of their coursework? (24:14)

Thank You Notes

Thank you notes should be sent within 24-48 hours of an interview via email or written letter. It is a chance to thank the employer, express your continued interest in the position, and highlight any skills you would like to mention after the interview. See example(s) below.


Tips for Answering Technical Interview Questions

Interview questions vary across field and position. However, these general tips will apply in most situations:
1. Think out loud
You should be comfortable talking through your thinking, allowing the hiring committee to hear how you process information. Explain what factors you are considering and why you are making the choices that you do. Remember, the process is more important than the result. They want to see that you approach information logically. 
2. Don't be afraid to ask questions
Try not to make assumpotions. If anything is unclear, ask clarifying questions and confirm your udnerstanding. Remember, they are looking at you as a future team member. Being an open and honest communicator is also important. 
3. Pay attention to vocabulary
The words you choose matter. Be precise with your language. Instead of a vague word like "result", is there a more precise way to describe that? (output, return value, etc). Remember, you should be a clear communicator but also show that you have technical knowledge. 
4. Get stuck? - Talk it through
Not everything will always go smoothly at work. If you encounter a problem, talk through it. Consider your options and describe what has you stuck. Recognizing the issue might be just as important as resolving it. Remember, the process is important, and the hiring committee wants to see how you handle adversity. 
5. Consider the big picture
Don't forget to consider how the problem you are solving may affect a larger system. Don't get so caught up in the details that you miss the larger picture. Remember, it is also important to understand how your decisions affect the larger whole. 
6. Don't forget your "soft skills"
Your interviewers also want to see your personality and how you interact with them. Remember, no one wants to work with a robot. 
7. Learn to be uncomfortable
Some interview questions are designed to make you flustered. Interviewers want to see how you react under pressure. Whether it is a breathing exercise, a go-to process for deconstructing a question, or something else, find a way to settle your mind and re-focus. Remember, stress is part of the process - you cannot control it, but you can control how you react to it. 
8.Practice, practice, practice
There is no substitute for working through real problems either alone or with a small group. Set up regualr practice times. Treat it like an extra class (or club if you want a positive spin!). Remember, practice will increase your confidence!