When an employer understands that you have the necessary skills and experience, you are invited for the interview.
An interview is the most personal part of the job search process which evaluates one’s skills, experience, motivation and presentation.
The interviewer determines whether the candidate would fit in the existing culture. But as a candidate your aim should be to prove that you are the right person for the role.
How to prepare for interview
Go through the company’s website, blog and social media profiles to check about the values and cultures of the organization.
Read the job description carefully to understand the job responsibilities and qualification required in that position. You should be careful with their order as they are mentioned in the order of their priority.
Identify the talking points from job description which complement to your skills, experience and accomplishments.
Think about experiences like internships, training, academic projects, interests, hobbies for describing qualities like team-work, initiative, co-ordination, work under pressure, work in deadline, pressure handling, failures, success etc.
Prepare model answers to the questions which are asked in every interview.
Practice the interview with the friends or career counselors or professionals. Practicing interview in front of mirror can be useful to some extent.
Record your answers, listen them and make changes if required.
1. Traditional interviews: About interests, strengths & experience
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why did you choose computer science (your subject)?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What are your short-term and long-term goals?
2. Behavioral interviews: To determine future with past actions
- Tell me about a time when you performed better than expectation.
- Describe the most significant leadership role you have held. What was your greatest challenge?
- Tell me a time when you worked under deadline pressure.
- Tell me something you initiated.
- What are the changes you would like to see in your university? How would you do that?
- Tell me a time when you had to sacrifice personal goals for the team.
- Tell me a time when you had to convince something to a group of people. How did you do it?
3. Technical interviews: Only technical questions
- What are data structures?
- What are pointers in C?
- What is the difference between recursion and iteration?
- What happened in 2008 financial recession?
- Name some companies which are undervalued.
- If you have to introduce a new product in a foreign market, how would you do it?
4. Case interviews: Based on hypothetical case questions
Followings are some helpful hints for case interviews-
- Write down important information.
- Feel free to ask the interviewer for an explanation of any point that is not clear to you.
- Remember that calculators are not allowed – you may write out your calculations on paper during the interviews.
- Take time to organize your thoughts before answering. This tells the interviewer that you think about the problem in a logical way.
- Be sure to mention a range of potential issues to explore instead of immediately diving very deep into one issue. Then ask your interviewer if he or she wants to go deeper on any of them specifically.
5. Brainteasers: Puzzles & guesstimates
- Can you name the smallest integer that can be written without two digits?
- Can you name the biggest number that can be written with four 1s?
- Recently I attended a small get-together. I counted the number of handshakes that were exchanged. There were 28 altogether. Can you tell how many guests were present?