Technical interview questions and experience levels

Because we see a lot of questions about interview problems and experienced people not getting the jobs they want, the technical questions area is one of the best places to address this problem.

Because all technical questions are direct questions, you can use the techniques in answering direct questions as well as a few tips we'd like to give about the technical questions.

Being highly experienced can be a major asset in any interview. When there's also a strong technical element in the interview, it can be a winner, because you're way ahead of other applicants.

However-

There are also a few things you need to consider. Sometimes experienced people don't get jobs purely because they don't answer questions effectively.

This is an extremely common problem at interviews, experienced people not getting jobs, and not knowing why. To get through this very infuriating situation, it's often a matter of using your experience as a problem solver.

Example:

You may be a highly experienced plumber, but you're all drains and taps. What they want in the new job is a bathrooms, Jacuzzis and pipes person. You're an experienced plumber, but this is very different work.

You do know how to do the job, but you haven't had much experience lately. You're also about to be hit with technical questions on the subject of Jacuzzis.

You can bone up on the Jacuzzis easily enough, they're not that difficult, but your experience is still drains and taps. You're at a disadvantage against Jacuzzi specialists, even though you are a highly experienced plumber.

To answer technical questions you need to break the problem down into manageable components where you can use your experience effectively.

You know about the water heating, the pipes, installation, and the basics of how a Jacuzzi works.

If you consider the question, If an outdoor freestanding Jacuzzi doesn't heat, what's the problem?, what's your answer?

How do you structure your answer?

In this case you know it's the electricals, because the unit is self contained. The heating unit element needs replacing.

It's also a trick question.

Unless you're also licensed to do the electrical work, they need an electrician.

That's exactly what you tell them.

Use your experience to take problems apart. You'll find the questions a lot easier to deal with when you're on shaky ground.

Every technical question requires the basic professional knowledge and understanding of the issues above all else. Interviewers don't mind weeding out people with questions like that.

Points about technical questions

There's nothing random about technical questions. They're intended to explore your knowledge, in depth. You can expect a very wide range of subjects.

With every technical question, you need a result as an answer.

Ask yourself: What is the answer supposed to achieve?

Many technical questions are problem solvers. Identify the problem, analyze the intended outcome, and structure your answer to make the solution.

Some technical questions are purely theoretical. These are usually relatively easy for experienced people, but make sure you get the theory in context with the subject matter. If the question is about drains, talk about drainage in context. If it's about accountancy, talk about the basic principles of accountancy in context.

Never be fazed by technical questions.

We just saw a Jacuzzi as a non-problem for a plumber.

Technical questions don't have to be a problem for you, either.

Assess the question
Identify the intended result.
Figure out what needs doing to achieve the result.
Give a structured answer.

It's that simple. You do know the work.