CEO Sundays: How To Prepare For Your Tech Interview

By February 10, 2013

The IT job market is recovering at a much faster pace than other industries, with an unemployment rate half that of the national average. With more technology jobs available, there is a better chance for tech job seekers to be get interviews. The question is, will you be ready?

Job interviews for technology-based positions are quite different than other industries. Without understanding how to navigate this unique type of interview, you may not get the opportunities you want.

I talked to some experts in the space to find out the best ways for job seekers to prepare for this type of interview. Here’s what I discovered:

Key Ways To Prepare For A Tech Job Interview

The key to preparing for tech interview is not memorizing your resume or making sure you show up on time. According to Sean Casto, Technology Executive and CEO of, the key may be understanding the company.

“You have to know the company that you are applying for,” Casto said. “Tech companies tend to think that what they are doing will change the world more so than other companies, and in many cases they do. Know why the company you are applying for is important.”

Michael McDonnell, Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at TOA Technologies, also thinks knowing how to solve problems is the central part of the tech interviewing process.

“Technology companies in particular are most interested in how a person solves problems using their creative abilities and the technology tools at hand. A deep understanding of how a potential employee’s mind works is key for the hiring technology company,” McDonnell said.

Tech Interview Do’s And Don’ts

As with any job interview, there are certain do’s and don’ts. According to Casto, an online presence can play in your favor.

“If you have an online or a video resume, show it. We’ll probably Google you anyway just to see who you are, but if you are able to dazzle us online, that only serves you better,” Casto said.

Dressing well is also important, according to Darren Hill, CEO and Co-Founder of WebLinc.

“Dress nicely. Doesn’t need to be a three-piece suit, but should be something that shows you give a shit. Showing up in ripped jeans and the shirt you woke up in makes it seem like you don’t care,” Hill said.

Odd Processes

It’s highly likely you may have to go through some odd processes before you land a tech job.

According to Maria Beave, HR Manager for Unidev, job seekers could be faced with answering potentially odd brain teasers such as, “If you laid pencils end-to-end, how many would it take to reach the top of the Empire State Building?”

Other experts agree. Charley Polachi, Partner at Polachi Access Executive Search, pointed out that Microsoft is famous for strange job interview questions like, “Why are manhole covers round?” and “How many gas stations are there in North America?”

However, Casto believes you should focus on showing how you can create success.

“Whenever former corporate executives apply for tech jobs, they don’t get how tech businesses are run,” Casto said. “Everyone doesn’t sit all day and plan their conference calls, while sitting in their corner office, before they go in their company car to have dinner on their expense account. That’s not how it works anymore. We need people who are rugged and who are willing to do what it takes to make a success.”

Your tech job interview doesn’t have to a complicated process. Preparing for it, understanding key do’s and don’ts, and going through some odd processes are all ways you can succeed in your interview and eventually land the job.

What do you think? What are some other ways for job seekers to prepare for a tech interview?