ServersSurviving the Technical Interview

Surviving the Technical Interview




It seems there is no quicker way to strike terror
in the heart of an IT professional (or aspiring IT pro) than to speak those
ominous words:

SWatch Reader Favorite! It seems there is no quicker way to strike terror in the heart of an IT professional (or aspiring IT pro) than to speak those ominous words:

‘First, you’ll need to pass a technical interview.’

“First, you’ll need to pass a technical
interview.”

I’ve had students who were at the top of their
network training classes call or write to me in a panic, asking what to expect.
As if a job interview weren’t nerve-wracking enough by itself, when you add the
word “technical,” it becomes a whole different – and even scarier
– prospect. This article will, I hope, help you to overcome your fears and
doubts about the process and tame the tech interview beast.

Before I get into the how-to’s, though, I have a
confession to make. Even though I’ve sat on the other side of the
interview desk on many occasions as the hiring authority, even though I enjoy
the chess-like game of strategy of the job interview situation, even though I am
– after building a highly successful IT business along with my husband,
teaching hundreds of students in computer-related courses, and with eleven IT
books published – pretty confident of my skills and knowledge, I still dread
the “technical” interview.

Technical Interview Facts of Life

But it’s a fact of life in this industry, so it’s
important to learn our ways around the tech interview, anticipate some likely
questions (or types of questions) that we’ll encounter, and understand what the
technical interviewer is really looking for (contrary to what you may
feel during the interview, most are not sadists who stay up nights thinking of
new ways to torture job applicants with obscure and convoluted interrogatories).

Revised, Dec. 20, 2010

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