Successful Interview tips

I am a strong believer of “I can never live my life based on someone else’s experience”. That is why I was never interested in blogging. But, on the contrary, I read through experiences of people online, when I have to do something new. While I am still not convinced in my head about this “someone else’s experience”, I want to share my experience with technical interviews. And here comes my first ever blog post.

It is after failing significant number of interviews, I figured out what can make an interview successful. Interviewers look for technically good and passionate candidates over just technically excellent candidates. Given just an hour or so, you should convince a person that you are both technically sound and passionate about their company. I will cover some tips related to behavioral part of the interview which proved me successful.

Before the interview:

Know what the company is doing. Not just superficially, but get answers to following questions:

  1. How are my previous projects/work related to what the company is doing. For example, I have worked on XX project in one of my courses at school and it is in similar lines with YY product this company offers.
  2. What new features will I add if I join them. I should first understand what all their products does, only then I can think of some new features that I can add on them.
  3. What are some technical questions I want to know answers for if I am given a chance to ask someone from this company like “How do they handle such high loads of data, while I had hard time handling relatively smaller loads in one of my projects”.
  4. What are some business related questions I have about this company. For example, why did they chose to open source a particular product? why did they chose to develop particular part of the product in house while there are many companies that offer those parts at cheaper rates?
  5. What are those things I think I have out performed at my previous work place like “My team was having tough time with planning, I suggested a new practice which my team thought was a good idea and later saw good results adopting it.” , “I have conflicted with my manager about something and convinced him about that and later saw good results about that.”

At the interview:

Once you have thought through the above mentioned questions, you have a lot of stuff to talk about to someone from that company. Now that one person from that company is before you, just have a nice conversation. Few interviewers ask behavioral questions explicitly, which you can take advantage of to present your thoughts. Almost all interviewers gives sometime at the end for you to talk. This is the time you ask technical and business related questions you had and tell them about the new features you think can help the company. Take a reference to your previous projects when you talk about technical stuff.

Let me know in comments, if you have gained from this post.