Tech Interview Tips for New Graduates

Posted by

When you are a new graduate, and ready to begin tackling the interview process, what can you expect? Here are a few ideas from two graduates who experienced and had success in the interview process. Kunal is a software engineer, and Peter is an analyst, and they both share their experience in the interview process. Though located in England, I believe their experiences are universally applicable regardless of the country.


Kunal shares how the technical interviews usually started with an analysis of the skills he had listed on his resume, which means it should be obvious that you do not try to be deceptive when listing your skills. From there, the questioning got deeper into his experience and other related skills. Then he was asked to perform a basic logic and computing skills test as well as some problem solving issues.


For Peter, he was also given a problem along the lines of, “I want a piece of software to store a user’s appointments and display them in a diary. How would you go about it?” What was his response to the problem? “I used a whiteboard to give an overview of how the system would work and to explain technical details such as data structures and class layouts.” He was also given a second test, to create a piece of software following the specification of a fictitious client. At this point he gives a key piece of advice, “read every part of the specification so that, unlike me, you don’t find that the last part requires a re-design of the entire system.”


When it came to preparing for the interviews, Kunal believed the key for him would to concentrate on concepts and foundations. Peter, on the other hand, focused on the basics of writing simple software applications in programming languages in his skill set.


For those tricky questions that have a tendency to pop up, Kunal says it is important not to panic. A lot of times these questions kick the thought process into overdrive, causing an over examination and over-thinking of the situation. Stay cool, listen or read carefully, and you may find the solution is much more remedial than initially thought, as was the situation in his case. For Peter, he stresses the same idea of focusing on what is being asked, and then to think before speaking. As he went about explaining the answer, he would work through it, explaining it step by step, explaining the logic as he goes. That way, if he did not know the answer, at least he could show how he got as far as he did in the solution. Often, the interviewer wants to examine your problem-solving skills, and not simply find the answer to their question. It is often a way to see how well you think off the cuff, and how well can you solve a problem when it arises. So, stay calm, don’t panic, pay attention, and explain your thought process.


In the end, Kunal gives a summation of tips. He reminds us that the interviewer is simply there to assess your knowledge, and not to demoralize or embarrass you. Be sure to have a firm grasp on the basics of all of the skills mentioned on your resume’ and never pretend to know more than you actually do. Relax and be yourself. If you do not know the answer to a problem, ask the interviewer for their solution, so that in the end, you have made it a learning situation and shown your willingness to know more. A main goal in the testing is to see if you hold up under pressure and can still solve problems, so stay calm and focus.


For Peter, he suggests when you are discussing software engineering; always ask yourself if your software has a clean architecture and if it can be expanded in the future. If you make it clear that this is your line of thinking, it demonstrates you have given forethought to the issue, instead of just spent time devising clever coding. He also ends with similar tips as Kunal, “Show off what you know, be honest about the things you don’t and, if it’s the right job for you, you’ll do fine.”


Hopefully, these tips from the experiences of two graduates can help you as you consider preparing for your next technology related job interview. For those not as experienced with the interview process, it can be a somewhat frightening situation, but try not to let it frazzle you. Just relax and let your strengths shine.


Image courtesy of


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Jeff McCormack
    Jeff McCormack
    So glad it was beneficial to you. Thanks for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it.
  • Bartolome L
    Bartolome L
    this article made me feel more confident about the interview process and also to be prepared , technically

Jobs to Watch