Common IT Interview Questions: What to Expect

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Landing a job in IT takes preparation. The IT hiring process typically involves several rounds of interviews. You will be confronted with general questions, behavioral and situational questions and technical questions.

Fortunately, you can prepare for these questions in advance, but only if you know what to expect. Before your interview, you should know the most common IT interview questions.

What to expect when interviewing for an IT role

Professionals at all stages of their career must pass the interview process to land in-demand IT jobs.

But what should you expect during a technical interview? And what types of IT interview questions will the interviewer ask?

Most technical jobs use a multi-round interview process.

Companies often start with a telephone interview to select candidates. Afterwards, candidates can take a technical interview, which may include tests or tasks. The next round may include meetings with supervisors or team members. Senior management may also meet candidates for certain positions.

During these interviews, the recruitment manager verifies that the candidates have the necessary technical and human skills. Candidates with strong general computer skills often stand out in behavioral and situational interviews.

At the end of the hiring process, you’ll negotiate on things like IT salary and benefits. But to land a job offer, you’ll need to impress the company with your interview answers.

Technical questions to expect during a computer interview

Technical questions test your knowledge of coding, operating systems, software, and other technical support. Interviewers ask these questions to assess your knowledge of the domain and your ability to communicate technical information.

Technical questions vary depending on the job. Web developers will face more questions about front-end and back-end frameworks, while information security analysts will answer questions about cryptography and security methods.

Many candidates find the technical interview to be the most intimidating part of the process. Build your confidence by preparing answers to common questions and researching questions specific to your field and your potential employer.

  • What is your strongest programming language?

  • How do you use GitHub in your current work?

  • What is a stream?

  • Can you explain the software development cycle?

  • What JavaScript frameworks can you use?

  • What is the difference between a class and a superclass?

  • What is the difference between primary memory and secondary memory?

  • What is a constructor?

  • What is an interface?

  • What is an array?

  • What is the difference between C and C++?

  • What is inheritance?

  • Can you name and define access modifiers?

  • What is the application layer?

  • What is a singleton class?

  • Can you explain how processors work?

  • What is a data structure?

  • What is Deep Learning?

  • What is Machine Learning?

  • How would you define artificial intelligence?

  • What is the difference between compiled and interpreted code?

  • How would you define an algorithm?

  • What is a chipset?

  • How do firewalls work?

  • What are the most common encryption methods?

  • What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS?

Behavioral and Situational Interview Questions

The behavioral and situational questions assess how you handle different situations at work. These questions often begin with “Tell me about a time when…” or “Describe a time when…”

Interviewers ask behavioral and situational interview questions to learn how you handle conflict, work with others, and solve complex tasks.

During an interview, you may find it difficult to present focused and relevant answers to these open-ended questions. Before the interview, prepare a list of examples from which you can answer the behavioral and situational interview questions.

For example, list your professional accomplishments. Describe times when you learned from a mistake, solved a complex task, or worked in a larger team. You can also list examples of project management, leadership, and creativity. Draw inspiration from these stories during interviews.

These questions can arise at any stage of the interview process.

  • How would your colleagues describe you? How would your supervisor describe you?

  • Think of a time when you achieved a goal. What steps have you taken to achieve your goal?

  • Give me an example of a time you made a mistake at work. How did you fix the error?

  • Tell me about a time when you took on a leadership role on a team. What did you learn from the experience?

  • Describe a situation where you solved a technical problem.

  • Tell me about a time when you solved a complex task. What measures have you taken?

  • Describe a situation where you disagreed with someone on your team.

  • Tell me about a failed project. What did you do next?

  • Give me an example where you solved a problem with an unusual approach.

  • Think of a time when you broke bad news to your supervisor. How did you approach the situation?

General Interview Questions

Many technical interviews start with general interview questions – and they also come up throughout the interview process.

Make sure you have solid answers to open-ended questions like “Tell me about yourself.” Practice describing your background, qualifications and previous experience.

Use your answers to these questions to show your interest in the company and the position. Link your answers to the job description. Finally, express your enthusiasm through your answers.

  • Tell me about you.

  • What is one of your most significant accomplishments?

  • What is your background in this field?

  • What programming languages ​​do you prefer to work in?

  • What is one of your greatest strengths?

  • What is one of your biggest weaknesses?

  • What are some of your short and long term professional goals?

  • Where would you like to be professionally in five years?

  • Why are you interested in this position?

  • Why should we hire you for this role?

In conclusion

Whether you’re ready for your first tech job or you’re a seasoned worker, the interview process can make you nervous.

Researching IT interview questions and preparing the answers will build your confidence and help you take the next step in the interview. Knowing what questions to expect could even land you a job offer.

This article has been reviewed by Brian Nichols

A half-length photo of a bearded white man in a gray suit with a blue tie.

Born and raised in upstate New York, Brian Nichols began his computer training at a vocational high school where he focused on computer science, computer fundamentals, and networking. Brian then went to his local community college and earned his Associate’s degree in Computer Information Science. He then earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Networking and System Administration from a private college. Brian now lives in Kansas City and works full time as a DevOps engineer. Brian is also a part-time cybersecurity instructor. He is passionate about cybersecurity and helping students succeed.

Brian Nichols is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Independent Assessment Network.

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