Technical Interview Experience and Tips

Filed in From the Staff by on October 31, 2012

Technical Interviews Look Something Like This

I have had 3 technical interviews so far: One completely unexpected and in person, another over the phone and one last one on site. After each interview, I learned a little more about how to handle those sorts of things. Some of the information comes straight from the employers, some of it comes from my friends and a lot of it comes from just knowing myself.

The most recent technical interview I had must have been the most interesting. It was a 2 hour onsite technical interview. The lay out was 1 engineer for 30 minutes, which totaled to me getting quizzed by 4 different engineers over the 2 hour block. At first, just thinking about the interview was really overwhelming. The idea of getting a 2 hour pop quiz made my bones shake. I knew that if I were to stand a chance, I would have to sit down and review everything and most importantly I would have to calm down.  Ideally if you land an interview for some position the questions you’d be asked are things that you have seen in your classes before.

With that in mind, I really wanted to make sure that I knew my stuff!  I am not good at keeping notes but I was able to get a lot of old notes from my friends. Having friends in your major can be really awesome. Another resource that really helped with reviewing was speaking to my professors. I went to some professors whose classes I thought would be relevant to the interview, one professor gave me access to a folder full of all the old material from his class. The folder had everything from lecture notes to exams. By the end of a  few small conversations, I had more notes and exams than I was actually willing to review. I battled with a few old assignments before I decided to just soak in everything and relax.


Ohm's Law is Important

At the Interview:

The first interviewer said that a lot of the questions will be about Ohm’s Law. I can’t believe how important the information from the intro course is! I guess this interview really stressed the importance of a strong foundation. After the first interviewer finished quizzing me, he gave me some advice:

He said speak slowly and clearly: rather than saying “this voltage” or “this node” be sure to point to exactly what I am talking about and take the time to explain every thought. It isn’t just about getting the answer but also showing the process. He also said to calm down and I should be fine.

The next interviewer asked me about my projects. It is super important to know your projects. He asked for a schematic or a block diagram of one of my projects. I drew the schematics really quickly because it was one of my favorite projects. One thing to remember is that everything on your resume is fair game. If you use a component be prepared to answer questions about it. The other questions I was asked were about filters. I knew what comes in and what comes out of a filter but I was not really sure why. This interviewer stressed that it is important to not only know what happens but also why things happen.

Interviewer number 3 was a WPI alum and also worked with my former boss, so things started off really well. After the first two interviewers I was already pretty calm but with the similarities between me and this third interviewer I was super relaxed. I used the advice from the first two guys and I rocked this set of questions.

The forth interviewer had a bag of trick questions. This guy emphasized that you need more than just equations to solve problems. The questions he asked really made me think. When I finished his trick questions he said that he really liked that I took my time, wrote out and explained all my thoughts and did not say things like “ummm” over and over again.

… I feel like I am coming close to a word limit here. If you are interested in hearing more about this interview experience or other interviews feel free to hit me up!

Also if you are looking for more tips and help on Technical interviews, check your emails! The Career Development Center (CDC), Women in Electrical & Computer Engineering (WECE) and some companies plan on putting together a technical interview workshop!

Thanks For stoppin’ by

About the Author ()

Sam Francois! WPI 2014. BS in Electrical & Computer Engineering. I love free stuff! I like my smiley faces wearing hats. q=] (how cool is that?). That's enough for now. If you want to know more, you'll have to check out my blogs! Stay tuned!

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