Let’s get technical [job interview]

Something that arises in many job interviews is the whole area of technical questions, writes Liam Horan, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers.

Liam Horan, BALLINROBE Tel: 094 95 42965

It can be difficult to anticipate whether or not they will even be asked, but it is important for candidates to brush up on their technical knowledge before a job interview. This is particularly true of newly qualified people who have built up the base of experience in the workplace.

Sometimes interviewers ask you to explain difficult concepts to lay people. In Google, for example, candidates have been asked the following: “How would you explain the importance of HTML5 to Larry Page and then to my Grandma?”

There are two levels to this question. They want to see if you know it fully in the first place and if you can interpret for non-specialists. So they are checking your technical knowledge and your communication skills. For a one-line question it is incredibly powerful.

If you are a specialist, there is always the danger of going too deeply into your speciality. It is good to attempt to make things simple even to other specialists, as esoteric language can confuse a great deal.

Thus you need to prepare at those two levels for any interview. In my experience, it is best to suggest a level of expertise or speciality, even if a technical question is not asked, and to ask the panel if they would like further detail.

This is a balancing act, a judgement call, but you need to be ready to show your expertise in some way in the interview.