Tech job interview experiences

December 14, 2010 - careers / Geekiness / Women in Computing

I realised recently that whilst I know quite a bit about job interviews in the academic world (indeed, a little more than I’d like) I am quite in the dark about the situation in industry. So I put a call out on the fabulous BCSWomen list for more information and got a mailbox full of interesting and insightful responses. I’ve collated these into a a PDF that you can find here (suitably anonymised).

The executive summary? Well, if you’re going for a graduate position you can expect a day or more of assessment, which will include an interview of an hour or more and a battery of tests (psychometric, skills, teamwork…). A lot of other jobs will have a two-stage interview, with the first part being a telephone or online interview. On average, interviews are conducted by 3 people. Psychometric and skills tests (e.g., programming) are common. And you can’t assume that any element of the visit/interview experience is entirely informal – the lunch, drinks after, the tour… can all feed back into the process.

But you should read the whole document – there are some excellent pieces of advice from real-life recruiters, and some fascinating anecdotes. If you’re teaching computing students, or are a computing student, or are looking for work in the tech sphere, it could be very useful reading. Aren’t BCSWomen great?

Any further comments or experiences about tech interviews – from either side of the desk – are welcome. I think this informal survey has given me a much better idea of what we’re preparing our students for, but I’m always up for the broader picture so please leave a comment if you’ve got any interesting or relevant (or funny:) tech interview anecdotes.


  1. Pam says:

    That is great! I will Daphnet it. Thanks for all the hard work.

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