When we think about interviews for tech jobs, it’s pretty standard to think about how to handle technical questions, as this is what most engineers and administrators are concerned about. However, there’s another very different side of these interviews to consider: The non-technical side.
Non-technical questions get asked in almost every job interview, but they can be a bit of a curveball when you’re focused on things like PHP queries. Therefore, it’s crucial to be prepared for non-technical questions. Consider the following.
“Can You Tell Me About Something You Learned Lately Outside of Your Job?”
Hiring managers often want to hear about interests beyond the office and how seriously candidates care about those interests. This question helps an interviewer see what information sticks in your brain, which can be an indicator of cultural fit for the organization.
A good response should have general interest and go into a bit of depth – but not too much. So, if you play guitar, you could mention a new song you learned to play but you should avoid “nerding out” on the latest limited-issue guitar or boutique overdrive pedal.
“Can You Talk About a Past Project You Would Redo If You Could?”
When an interviewer asks you this question, they aren’t looking for you to drill down on a block of code you’d do over; nor are they looking to spot one of your weaknesses. The reason for asking this non-technical question is to see if you understand “the bigger picture.”
A good response will go into how you could have tweaked a project to better suit end-users or use resources more effectively.
“How Did You Get Into This Field?”
The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is that you got into a technical field because you didn’t know what else to take in school.
What an interviewer really wants to hear when they ask this question is how passionate you are about your area of expertise. Maybe you had a natural ability for it that you came to fully appreciate. Or, perhaps you’ve always been fascinated by how video games are made.
The best response to this question goes into how you followed your passion into tech, and how the field still inspires you.
“Can You Talk About the Work You’re Most Proud Of?”
An interviewer asks this question to see what truly matters to you when it comes to your work. For instance, if you talk about being proud of a project that ended up being very popular, it suggests public recognition is important to you. Or, if you talk about a project that involves taking a lot of risk, it might suggest that you value innovation and uniqueness.
There really is no wrong answer to this question. It’s only important for you to be able to talk about being proud of something you did.
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