Before you start counting’ the stock options, bonuses and famous perks from some of the large tech firms like Cisco, Microsoft, and Oracle, you’ll want to make sure that you have the interview down pat.
Here are some of the questions you can expect to field when you hit your next interview for an IT position.
When interviewing for a job in the information technology field, you are going to be asked a mixture of questions. These range from highly technical to the more ordinary type of questions you’d be asked when applying for a sales or marketing position.
Most tech interviews will start with the questions about why you want to work for the company, your background, personal goals, and so on. The tougher stuff will come later. Most people report the initial interview will be via telephone, and possibly the second as well. That is a shared experience among large tech company interviewees. See the post on How to Prepare for a Telephone Interview for more info on this.
Just because you’re looking for an IT position, doesn’t mean it will necessarily be found with a “tech” company. Interviews with tech firms such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google certainly fit the IT mold, but IT jobs will be found in a myriad of other firms as well, both small and large. Anywhere there is information created, manipulated, moved, displayed, or stored, you’ll find an IT person pulling the strings, making them, or keeping them from getting tangled.
Oddball Interview Questions at Big Tech Companies
One thing the big tech firms are famous for though are quirky questions seemingly unrelated to the position. You’ve probably heard of these, even if you’ve never had the opportunity to field them in person. The wackiest of the bunch include such gems as:
“So, tell me, what is the best way to fit a square peg in a round hole, anyway?”
“Why are manhole covers round?”
“How many fish are there in the sea?
One person interviewing at a large software company was asked how they would redesign the airport security experience, although that had nothing to do with the position they were seeking.
“If you were stuck alone on a mountain with a pack of gum, a flashlight, an empty backpack, a 6-inch hunting knife, and 10 feet of fishing line, what is the one item left behind if necessary, and why?