How to Prepare For An Interview (Non-Technical)

Are you going for a technical Interview? Just because it is a technical interview does not mean you should not be prepared for non-technical questions. 

 

C# Corner MVP and Chapter Lead Anil Kumar has published a good article on Interview tips. After reading that article, I thought I should write from my side, what a senior C-level executive or CEO will be looking for in a candidate. Check out Anil Kumar's advice Tips for Interview if you have not already. In his interview tips, Anil suggests the following points: 

  • Be scheduled for your prospective interviews
  • Check the company background
  • Be ready with your CV and other required documents required to attend the interview
  • Do some research on the interviewer
  • Be ready to explain your current project
  • Have a look at syntax
  • Be ready with some of your achievements
  • Be ready with a good reason for switching
  • Generally people switch employers for the basic reasons specified in the article
  • Be ready to make a happy ending by asking something good 

Little Background

I have founded several companies and have interviewed hundreds of candidates in my life. In the past, I have interviewed candidates for technical expertise but these days, I focus on something else. These days, when I interview a potential candidate, they have already passed the first two rounds of interviews,  the HR and the technical. I look for very specific skillsets. I do not have pre-written interview questions. My questions vary based on the candidate. I look for confidence. I look for leadership. I look for “think out-of-box” mentality. I look for how does a candidate handle stress. I look for passion. I look for responsibility.

I don't expect candidates to be expert in everything but what I expect is, whatever they have done, they are good at it.

The following is some of my advice.

Introduction

My first question is: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Some candidates start talking about when they were born, what school they went to and so on. I don't care where you were born, what your parents do and how many brothers and sisters you have. Unless asked specifically, stay brief.

Be Confident but Be honest

You should be confident. Confidence comes with the knowledge and truth. Just be honest about yourself. If you don't know anything, just say so. There is no need to make things up. I too was once in your shoes; young, just out of school and just out searching for my next challenge.

Answer To The Point

If I ask, what color of shirt you are wearing, tell me just the color. Don't tell me what store you bought it from. How much was it and when. If I want to know more, I will ask further questions.

Don't Complain

Don't complain about your previous company or boss or co-worker. Just don't do it. If you didn't like something about your previous employer, boss or co-workers, just focus on the positives and how you grew in your previous position regardless of the situation.

Be Open

You can be clear about what you're looking for in your new company and/or project.

Here are some general questions that may come up in your next interview: 

  • Tell me something about yourself
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • What things do you look for when searching for a new job?
  • Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
  • What are your long-term goals?
  • What did/do you like about your previous/current position?
  • If you could change one thing about your previous/current position, what would it be?
  • If I would call your current supervisor, what would they say about you?
  • If I would call your teammates/co-workers, what would they say about you?
  • Why should I hire you? 

Summary

Interviews shouldn't be one-sided limited to questions and answers. Make the most of the opportunity and don't be afraid to ask questions. Whether you are the only candidate or competing against hundreds of others, stay relaxed and be yourself. Good luck!

Here is a good article Interviewing "Must DOs and Please DON'Ts" by Doug Wagner you may want to read. Also don't forget to check out Career Advice section of C# Corner to learn more about careers.
 
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