Technical interview questions are asked to assess a candidate’s technical (hard) skills and level of expertise. Therefore, knowing the most common ones and how to answer them correctly can help you prepare for any technical interview. With our tips, you’ll shine a bright new light on your technical skills, raising your chances of getting the job you want.

However, technical interview questions can vary depending on the industry. Because of their nuances, we’ll analyze a wide range of them and tailor the answers to the specific position you’re applying for. Let’s start!

Key Takeaways

  • Technical interview questions aim to assess candidates’ hard skills, knowledge of certain tools and processes, and problem-solving skills.
  • Technical interview questions vary depending on the industry, company, and role and are common in both tech and non-tech fields.
  • Situational and behavioral questions are also part of a technical interview.
  • Answering technical interview questions correctly requires preparation, such as researching the company and practicing answers at a mock interview.
  • Answering honestly and to the point is key to a successful technical interview.

What is a Technical Interview?

A technical interview is part of the hiring process in both tech and non-tech industries, including design, engineering, marketing, sales, and finance. Its purpose is to evaluate candidates’ technical skills, also known as hard skills.

Technical skills are directly related to the job and are developed to complete a series of specific work tasks. Some examples include using a content management system and programming. For instance, some of the tasks at a technical interview can include live coding tests or whiteboard design challenges.

17 Common Technical Interview Questions & Appropriate Answers

While the following technical interview questions and answers seem randomly picked, there’s actually a pattern. Namely, all technical interview questions seek to evaluate these three areas:

  • Your knowledge of the tools essential for the job
  • The processes you’re familiar with
  • Your problem-solving skills, which are often tested in hypothetical situations


Without further ado, let’s explore the most common technical interview questions and answers.

#1. What programming languages are you most familiar with?

This is one of the technical interview questions for computer science skill assessment. By asking it, a recruiter wants to see how well-versed you are in programming languages, especially if they’re looking for an experienced developer.

However, depending on the industry, business, and position they’re interviewing for, recruiters have different preferences regarding programming languages.

This is why citing a widely used one, such as Python, Java, JavaScript, or C/C++, is a safe choice. Here’s how you can word your answer:

I prefer Python due to its powerful analytics tool, which has helped me browse some public datasets. Moreover, I have used Python libraries in one of my previous projects to automate a series of time-consuming tasks.

#2. What technical certifications do you have?

Technical Interview Questions: What technical certifications do you have?

Asking about technical certifications is a recruiter’s way of assessing your willingness to learn and make progress. Thus, in addition to the certifications you have, you should mention some you intend to earn and make sure they’re related to particular job-related interests you want to highlight, as shown in the following sample answer:

In addition to being a certified professional in Python programming 1 and 2, I intend to enroll in an executive business program designed for working professionals to advance to the product management level.

The operative phrase in the sample answer is “working professionals.” Namely, while you should express your willingness to learn, you also ought to highlight that you don’t intend to leave the workforce to do so. Otherwise, your prospective employer may think you’re looking for a temporary job.

#3. What is the difference between authorization and authentication?

Understanding the processes certain positions require and differentiating between them reflect your level of expertise, which is why recruiters ask this question.

A good answer can be something along the following lines:

Authorization is the permission to perform certain actions, such as access clients’ data. Meanwhile, authentication is a security control verifying the identity of a user, system, or device, such as a username and password.

#4. What is debugging?

This is a common technical interview question that software engineers are asked with the purpose of assessing their knowledge of the functioning of software systems since software engineers’ skills include being able to identify an error and fix it. This question also gives you a chance to showcase your problem-solving skills.

Debugging refers to identifying and resolving errors in a software system that can cause said system to malfunction and lead to incorrect results and poor performance. While it’s time-consuming, debugging is an integral part of software engineering that ensures the proper functioning of a software system.

#5. How would you explain technical concepts to a non-technical audience?

In addition to being one of the most common technical interview questions for data analysts, this is also a situational question. What recruiters really want to accomplish with it is to assess your communication skills, and you can demonstrate them in the following way:

Since I have experience presenting to non-technical audiences of all ages and backgrounds, I think adjusting language is paramount. Additionally, I believe that everyone can grasp a technical concept if presented in the form of a comparison to something audiences can relate to.

Therefore, I’d say that knowing your audience is the crucial first step in the process of presenting any technical concept.

#6. What metrics would you use to measure the success of a product launch?

This is a common question in the marketing sector. It aims to assess your knowledge, experience, and management skills. Thus, your answer should showcase your ability to implement them, like in the following example:

I would use the North Star metrics, specifically analytics-based, such as goal setting, drop-offs, conversion rate, stickiness, retention, and feature adoption, and platform-usage based, like task success rate, time spent on the task, and user error rate.

#7. What design software are you familiar with?

Similar to the question about programming languages, this one evaluates an applicant’s level of expertise and experience. Specifically, proficiency in the most widely used design software programs, such as Figma and Sketch, complements your knowledge and web design skills. You can highlight them in the following way:

I’m familiar with Figma and Sketch, but I’ve mostly used Sketch so far, and I can say I have proficient knowledge of the latter. Although the two are different, I’m confident that I can pivot to Figma relatively easily thanks to its similarities to Sketch, especially regarding real-time collaboration.

#8. What content management systems do you use?

Being up to speed with the ever-changing landscape of content marketing is a big advantage to have in the hiring process for a role in that sector. Thus, this question assesses your ability to keep up with the industry’s innovations. However, having little experience shouldn’t stop you, as long as your answer reflects your proactiveness, like in the following example:

I’ve learned the basics of social media management programs Hootsuite and Buffer. I believe that knowledge gives me solid basics for transitioning into content management.

However, if you’re experienced, you can answer this question in the following manner:

I’m most familiar with social media management programs Hootsuite and Buffer. However, I prefer Hootsuite because of its conversation management.

#9. How do you prioritize tasks in a project?

How do you prioritize tasks in a project?

This is both a situational and a project manager interview question. In project management, knowing how to prioritize tasks is crucial, along with the ability to handle multiple projects at once. This question gives recruiters insight into your time-management skills.

Additionally, it’s a chance to showcase your multitasking skills. Here’s how you can answer it:

I begin by determining the deadlines and stakeholder needs. Then, I deduce which tasks constitute the critical path and focus on them first.

#10. Tell me about a time you had to work with limited resources and how you managed it.

This is another situational interview question recruiters use to assess a candidate’s resourcefulness. Thus, you should highlight that in your answer, which can be something along the lines of:

These are the situations where I like to employ the “Divide and Conquer” rule. For example, I was assigned, along with a coworker, to support a team of 24 engineers during the onboarding of a product.

The project involved educating, demoing, and bug-fixing. We organized the duties by dividing the project’s modules and creating internal forums for communication and education purposes.

#11. If we hired you, what about the job would you consider to be the most challenging?

This is one of the tricky interview questions, as it aims to address your weak points. To say that you’d face no challenges in a new job would be lying, and we’ve already highlighted honesty as the key to a successful job interview, technical or otherwise.

However, dubbing too many aspects of the job challenging may derail the recruiter from hiring you. That’s why you need to offer a balanced answer, as shown in the following example:

I believe the biggest challenge would be applying theoretical knowledge to practical issues. Specifically, I’ve learned a lot during my education, but I haven’t been able to apply all of it professionally. Nonetheless, I believe this challenge will push me to become a better employee, which is something I’m looking forward to.

Phrasing your answer like this emphasizes your enthusiasm about the job, which is a valuable trait in a job applicant.

#12. What is artificial intelligence?

This is one of the simple technical interview questions, one that’s common across industries, both in technical and non-technical sectors. When they ask this seemingly basic question, recruiters really want to know your understanding of AI, as many people throw the acronym around without truly understanding its meaning. Additionally, numerous AI tools are used in various jobs, so you may be required to be familiar with some of them.

The correct answer that you can elaborate on by listing specific AI tools you’ve used professionally is as follows:

Artificial Intelligence is a technology used to create intelligent machines that can provide human-like solutions to various problems. Different AI tools have taken on certain time-consuming and repetitive work tasks and thus facilitated numerous jobs. So far, I’ve used ChatGPT, DALL-E, and

#13. What interests you most about this job?

What interests you most about this job?

This question is another great opportunity to share your enthusiasm. Every employer wants a driven and insightful employee who strives to make progress in the field and, by extension, the company.

Therefore, phrase your answer along the following lines to accentuate your enthusiasm and creativity, especially if you’re new to the workforce:

I’m highly interested in growing in this field and applying my knowledge and problem-solving skills to programming challenges. I believe my master’s programs have prepared me to tackle them with expertise.

#14. What is the meaning of SDLC?

This is a technical question software developers can expect at an interview. Familiarity with widely used acronyms and understanding of the meaning behind them is crucial in this industry, even if you’re a “fresher.”

Your answer should be precise and concise, like in the following sample:

SDLC is the Software Development Life Cycle. It’s a widely known process for the production of high-quality, low-cost software in a short period of time. SDLC has six main phases: requirements, design, implementation, testing, deployment, and maintenance.

#15. What operating systems are you familiar with?

This is a technical interview question that’s common in both technical and non-technical industries, as computer skills are required in a wide range of fields and jobs. The more operating systems you’re familiar with, the better you can emphasize them.

This is a simple question that calls for a simple answer, such as:

I’m familiar with Windows, Microsoft, Linux, and OSX; however, I’m mostly used to Windows and Microsoft.

You can elaborate on your answer by explaining your preference and comparing your top choices.

#16. Describe the main search engines.

This question is common in SEO, and it’s pretty straightforward—it assesses your knowledge and expertise rather than a particular skill.

Your answer should be straightforward, too; focus on facts and present them concisely and correctly, for instance:

The primary search engines are Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Out of the three, Google is the most widely known and used. All of them search the internet, but there are certain nuances among them, as the ranking of the results differs from one to another.

#17. How do you receive feedback and criticism from your superiors and coworkers?

This question tests your personality more than any specific skill or knowledge. With this question, a recruiter wants to know whether you’re able to take constructive feedback and use it to learn and make progress.

You can answer this question in the following fashion:

I welcome constructive feedback as a way to learn and grow. If I’m unclear on something, I ask questions and actively listen to my coworker’s or superior’s point of view, taking notes in the process. Finally, I focus on improving my weak points.

5 Expert Tips to Ace Your Technical Interview

Acing a technical interview begins with preparation. However, there are also some things you can do during the interview to come across as professional, skilled, and enthusiastic, whether you’re experienced or not. Follow our expert tips and leave the best impression at your technical interview.

#1. Practice Your Answers Beforehand

5 Expert Tips to Ace Your Technical Interview

Practice makes perfect, so the best way to prepare for a technical job interview is to practice answers beforehand. Now that you know what kind of questions you can expect, take some time to think about the best ways to answer them.

A great way to prepare is to do a mock interview in front of a mirror or with someone you feel comfortable around. Not only will you prepare your answers the best you can, but you’ll also boost your confidence.

#2. Research the Company

Researching the company before the interview is another crucial step in its preparation. You can use several sources, including LinkedIn, reputable company review sites, and, of course, the company’s website, where you can learn about its culture and practices.

These insights can be of great help in tailoring your answers to the specific company. Additionally, familiarizing yourself with the company before your interview is a great way to show enthusiasm for the job.

#3. Communicate Effectively

Technical interview questions often require technical answers, so the best way to communicate your ideas and insights effectively is to answer to the point. When practicing your answers, make sure they check the five Cs of communication (clarity, correctness, completeness, concision, and compassion).

That way, you’ll emphasize your skills and knowledge and get your ideas across without going into unnecessary details.

#4. Ask Questions

Another great way to show genuine interest in the hiring company is to ask the interviewer questions. Don’t shy away from asking them, whether they are clarifying questions to understand a particular task you’re given or procedural questions.

Asking good questions during the interview shows both knowledge of the industry and genuine interest and attentiveness. You’re much more likely to make a lasting impression on the recruiter if you actively participate in the conversation rather than merely answering questions.

#5. Learn Something New

Last but not least, take every job interview as a learning opportunity. Whether it’s a new idea, a tool you haven’t been familiar with, a product, or technology, you can learn valuable information you can use to enhance your self-presentation for the next technical interview.

Additionally, if you make a mistake during an interview, don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, use it to improve your knowledge of a certain subject.

Final Thoughts

Technical interview questions assess job applicants’ skill sets, expertise, knowledge, and experience. They’re common in both technical and non-technical industries and can be competency-based or situational. Either way, a technical interview question is a chance to seamlessly highlight your qualities.

As a general rule of thumb, good answers to technical interview questions are clear, concise, and indicative of your skills and expertise. To perfect yours, practice them before the interview and tailor them to the recruiting company.