What is a technical interview?
A technical interview is a type of interview that typically features questions that are specific to the role you have applied for, brain teaser and/or numerical reasoning questions, or both types of question. Technical interviews are generally used to assess candidates for technical or specialist graduate job positions (such as jobs in IT, Engineering and Science) rather than general graduate schemes.
Technical interviews may be used for less specialist roles (but if so only usually for highly competitive roles) such as jobs at investment banks. However, these interviews are less likely to contain technical questions specific to the job itself, and more likely to contain numerical reasoning questions and/or brain teaser questions.
It is not unusual for an interviewer to show a candidate a wiring diagram or a line of computer code and expect instant analysis in a technical interview. Candidates should bear in mind that interviewers are not just interested in technical knowledge (although this is very important) but also how candidates approach problems, construct their thought process, and demonstrate personal skills, such as communication.
Technical Interview Questions
In a technical interview candidates are likely to be asked questions that:
relate to specific knowledge about the company's technical activities;
relate to understanding the technical work required to be completed as part of the job applied for; relate to work completed as part of a degree course (if this relates to the job applied for);
require candidates to solve actual technical problems that they would be likely to face if employed.
Candidates may also be asked brain teaser questions and difficult numerical reasoning questions such as:
What is the degree angle between the hour and minute hand of a clock at 3:15pm? (Lehman Brothers)
What is 17 x 18? (JPMorgan)
How many manhole covers are there in London?
Why are manhole covers round?