Technical Interviews: Structure, Formats, and Common Traits

5 min read

Technical Interview

Technical interviews are a critical component of the hiring process for technical roles. These interviews are designed to assess a candidate's technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and domain knowledge. 


To conduct effective technical interviews, it is important to understand the structure, formats, and common traits that contribute to their success. 


Considering this, here we will delve into these aspects, providing valuable insights for both interviewers and candidates.


Conducting a technical interview will engage your company experts and take time. Hence, if you want to dodge the engagement of your in-house workforce, we recommend checking HyreSnap Interview as a Service once.


It will help you conduct technical interviews regardless of their numbers. If not, follow these guidelines to conduct effective technical interviews in 2023:



What is a Technical Interview?



A technical interview is a specialised assessment conducted during hiring to evaluate a candidate's technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and domain knowledge.  


It goes beyond traditional interviews, focusing specifically on the candidate's proficiency in areas relevant to the role they are applying for. 


Technical interviews are commonly used in fields such as software development, engineering, data science, cybersecurity, and other technical disciplines.


Technical Interview Formats For Different Career Levels



Technical interview formats vary based on the level of your prospect. Hence, we are listing the questions and assessment types you can choose during the interview for the following positions:


Entry-Level Positions


Knowledge-based Questions: These interviews assess the candidate's theoretical understanding of fundamental concepts relevant to the role. Questions may cover topics such as programming languages, data structures, algorithms, and basic problem-solving techniques.


Coding Challenges: Candidates are given coding exercises to evaluate their ability to write clean and efficient code. These challenges may involve implementing algorithms, solving coding problems, or working with basic data structures.


Mid-Level Positions


Algorithmic Problem-Solving: These interviews assess a candidate's ability to solve complex coding problems efficiently. Candidates may be asked to analyse algorithms, optimise code, or devise solutions for algorithmic challenges.


System Design: Candidates are evaluated on their skills in designing scalable and robust systems. They may be asked to design or discuss the architecture of a software application or solve system design problems.


Senior-Level Positions


In-depth Technical Discussions: These interviews focus on specialised areas and evaluate a candidate's expertise in a particular domain. The discussions may cover advanced algorithms, data structures, specific programming languages, or complex technical concepts.


Architecture and Scalability Discussions: Candidates are assessed on their proficiency in designing and implementing high-performance systems. They may be asked to demonstrate their understanding of distributed systems, scalability challenges, or cloud architectures.


Leadership and Mentorship Assessment: For senior positions with leadership responsibilities, interviews may include assessments of a candidate's ability to guide and mentor junior team members, make architectural decisions, and provide technical leadership.


It's important to note that these formats are not mutually exclusive, and interviews at different career levels may include a combination of these formats. The specific interview format will depend on the company's hiring process, the technical requirements of the role, and the skills and experience sought in candidates.


How Should You Structure a Technical Interview?



Structuring a technical interview is crucial to ensure a fair and effective assessment of candidates' technical skills and suitability for the role. Here is a suggested structure for conducting a technical interview:


Preparing for the Interview


  • Familiarise yourself with the technical requirements of the role and the specific skills you are looking for in a candidate.


  • Review the candidate's resume, application materials, and any relevant coding samples or projects they have submitted.


  • Prepare a list of technical questions and exercises that align with the role and will help evaluate the candidate's skills and knowledge.


Introduction and Warm-up


  • Begin the interview with a friendly introduction and create a comfortable environment for the candidate.


  • Clearly explain the format and objectives of the technical interview to the candidate, ensuring they understand what will be assessed.


  • Start with warm-up questions or small coding exercises to help the candidate ease into the technical aspect of the interview.


Technical Assessment


  • Assess the candidate's technical skills through coding challenges, algorithmic problem-solving, or system design exercises.


  • Provide clear instructions and expectations for each task, allowing the candidate to demonstrate their technical expertise.


  • Observe the candidate’s problem-solving approach, coding style, attention to detail, and ability to think critically and logically.


Questions and Discussion


  • Engage in a discussion about the candidate's past experiences, technical projects they have worked on, and challenges they have faced.


  • Ask behavioural and technical competency questions to evaluate their collaboration, leadership, and communication skills.


  • Encourage the candidate to explain their thought process, justify their decisions, and articulate their solutions clearly.


Conclusion and Wrap-up


  • Give the candidate an opportunity to ask questions about the role, team, or company.


  • Provide constructive feedback on their performance, highlighting their strengths and areas for improvement.


  • Discuss the next steps in the hiring process, such as additional interviews or assessments.


What is the Ideal Length of a Technical Interview?


The ideal length of a technical interview can vary depending on several factors, including the role's complexity, the position's level, and the specific assessment tasks involved.  


While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, it is important to strike a balance between thoroughly evaluating the candidate's technical abilities and maintaining their engagement and focus. 


Here are some considerations for determining the ideal length of a technical interview:


Role Complexity: For technical roles involving complex tasks or requiring specialised expertise, longer interviews may be necessary to assess the candidate's skills adequately. These roles may require in-depth discussions, coding challenges, or system design exercises, which can take longer to complete.


Level of the Position: The position's seniority level can influence the interview's length. Entry-level positions may have relatively shorter interviews focused on foundational knowledge and basic coding skills. In comparison, senior-level positions may require longer interviews to delve into advanced technical concepts and assess leadership abilities.


Assessment Tasks: Consider the type and number of assessment tasks involved in the interview. Coding challenges, algorithmic problem-solving, system design exercises, and discussions all require time. Ensure that the allocated time is sufficient for candidates to complete the tasks and provide thoughtful responses.


HyreSnap Interview as a Service



You can conduct a technical interview by following the guidelines mentioned above. Still, if you do not want to hustle with the interview process, you can rely on HyreSnap Interview as a Service platform.


Below are the highlighting features of the HyreSnap IaaS platform that will make you experience hassle-free recruitment:


Features of HyreSnap Interview Service:
Faster interviews
Structured interviews
Cost Efficiency
Customizable Functionality
450+ subject matter experts
1500+ interview frameworks


The Bottom Line


Technical interviews play a vital role in evaluating a candidate's technical abilities and suitability for a specific role. 


Hence, we recommend training your interviewers effectively before conducting a technical interview at your organisation.


For details technical interview assistance contact our experts at