Any practicing software developer likely has a story of a technical interview gone wrong. Maybe it was filled with gotcha questions? Or left you feeling stuck and panicked?

Technical interviews can be intimidating. As the interviewer, we do our best to make it an environment that’s supportive, and not scary or demeaning. We hope you leave your technical interview at Auvik feeling good about it because we want to see you at your best—and able to show us what you’re truly capable of.

I’m Dan Webster, our technical recruiter, and I’m here to coach candidates through what to expect. The basic process is pretty straightforward: After your initial phone call with me or another recruiter, you’ll meet with an engineering manager, and then move on to the technical interview. I’m proud of the process because it’s quick, pragmatic, and simple. We value your time as the candidate, and we want to be upfront about what to expect.

Here’s how the technical interview process works and tips for each step.

Step One: Meet an engineering people leader

After a call with a recruiter, you will have a video call with one of our engineering people leaders. This call will dive a little deeper into your background and experiences. Be prepared to pick some projects or accomplishments you’re proud of, and some detailed examples of the role you played in these as they evolved along the way.

The people leader is also here to help you better understand things like our team structure, problems we’re trying to solve, and any other questions you have to help you determine if Auvik is the right place for you!

Step Two: Technical assessment & discussion

The final step will take place in the form of a technical assessment with two other members of our engineering team. There’s a pool of technical interviewers we bring in depending on who’s available and the type of role we’re hiring for. There’s a common trust among the team to make the process smooth and efficient.

To reduce bias, there’s a uniform set of criteria each interviewer references to ensure we are assessing each candidate equally during the technical assessment. It’s not focused on checking off if you got the right answer. It’s about how you apply your knowledge and experience to approach technical problems, as well as the path you’d take to get there.

Two leaders you may meet are Rob Bredin and Michael Brown, who have also shared their experiences working at Auvik on our blog. Rob Bredin, Technical Director, wrote about how being an expert in our tech stack is not a job requirement as our tools are always evolving. Michael Brown, VP of Technology, wrote about growth opportunities and how he’s “most motivated in work involving complex, interesting problems. On the engineering team, we love questioning how things can be done better and more efficiently.”

The three parts of the technical assessment

1. Code review (30 minutes)

The first phase of the interview you’re given some code and a small application. You’ll be tasked to explain what the application does, attempt to find a bug, and suggest a few improvements that could be made. This is an important part of our everyday software development process—being able to review, give, and take feedback. People of different experience levels will look for different things, so this allows us to understand how you apply your knowledge and how you work.

For backend or full stack roles, the candidate can choose which language makes them most comfortable; Java, C++, C#, GO, Python etc. Other roles, like front end or DevOps, we might insist on Javascript or Python.Where applicable, we want you to use whatever programming language lets you show yourself off to the greatest degree.

Tip: Think out loud! It’s not all about your final answer, it’s about how you got there. Being open with your thought process live as you’re figuring it out helps show the team your approach, which is really what they’re looking for.

2. Problem-solving related to the role (30 minutes)

This stage is a small code writing assignment. The engineering team will present a problem that resembles the sort of work you’d be doing in your role. There are no artificial challenges or brain teaser type questions. It’s about seeing how you’d take a high-level problem statement, and then explain what aspects of your solution are most important.

To prepare for this stage, I encourage candidates to review the job description closely, look over the product resources on our website, and ask me or your recruiter any specific questions ahead of time.

If you join the Auvik team, you’ll never be working alone. You’ll always have support from coworkers, so we want to recreate that environment as much as possible for candidates. We keep this stage of the interview pretty open-ended, but we’re here to help guide you if you’re getting into the weeds.

Tip: Ask for help if you’re lost! If you’re stuck, don’t feel awkward; ask for a little direction or clarification. That’s what the team is there for and it’s not going to set you back.

3. Final Q&A (30 minutes)

In this final section, you’ll have two practicing software leaders in the meeting. It’s your chance to ask us anything! The engineering team loves digging into software or technical challenges at this part.

It’s important to have a discussion around technical topics about developing software because that’s exactly the sort of conversation you’ll have if you join our team.

Tip: Come prepared with a few questions! Do your research on Auvik and the engineering managers who will be in the meeting and get specific about their experience, life at Auvik, or the team.

How to prepare for your technical interview

There are a lot of technical interview prep resources online, but I wouldn’t recommend them. They’re often designed for very algorithmic, brain teaser style questions—which we don’t do. Instead, tune up your technical skills and programming languages the interview will be in, and practice thinking out loud as you figure out a problem.

Don’t be afraid to ask any other specific questions you have about what to expect! I’m here to help.

Lastly, do your research on Auvik. Learn more from my blog with my top 5 tips for your upcoming interview at Auvik.

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