10 Interviewing Techniques For Assessing Technical Proficiency

Mary Joseph
Mary Joseph July 26, 2023
Updated 2023/07/26 at 4:43 AM
Interviewing technique for technical proficiency


As an entrepreneur launching a new venture, it is vital to evaluate the technical abilities of potential candidates during the interview stage.

Selecting the ideal individual for the position can significantly impact the success of your business, and technical interviews play a pivotal role in the recruitment process.

In this article, we will discuss methods for evaluating a candidate’s skills in a technical interview within a startup setting.

To ensure the suitability of technical hires, it is crucial to validate their technical abilities during the interview stage, typically through an interviewer knowledgeable in the field.

However, technical interviews carry inherent risks regardless of their format. There is a possibility of establishing excessively demanding standards that result in no candidates being hired.

Alternatively, if the focus is solely on technical skills, important qualities like quick learning, resourcefulness, leadership adaptability, and others may be overlooked by the interviewer.

The challenge lies in finding a way to evaluate technical expertise while mitigating these risks.

Questions And Tasks During Technical Interviews

Coding challenges evaluate the candidate’s coding proficiency and problem-solving skills. Seek out individuals who possess creative thinking capabilities and can devise inventive approaches to intricate problems.

System design exercises evaluate the candidate’s proficiency in developing and executing intricate systems. Seek candidates capable of handling resource-constrained systems and devising scalable solutions.

Debugging scenarios assess a candidate’s aptitude to identify and resolve problems within a pre-existing codebase. Seek candidates who can effectively collaborate with fellow developers and possess the capability to swiftly troubleshoot issues.

10 Interviewing techniques for assessing technical proficiency

It is crucial to establish a pleasant and encouraging atmosphere for the applicant during the interview.

Establish A Calm Atmosphere:

Commence the interview by engaging in casual conversation, aiming to create a relaxed atmosphere for the candidate. Establishing a comfortable environment will assist in easing their nerves and enhancing their performance.

Pick Scenarios That Are Pertinent And True:

One effective method for assessing technical skills during job interviews is to present candidates with relevant scenarios or problems that align with the position and field. For instance, when hiring a web developer, you could request the candidate to construct a basic web page or app or debug a code snippet.

In the case of a data analyst, you might ask them to analyze a dataset or generate a visualization. These scenarios should strike a balance between being realistic and not overly complex or vague.

They should provide an opportunity for candidates to showcase their problem-solving, creativity, and communication abilities.

Various online platforms such as Codility, HackerRank, or CodeSignal can be utilized to create and administer coding tests, while tools like Google Docs, Figma, or Tableau enable sharing and collaboration on different types of tasks.

Mix Up Your Formats And Techniques:

Depending on the position and the level of technical expertise needed, it may be advantageous to employ various formats and techniques for evaluating technical skills during job interviews. One approach could involve a combination of screening tests or quizzes initially to weed out candidates who fail to meet the minimum requirements.

Subsequently, a live or recorded coding challenge or project could be utilized to thoroughly assess their skills. Finally, a technical interview or presentation may be conducted to evaluate their comprehension and reasoning abilities.

Various methods can be employed to evaluate different aspects of technical skills, including multiple-choice questions, open-ended questions, code reviews, pair programming, whiteboard exercises, or portfolio reviews.

It is essential to strike a balance between the difficulty, duration, and relevance of each format and technique, while also providing candidates with clear instructions and feedback.

Evaluate Abilities Regularly And Objectively:

Testing technical skills in job interviews poses a significant challenge, as it is crucial to avoid subjective and inconsistent evaluations that can result in unfair or inaccurate hiring decisions. To overcome this obstacle, it is essential to employ objective and consistent criteria for assessing and comparing candidates’ performance.

This can be achieved by utilizing rubrics, checklists, or automated scoring systems. It is crucial to steer clear of relying on intuition, impressions, or stereotypes, and instead concentrate on the evidence and outcomes of candidates’ work.

Furthermore, it is advisable to involve multiple evaluators with diverse perspectives and backgrounds and ensure their ratings and expectations are calibrated before and after the assessment process.

Finally, gathering feedback from candidates and incorporating their input and experiences can help refine the assessment process and make necessary improvements.

Match Talents To objectives And expectations:

An additional crucial factor in assessing technical skills during job interviews involves harmonizing the desired skills with the objectives and expectations of both the position and the organization. This implies that it is not sufficient to solely evaluate the technical skills directly relevant and necessary for the job; it is equally important to evaluate skills that align with the overall vision, values, and culture.

For instance, if the intention is to find a team player, it would be prudent to assess their abilities in collaboration and communication, in addition to their technical skills.

Similarly, if the goal is to identify an innovator, it would be advisable to evaluate their creativity, adaptability, and technical skills. By ensuring alignment between skills and goals, one can secure the hiring of candidates who possess not only the ability to perform the job but also the potential to integrate well within the organization and thrive.

Pose open-ended inquiries:

  • Inquire about matters that go beyond a mere affirmative or negative response, as this will provide the candidate with a chance to demonstrate their expertise and past encounters.
  • Check out the candidate’s aptitude for solving problems:
  • Give careful consideration to the candidate’s problem-solving methodology. Are they systematic and thorough? Do they exhibit creative thinking? Do they pose insightful inquiries?

Assess The Applicant’s Communication Abilities:

Having strong technical skills is essential, but it’s equally important to have effective communication skills. It’s crucial to observe how candidates express their thoughts and work together with others. Remember to actively listen to their answers and seek further clarification when necessary.

Avoid overlooking any negative indicators or signals that may arise during the interview, such as a candidate’s unpreparedness or unprofessional conduct.


Evaluating technical expertise encompasses various approaches, and there isn’t a singular method to achieve it effectively. Establishing an open interview process enables you to attentively observe and adjust to candidates while employing diverse techniques. This approach allows for the assessment of not only technical proficiency but also factors like attitude, flexibility, and communication skills. By employing a range of methods, you can attain optimal outcomes and, ideally, swiftly identify the ideal candidate for the position.

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