Advice » Interviewing» Interview Preparation » 10 Tech Interview Errors
10 Tech Interview Errors

10 Tech Interview Errors

You're there on time, the job description is a perfect match and one look at the office tells you this is the job for you. So what could go wrong?


Everyone makes mistakes. But according to those who do the interviewing, job seekers for tech positions are prone to a number of common interview blunders. To avoid them, it helps to know what they are. Here are 10 of the most common.


Techies sometimes dress "from the waist up," says Harvey Bass, CEO of Stascom Technologies, a recruiting firm. They've got "wrinkled khakis and rubber-soled shoes" -- not exactly the image they should be projecting, he says.

Says Liz Ryan, a human resources consultant and founder of the group World Women in Technology, "The days when you would not be considered because you [were] dressed too conservatively are over."


Too many techies come across as arrogant in interviews, says Sean Chou, CTO of Fieldglass, a software technology company. "A lot of techies are very talented, but what comes out is arrogance," he says.

Confidence is desirable, not arrogance. Arrogance suggests "they can't be a team player," Chou notes.

Overemphasizing Skills

Certifications and other credentials matter, as does your technical know-how, but remember: You're there to serve an organization's needs, not to focus on J2EE or Cisco just for the sake of the technology itself. You want to come across as more than an amalgam of your skills.

"Sometimes they just overemphasize the skills," says Chris Little, COO of Dominion Digital, a consulting company. "They don't understand why that's not a home run. They get frustrated, and it shows."

Not Communicating

Interviewers often favor open-ended questions, but techies sometimes respond with too-brief answers, failing to elaborate or convey their communication skills.

"You should think of each question as an opening to a conversation," says Ryan. A simple "yes," she says, isn't an appropriate answer to the question, "Have you worked with C++?" Candidates need to see questions as an opportunity to discuss the value they will bring to a company.

Or, as Chou notes, "People who are unwilling to communicate will have a hard time working in a team environment."


"With all the information available, there is no excuse for someone not being prepared for an interview," says Leslie Norko, deputy program manager of engineering at Computer Sciences Corp. and a mentor for Women in Technology, a nonprofit devoted to networking and professional development.

Preparation, Norko says, doesn't just mean passing knowledge about a company, but rather in-depth research about the firm and its industry.

Lack of Interest

Candidates sometimes display a lack of interest by not asking about the company's industry, competitors or "the larger business problems" facing the firm, says Ryan.

This comes through, quite often, when candidates are asked if they have any questions. Never say no. "It communicates that they're not interested, or they're not prepared," says Norko.

Too Eager for Perks

Questions about parking spaces, sick days, free soft drinks, and other benefits and perks should be reserved for a human resources rep, preferably after a job offer. "Stay away from what's-in-it-for-me questions," Bass says.

Too Casual

Interviews can be formal affairs. The interviewer, not the candidate, should set the tone. "Techies tend to be a little casual in the interview," Bass says. This may come across as a lack of seriousness, or even a lack of interest in the job.

Too Negative

Some techies smarting from tough times -- failed startups, corporate layoffs and the like -- may mistake an interviewer's friendly demeanor as an invitation to confide. Ryan says this focus on "the highest highs to the lowest lows" isn't appropriate during an interview. "Candidates use interviews as therapy sessions and don't even know it," she says.

Failure to Close

Techies often fail to close the interview, Bass says. Rather than emphasizing how much they would love to join the company or asking what the next step in the process will be, techies may let the interview "fade out," Bass says. "They're not closing," he says. "They're not selling themselves."

Learn more about telecommunications careers.

Latest Jobs

Posted: 05/30/2015
Posted: 05/30/2015
Columbus, OH, 43201
Improveit! Home Remodeling
Posted: 05/30/2015
Dayton, OH, 45414
Swift Transportation
Posted: 05/30/2015
Western, IL
Swift Transportation Co. of Arizona, LLC
Posted: 05/30/2015
Ontario, CA

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-210