Technology Research Questions - Do They Come Up Too Often?Are you finding that you are being asked too many technology research questions in your interviews? It may seem like every interviewer is asking you to run a test or investigate a particular application. Is this really necessary? If you are not familiar with the application or the technology, should you be asked to test or investigate it?
Technology research questions are designed to make sure that your career matches the skills you bring to the job. Often, they ask if you are familiar with the entire environment. Another question asks what resources you will use to complete the project. In some cases, you may have to study and use skills you don't possess, but you shouldn't be put under a burden to learn a specific tool you don't really understand.
One thing you can do to avoid getting technology research questions is to provide your potential employer with some sort of sample. I think this is a bad idea because the person interviewing you will be looking for a concrete example of what you know. You should present them with a few different examples that you are confident will help them make a decision about your abilities. It's not likely that you will find enough examples to cover all of the available technologies. Instead, focus on doing as much as you can to demonstrate how you would apply the tool or software that you are being interviewed about.
Another problem with technology research questions is that they force you to have to do your own research. You should be able to rely on your knowledge of the products and services your company offers, but you should be allowed to ask questions about new products, services, and applications. The interviewer is not necessarily going to be aware of all of the new applications and tools available. If the tools and applications are 'close enough' to what is being used now, then ask about it.
Sometimes, technology research questions are designed to make sure that you know how to do the tasks involved. An example of this would be a technical interview asking you to program in C++. It would be a bit odd if you had to program in assembly language because the interviewer didn't understand it. Ask about how your programming will be performed if you were using assembly code instead of C++. It would help you make a better decision about whether or not you would want to consider working on the project.
Do technology research questions ask you to 'understand the technology'? If they don't, or if they are asking you to assess the tools or programs you use to solve problems, then that means they don't understand the technology you are working with. When someone is asking you to assess things they don't understand, it often indicates that they have a very limited understanding of the technology.
If you want to avoid having too many technology research questions during an interview, remember that you should be expected to show a level of familiarity with the tools you are being asked to use. If you are asked to test or investigate, you should be able to tell them to send you a sample. Even if you aren't asked to investigate or test a particular application, you should be able to provide a working demonstration of how to use the application. If the tool isn't something you use frequently, you should be able to provide a demonstration of how it would be used.
Interviews for technology positions should be exciting and interesting. You want to get your foot in the door, but you don't want to waste your time with one of these technological interview questions!