30 Technical Interview Questions to Help You Prepare

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn how to highlight your unique skills when preparing for a technical interview.

[Featured Image] Two professionals sit with laptops in front of them during a technical interview.

Technical interviews are an opportunity for a potential employer to learn about your technical knowledge, including the tools you use and the practical skills you possess. They tend to be more targeted than behavioural interview questions so interviewers can determine the extent of what you know, your ability to solve problems and think critically, and how prepared you are to begin the role should you get an offer.

Let’s review what you can expect from a technical interview, including sample questions to help you prepare for your next one.

What is a technical interview?

Most roles require various job skills—or some combination of workplace skills (soft skills) and technical skills (hard skills). While workplace skills pertain to how you work, technical skills are those you develop to complete a particular function, such as knowing a programming language or using a content management system.

What types of roles complete a technical interview?

A technical interview often happens as part of the interview process at a technology company and applies to specific tech-heavy roles, such as those in engineering, product, or design. In such cases, your technical interview may include an onsite or remote challenge, such as a whiteboard design challenge or a live coding test. But candidates applying for marketing, finance, or sales roles may also have to complete a technical interview to showcase related technical skills. 

However, a technical interview can also be part of the interview process at companies or industries outside of tech. Any time a role requires practical skills, the company may expect you to complete a technical interview so your potential employer can verify you have the training and knowledge needed to do the job.  

When does a technical interview take place?

Each company structures its interview process differently. Some may integrate technical interview questions into other stages, whereas others may schedule a specific technical interview focusing exclusively on technical questions. In that case, a technical interview can occur earlier in the interview process or near the end when you’re among the top candidates.

During your first interview, ask the recruiter or hiring manager about the hiring process and what you can expect, including the number of interviews—as well as types—they anticipate having you complete.

30 common technical interview questions 

We’ve compiled various technical interview questions based on tech-heavy and non-tech-heavy roles. With either focus, you can expect technical interview questions to span three primary areas: the tools you know, the processes you have experience with, and hypothetical situations that aim to understand your problem-solving skills better.

Technical questions for tech-heavy jobs

The questions below vary by role but give you an idea of questions about engineering, data analysis, product management, and design.

Questions about tools

Interviewers ask these to know more about which software, programs, and tools you know how to use.

1. What programming languages do you know?

2. What are some limitations of your favourite programming language?

3. What scripting languages do you know?

4. What design software do you know? Which do you prefer?

5. What product management system do you like using? What’s the best one for scalability?

Questions about processes

Interviewers ask these to learn more about how you go about your work and how well you’d potentially transition into your new role.

6. How do you go about deploying a product?

7. What statistical methods do you prefer using?

8. What are the steps involved in a decision tree?

9. How much time do you spend on unit testing?

10. What type of UX framework do you prefer?

Situational questions

Interviewers ask these to understand how you solve problems and think critically about specific tools and processes.

11. How do you determine what an end-user needs?

12. What’s the largest data set you’ve ever worked with? How would you handle a data set with variables missing 25 per cent of its values?

13. How do you treat outlier values?

14. Tell me how you’d debug an update.

15. What would you change about one of your favourite products?

Technical questions for non-tech heavy jobs

The questions below vary by role but give you an idea of the types of questions you can expect during a technical interview when applying for roles that fall under marketing, finance, sales, and project management.

Questions about tools

Interviewers ask these to know more about which software, programs, and tools you know to complete the tasks you’ll handle. They may also ask about your familiarity with major tools they use for more general day-to-day operations.

16. What content management systems (CMS) do you know how to use?

17. What’s your experience with search engine optimization (SEO)?

18. What customer relationship management (CRM) software do you prefer?

19. Could you tell me about the budgeting software you used in your last role?

20. What tools have you used to manage a remote team?

Questions about processes

Interviewers ask these to learn more about how you work and how well you’d potentially transition into your new role—and onto your new team.

21. Are you familiar with Agile? When have you used it in the past?

22. How do you ensure a new design meets a company’s brand guidelines?

23. How do you prioritize competing deadlines in a project?

24. How do you handle constructive feedback at each iterative stage?

25. How do you ensure the validity of your quarterly projections?

Situational questions

Interviewers ask these to understand how you solve problems and think critically about your work.

26. What’s the most significant budget you’ve managed thus far?

27. What is a marketing campaign that’s caught your eye? Why?

28. How would you describe a project plan?

29. What’s your experience with risk management?

30. How do you determine your audience so you can identify the best tone to take?

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Tips for answering technical interview questions

Answering technical interview questions should go beyond simply discussing what you know. You can frame your responses in ways that better showcase the depth of your knowledge and your other abilities. Use the tips below to get started.

1. Talk about your thought process.

Whether you face questions about the tools you’ve used, the processes you’ve followed, or the potential situations you could find yourself in, go one step further and discuss your thought process when explaining your answer. Doing so can be a valuable chance to showcase your critical faculties and help interviewers learn more about you.

What programming languages do you know?

“I took time to research whether I should learn Python or R first. I knew that I would end up learning both, especially since I’m interested in moving into statistical analysis at some point. But initially, Python seemed the better language to help me get started because it’s so popular. I enjoyed having access to more resources while I learned it.”

2. Highlight related programs or tools.

You shouldn’t bend the truth if you don’t know how to use a tool, but use it as an opportunity to call attention to a related or similar program you know.

What design software do you know how to use?

“Many of my design friends use Figma, so I’m familiar with it, but I’ve used Sketch in most of my previous roles. Even though they are different, I have every confidence I’d be able to pivot to Figma once I get started, thanks to their overlapping similarities, especially when it comes to real-time collaboration.”

3. Be proactive.

It can be scary when you don’t know the answer to a question, but don’t let a knowledge gap stop you. Use your answer as a chance to show off your approach to particular challenges by explaining what you’d do to get up to speed.

What content management systems do you know how to use?

“I taught myself the social media management programs Hootsuite and Buffer, which will give me a strong foundation as I transition into content management and learn your CMS. Do you offer any in-house training sessions as part of your onboarding? I would plan on taking advantage of those resources. If that’s unavailable, I will focus a portion of my first two to three weeks on becoming comfortable with WordPress and how this team uses it.”

How to prepare for a technical interview

It’s important to prepare for a technical interview because of the specific knowledge you’ll need to demonstrate. Use the tips below to help you.

Review the job posting. 

Each job posting lists “required” and “recommended” skills; these can often help you understand the tools and skills you’ll need. If the job posting is still available, review it and list the tools, programs, and skills detailed in the description. Note what you know so you can highlight it during your interview.


If you know your technical interview will include a task or test, spend time practising in advance. Beyond that, you should practice how you talk about your technical skill set, how you’ve used various tools in the past, and the successes you’ve experienced because of them. If you’ve had challenges, bring them up also so you can discuss how you overcame them.

Watch tutorials. 

The longer you are in the workforce, the more technical skills you acquire. But you can also develop your technical skills on your own time. Take training or watch tutorials to help you learn important software or processes you can include on your resume—or bring up during a technical interview.

Research the company.

As with any interview, it’s important to spend time researching the company so you understand the business, industry, and as much as possible about how they work. For example, if they’re remote, you’ll likely be expected to have some understanding of remote work tools like Zoom and Slack.

Prepare questions.

You should always come prepared to each interview stage, expecting to ask at least two or three questions at the end. With the technical interview, you can ask more about the company’s tools, the training they offer new employees, and anything else related to the technical skills portion of the work.

Beyond preparing answers to technical interview questions, it can help to get an interview refresher. This five-minute video from Big Interview, in collaboration with Coursera, goes over the fundamental interview question, “Why do you want to work here?”

Explore further

Want to feel even more prepared for your next interview? Enroll in The Art of the Job Interview, a collaboration between Big Interview and Coursera. You’ll learn about interview fundamentals and how to answer basic and advanced interview questions. Enrollment is free; you can complete the course in less than 19 hours.

Or enhance your technical skills with a Professional Certificate in data analytics, web development, or cybersecurity from industry leaders like Google, Meta, and IBM. Check out Career Academy on Coursera to learn more.

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