Navigating a Project During an Interview

2023-07-15 00:25:56 - Grace Browns Grace Browns has been a lifestyle, fashion, and beauty writer for over 5 years, and she currently serves as a senior editor at

During a technical interview, one of the inquiries you may encounter is: "Walk me through a project you worked on." While this question offers an open-ended approach, it possesses significant insight into the developer's qualities based on their response. It assesses their ability to present and articulate their project technically. Additionally, it reveals their approach to handling obstacles, delays, and issues that arise throughout the project, as well as their aptitude for meeting deadlines.

Regardless of your level as a developer, whether you are junior, intermediate, or senior, this particular question holds immense importance in determining your job prospects.

Now, let's explore the process of guiding an interviewer through your project:

Present a Concise Overview

To commence, provide an outline of your project by describing its purpose and significance. Did it aim to solve a particular problem? What functionalities does it possess? Additionally, explain the technology stack you utilized and the reasoning behind your technology choices. Furthermore, specify whether it was a solo or group project and outline your individual responsibilities. What specific aspects did you construct?

However, it is crucial to avoid spending excessive time on rudimentary CRUD-like features without substantial complexity. Instead, emphasize the aspects that make the project intricate and delve deeper into those areas. If the project is extensive, be mindful of time management during your explanation. Ensure your communication remains clear and strategic in terms of highlighting key points. As with any presentation, your objective is to captivate and engage your audience, rather than bore them.

Delineate Challenges, Problems, and Obstacles

Expect questions regarding the hurdles or difficulties you encountered while working on your project. This can encompass challenges related to feature implementation or system design. Although you may be hesitant to discuss the aspects that perplexed you, employers are interested in assessing your problem-solving abilities, as well as the resources you utilized to overcome these difficulties.

This presents an opportunity to showcase your skill in transforming a negative situation into a positive outcome. Instead of fixating on the hours spent resolving formatting issues, highlight your determination, creativity, and problem-solving capabilities. Emphasize how this experience contributed to your professional growth as a developer. Additionally, take pride in the improved formatting achieved, as it reflects the valuable lessons learned throughout the project.

Similar to behavioral interviews, it is advisable to prepare in advance for this question to avoid being caught off guard. Select a strong point that effectively demonstrates your skills, highlighting your areas of expertise.

Almost all projects encounter obstacles at some point. In fact, the absence of any mention of hurdles during the project development raises concerns for employers.

If you genuinely did not face any obstacles throughout your project, it may imply that the project lacked the necessary complexity to be utilized during the interview.

Does Your Project Display Sufficient Complexity?

While it may be tempting to discuss every project you have ever undertaken, showcasing projects that lack intricacy can negatively impact the interviewer's perception of your abilities.

A project may be deemed too simplistic if its components cannot be expanded, if you encountered no difficulties during its creation, or if it resembles a basic CRUD-like application. Although you can mention these simple projects, they should not be the primary focus of your presentation.

Potential Follow-Up Questions

Employers often delve deeper into specific aspects of your project by asking targeted questions. This presents an opportunity to showcase your comprehensive knowledge of the project and your ability to explain it on a technical level.

What sets your project apart? This question necessitates highlighting the additional complexity incorporated into your project. However, exercise caution when responding, as complex problems may lead to difficulties in articulating your thoughts. Prepare a comprehensive presentation in advance, and utilize visual aids if necessary.

Why did you choose a specific tool for your project? How would you expand or enhance the project? If given the opportunity to redo the project, what changes would you make? For instance, you may consider gathering specifications and planning more thoroughly before commencing the coding process. If you feel that you executed the project flawlessly, it is likely too simplistic to serve as an effective interview demonstration.

Thorough Preparation is Key

Prior to the interview, thoroughly review your project. Ensure that you possess a comprehensive understanding of its functionality, the tools employed, and the measures you took to bring it to fruition. Additionally, confirm that the project remains operational, especially if it has been some time since its completion. The last thing you want is to encounter a broken element or forget key aspects during your project demonstration. Refresh your familiarity with any third-party code utilized in the project, such as code obtained from Stack Overflow. This is crucial, as you should be able to confidently discuss and explain any code you incorporated. It can be helpful to rehearse presenting your project to an imaginary interviewer, ensuring that you possess a thorough understanding of its intricacies and can discuss it confidently.

You have exerted immense effort into this endeavor, resulting in the creation of a remarkable piece of work. It is worthy of being showcased in its utmost brilliance, not only to enhance your performance during interviews but also to secure that coveted job opportunity.

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