While the job market continues its tepid recovery, the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM, continue to show strong growth in employment opportunities for qualified candidates.

However, according to a surveys, nearly 50 percent of employers reported difficulty in filling empty IT, engineering and technician positions.

Intelligent Minds are hard to find?

While a lack of skills and experience coupled with high salary requirements are among the reasons cited by employers, a poor interview performance can also be a death knell for an otherwise qualified jobseeker. Inadequate preparation for a technical interview, for example, may leave experienced candidates fumbling over simple procedural questions posed by the hiring manager.

Thus to ensure your best chance of securing that open position, nailing the technical interview is a must. Below are seven tips to help you prepare.

1. Know the Job
In the interview, potential peers are likely to be present along with the Hiring and HR managers. Often, the purpose of their presence is to pose questions that reflect the type of problems you’ll face on the job. Knowing the technology platform of choice used by the company will allow you to provide specific answers. Such inside knowledge that shows you know the job you’re applying for will also be handy during any initial interview with a recruiter. It’s the preparation that shows not only professionalism but also that you are engaged with the process.

2. Review the Fundamentals
From programming language to basic computer science theories and concepts, after years of working in your field you sometimes forget information you haven’t used since your final semester in college. Brushing up on the basics will prepare you for any surprise questions the hiring manager might throw your way. KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid.

3. Strengthen Your Mental Acuity with Brainteasers
Brainteasers are not just something to do on a long train ride or in a waiting room. The puzzles and riddles are designed to test your critical, logical and creative thinking as well as your problem-solving skills. As a result, brainteasers make surprisingly great questions for a technical interview. Accordingly, they are an equally great resource for interview preparation once you decide it’s time for a career move.

4. Practice Coding Interview Questions
Shoring up your pseudo code skills is the first step in preparing for any coding questions. Additionally, be prepared to offer your response verbally, on a whiteboard or on a computer. Don’t ad-lib or “shoot from the hip”. Have specific examples of the problem or issue, your analysis of what you felt needed to be done to resolve it and the solution you proposed to the management team. A blow by blow account of the issue from problem to solution will demonstrate your thought process and your critical thinking in a real work related technical example.

5. Take Your Time
Eager jobseekers might feel inclined to rush through questions in an effort to impress. The worst thing you can do during this interview is give a wrong answer or overlook an easier solution because you rushed through the question. Accuracy is more important than speed.

6. Don’t be Afraid to Say, “I Don’t Know”
A popular tactic used by HR managers during this type of interview is to pose a problem that has no real solution. Instead of panicking because you can’t find a solution, consider the possibility that there isn’t one. If you genuinely don’t know how to solve a problem, hiring managers are more interested in candidates who are willing to admit that truth. In addition, don’t be afraid to ask for more clarity before you answer. Probing questions on the issue being posed to you can also demonstrate your critical thinking skills.

7. Relax and Be Personable
While interviews are among the more stressful aspects of life, it’s better to treat them as an opportunity to meet potential coworkers, learn more about a company and leave a positive impression. From the recruiter stage to the final interview, always maintain a positive attitude, ask questions and show genuine interest in the company and its mission — not just the open position.