What is the Technical Interview?
Recruitment for Computer Science internships involves a series of technical interviews. While all technical interviews are designed to gauge ability with coding, there are different forms:
Coding Assessment: a time-limited test given through online coding platforms used to assess your ability to quickly and efficiently write code.
Technical Screen: which is a live interview in which a student walks their interviewer through their thought process while writing code. In the technical screen, code can be written on a coding platform or on a white board, so it is best to practice in both settings.
When does the Application Process Begin?
Most internships start recruitment early. Applications can be due by mid summer or early fall, especially at large tech companies; some are evaluated on a rolling basis, so applying early is key. However, startups typically recruit during spring, or Feb-May.
Many internships are intended for students with more advanced coding experience (CS223 or higher), but some companies also offer internships geared towards students earlier on in their CS education (e.g. Facebook University, Google Step, Explore Microsoft).
Where do Computer Science Opportunities Exist?
Common sources of Computer Science internships include large tech companies and startups, sometimes through Venture Capital firms, but almost every company has some Computer Science-focused internship offering.
Receiving referrals from upperclassmen can greatly increase the odds of being offered an interview.
The top 5 employers of Yale Computer Science students include: Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and MongoDB
Internship postings can be found on LinkedIn, Indeed, AngelList and the jobs tab and Resources > CareerShift in Yale Career Link.
Common Intern Job Titles: software engineer, product management, data science, front-end engineer, back-end engineer, and full-stack engineer.
What does the Hiring Timeline look like?
Large and Mid-Sized Companies
Apply September – November
Apply January- April
Apply February- May
What Can I do to Prepare for a Technical Interview?
- Practice coding through sites like Leetcode and HackerRank
- Take a Computer Science Course like CS 100 and CS 223
- Join Yale student organizations like Women and Gender Minorities in Computer Science, and Yale Computer Society
- Try a sample technical interview on Interviewing.io
- Participate in Hackathons: Hackathons are an excellent way to put your CS and problem solving skills to the test, along with generating great experience for a resume. YHack is Yale’s largest hackathon, but there are more opportunities that exist.
- Stay up to date with Industry News by subscribing to news sources like TechCrunch and VentureBeat
- Read Cracking the Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell to learn more about strategies to succeed at technical interviews.
Additional Resources to Prepare for a Technical Interview
- The OCS Technical Interview Page offers many more resources, including videos of mock interviews, informational articles, and links to more coding practice platforms.
- Read the Computer Science Industry Career Guide for more information on exploring industry opportunities, preparing your resume and cover letter, and more!
- Meet with an Advisor
- Practice technical interviewing with the Office of Career Strategy’s technical interview specialist