I started job hunting for my very first job programming a couple days ago and today I received an email from the CTO of one of the companies requesting a phone interview. This is my first tech interview of any kind so I'm feeling a little nervous. I know it's a bit of a general question but does anyone have any idea what could be fair game? Is there a good chance I'll get technical questions on the initial interview?

  • There's really no way to know--the title CTO means little without knowing the size and history of the company. Anything is fair game.
    – jimm101
    Nov 2, 2016 at 11:45
  • Have you tried google-ing your question ? I think you'll find plenty of helpful resources, especially given how general your question is. Nov 2, 2016 at 12:51

2 Answers 2


does anyone have any idea what could be fair game?

Everything is fair game.

If this is a large, established company, then expect high-level questions from a C-level executive.

If this is a small, startup company, and particularly if you would be working for the CTO, then expect more specific questions about you, your background, your abilities, etc. In smaller companies the title of CTO might just mean "the boss of the techies".

Is there a good chance I'll get technical questions on the initial interview?

Again, that depends.

If you are only being interviewed by the CTO (or if the CTO is the only technical person in the interview group), then you should certainly expect plenty of technical questions. You are after all interviewing for a technical position.

  • 1
    I'd agree with this, but I think it's incredibly unlikely that the CTO of a large, established company is going to be interviewing junior web developers, and certainly not as the first interview. Nov 2, 2016 at 12:54

You are interviewing with the CTO, so expect technical questions. Expect to have basic questions asked of you such as "What is a RESTful query?" "What's the difference between a GET statement and a POST statement" "What is responsive design?" (90% of devices are mobile devices not laptops and desktops), etc.

The CTO most likely wants to gauge not only from your answers but the tone of your answers whether they are comfortable working side by side with you, whether communicating with you generates misunderstandings, etc.

Do not give answers that are longer than four or five sentences. You don't want to monopolize the interview time, given that the CTO wants to run through their list of questions to you.

As the interview ends, the CTO will most likely ask you whether you have any questions for them. Make sure to ask what it is that you must do in order to be considered successful in the position you are going for.

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