Such interviews are most often used in engineering, sciences, and I.T. roles. However, sometimes graduates from the CLA may also experience such interviews depending on the position you are applying for.
The main purpose of such an interview is to assess your knowledge to be successful in the job. In addition, they may also be interested in your ability to apply the knowledge to help them achieve their goals. Types of questions in a technical interview would vary from position to position. Use the organization’s website and the job description as a guide to determine what they may be interested in knowing.
Often, interviewers may provide some hints with respect to what you can expect (e.g. If you are applying for an applied research role, the technical interview would require you to be proficient with statistical methods and software. They may ask you to answer certain statistics questions verbally to assess this. Alternatively, if you are applying for a position of a journalist, they may ask you to complete a timed writing test as a way to assess your ability to write within a limited amount of time).
Unlike other types of interviews, technical interviews lend themselves to preparation in the traditional sense. Treat these interviews like an exam and keep practicing the material so you feel confident to communicate it to the interviewers. Avoid cramming information the night before the interview. Review material you have learnt in relevant classes and practice answers by anticipating potential questions.
For more more information, see the “Technical Interviews” page by All About Careers.