If you are reading this, chances are you are going to appear for a coding interview shortly. Being a software engineer, it is not hard to encounter situations where you have the knowledge but clearing the interview is still terrifying. New engineers especially want to enter programming roles, but the mere thought of appearing in an interview daunts them.
Here are some tips to help you overcome your fear and ace your coding interview.
Tips To Ace A Coding Interview
There’s no doubt in the fact that software development is a challenging and highly competitive landscape. However, if you have technical acumen and encouragement to work in this field, nothing can stop you. Read these valuable tips and prepare for your upcoming interview,
1. Improve Your Coding Skills
It should not be about one interview or two. As a developer, you should develop a habit of solving code challenges. The crucial thing in every coding interview is about coding itself, and if you don’t know how to code well, no other tip or trick can support you.
Therefore, find online sources and improve your coding skills. Take coding challenges, understand the basics of your preferred programming language, and join communities of developers. This will help develop core skills, which are extremely important for any interview process.
Further, it is necessary to keep in mind that you need to justify the job role with your knowledge. So, if you are applying for a medium-level position, you need to have a solid understanding of coding accordingly. Just ‘C’ basics or Python basics won’t help you here.
2. Don’t Forget Soft Skills
Other than hard skills, soft skills are unavoidable in almost every job role. To ace the interview, you need the power to speak with confidence and skills to explain your point. You should understand that soft skills are not just a way we communicate; it is our thought process, quick decision making, problem-solving, and leadership skills.
How well are you reacting to a stressful situation?
Are you panicking during the interview?
Are you failing to put forward your point?
Because of how we traditionally perceive the role of a developer, it is assumed that you don’t require soft skills. While that may have been the case five years back, we need to have soft skills to grow with the company.
To improve your soft skills, you can talk about your code and explain it in front of the mirror. Try to make your language and explanation informative yet straightforward.
3. Always Go For Alternatives
If we talk about programming, then chances are there’s an alternative solution. Many times, you may have more than one answer to the problem. Don’t pick the best one.
Firstly, analyze the approach that might suit the culture of the company. Once you explain this approach, subtly mention the alternative approach, which can benefit certain scenarios.
The reason why explaining an alternative approach offers additional credibility to the candidate is because it proves you are not depicting only textbook knowledge. It shows that you can find different solutions too.
For example, if you have been asked to write code for a streaming Android app. You may choose a quick approach to write the code. But, verbally explaining about a long approach (which is more efficient) will speak volumes.
4. Know The Company
Before you walk into the room, you should research the company and understand its frameworks, values, culture, and projects. What market are they in? What is their major domain?
Research these pointers and take notes. It helps you align your answers accordingly. If you are answering a question, adding references to their industry and domain will help you add credibility to your answer.
Additionally, if possible, know and remember the name of the interviewer. Don’t forget to check their LinkedIn profile. Here, understand that interviews are taken by another human being only. Knowing them, using their name often, and making a connection based on the work they do helps you connect emotionally, which increases your chances of getting the job.
5. Ensure Proper Body Language
Similar to hard and soft skills, body language says a lot about you. If you are slouching, eating your nails, or showing no interest, the interviewer may easily perceive you as a person who is not confident enough.
- Sit straight
- Don’t move your hands too much while talking
- Dress nicely
Additional Tip: Try to engage your interviewer if you are giving a long answer. Use examples and try to explain the problem with use cases.
6. Check Leetcode
Leetcode is a website that allows individuals to practice for jobs. You can solve multiple questions on leetcode.
However, there’s a catch: many individuals who have solved more than 500 problems on leetcode don’t perform well in interviews. The reason is that they are memorizing answers. You have to understand the solution and the logic behind it.
Here’s what you can do,
- Use recursion tree
- Tortoise and rabbit approach
- Queue-based level order traversal
7. Relax and Be Confident
Lastly, you already know this one: relax and smile. You need to be confident in what you know. Don’t sit on a pressure-cooker and make this interview a do-or-die situation. If you have prepared well, stay confident and exhibit the same during the interview.
Without this confidence, you may end up losing opportunities even when you know everything. This is because, with low confidence, your body language degrades, which doesn’t have a very good impact on the interviewer.
As a coder or programmer, you may have to go through several interviews. Some will go bad and some will be good. From every interview, pick things that you are doing right or wrong and take this learning forward.
Ideally, we don’t have magic beans for interviews. We can just do everything right and believe in our talent. So, check the above tips and improve your interview skills over time.
Desuvit is a Norway-born software development company delivering Custom Software Development, Mobile Apps, and Web Applications Development for various verticals and business domains. We offer end-to-end solutions for companies with no software or IT division, Startups, and companies that need to scale their software development efforts but lack the expertise required. We help our clients in growing their businesses so we can grow with them. Some of the technologies we work with: .Net, Azure, Microservices, Azure functions(Serverless computing), React Native, Flutter, React JS, TypeScript, Angular, NServiceBus, Azure Service Bus, Azure Queues, SQL Service, MySQL, Cosmos DB, etc.
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