6 Tips for Technical Coding Interviews

coding interview

If you are reading this, my guess is that you are preparing for a coding interview and looking for tips to ace the test. I’m excited for you and wish you the very best!

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These 6 tips are well researched from technical interviewers from different companies.

1. Calm your nerves

I know how nerve wrecking it can be in a coding interview, I have been there. A trained interviewer will try to set a comfortable atmosphere to release tension, but nevertheless it is in your best interest to calm your nerves.

You can try these short exercises before your interview start.

  1. Do a breathing exercise. Take a deep breathe in and out.

2. Mentally visualize the interview room as your favorite place filled with your code buddies and friends.

Coding interviews can span from 1 hour to 10 hours depending on the type of interview and the company.

When you are relaxed, it’s easier to understand the challenge and instructions given.

The less nervous you are, the more chances you have at acing the interview.

2. Clarify the question

When given a technical challenge, do not jump into solving the problem.

Interviewers are also observing your soft skills. In a real world project, it is better to gain clarity on the direction of a project before embarking on the project. This will help save the company time, money and other resources.

Sometimes the interviewer might not provide all the details intentionally.

Start by reading out the question loudly. This will help you to identify any missing piece that might be crucial in solving the problem.

3. It is okay to brute force

If you can’t figure out an efficient algorithm and data structure to solve the problem, start with the first thing that comes to your mind.

Remember how you learnt coding by simple coding, the same principle applies when you are solving a problem.

It is okay to first brute force your solution, then later optimize for efficiency.

4. Share your thoughts

When solving the problem, talk about what you are thinking. Share your ideas with the interviewer and be open for a feedback.

5. Optimize your solution

Optimize your solution for efficiency. If you still have time left, go over your code and optimize for the best time and space complexities.

6. Test your solution

Testing is very important in software engineering. It is a plus for you in your interview to see how your code perform in different scenarios and test cases.

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