To begin with, we believe congratulations are in order. You have been called for a coding interview among a host of others applying for the same job. Now that the initial ecstasy is over, you are left with what to know before the D-day. Panicky already? Don’t be. That is why we have set up a basic walkthrough list of things to better help you ace your coding interview
1 Lose the Complacency
Even if you have been coding for years at a professional level, that is in no way an excuse for you not to prepare for a coding interview. When the questions are brought before you, it will amaze you the little things that you have taken for granted over time, but matter anyways.
Instead of relying on your wealth of experience, dust off your materials and do some actual study!
2 Practice on a Whiteboard
If this is your first interview, let us bee the first to break the news to you – some of your interviewers will prefer you write codes or algorithms on a whiteboard than on a computer.
You might be thinking “what’s the big deal?” Let us tell you what the big deal is.
Over years of coding on your computer, you have relied on the computer to point out some syntax errors to you. When you are in the interview room, instead of you to be showing off how great a coder you are, you’ll be stuck trying to remember the proper syntax for a line of code.
Frustrating, isn’t it? Not if you came prepared!
3 Learn to Debug…
Seriously. Would you hire yourself if after writing the lines of code, they end up with a good number of bugs? That is a rhetorical question, but you know the answer already.
After writing your code, learn how to go over it again, line by line, and remove the bugs in it. That shows the interviewer that you know what you are doing, and above all, are meticulous enough to go back and fix the code before ‘executing’ it.
4 Explain the Code
It is easier to go up to the board and write the perfect code without remembering there’s anyone else in the room. That, though, is bad practice.
As you write, carry your interviewers along. Let them know what each line of code means, why its inclusion was necessary, and how it contributes to the mock problem, you must have been given. That shows you off as having deep-rooted knowledge alongside your coding skills. Likewise, it shows that you understand your codes, not just know them.
5 Make it Clear and Concise
It is a tempting idea to show off how many complex lines of codes you can write. Know what is not a fascinating idea? Embarrassing yourself, that’s what.
Even if you have been writing codes since the age of the dinosaurs, keep it clear and concise on this day. Use proper spacing, employ relevant variable names and use the right conventions to make your point clear.
Remember the saying, ‘less is more.’ Don’t get caught up in writing complex codes that you miss the target. You don’t need reminding that when writing on a board, you can’t go back to insert a line. Once you lose a step, you get no second chances
Keeping your handwriting legible cannot be sacrificed for anything.
Yes, we know you have been coding for years, and for the umpteenth time, we are asking you to forget about all those hours of typing away on your computer.
Practice various interview scenarios while incorporating the points mentioned above. That is the best way to get prepared and feel more at home when the real situation presents itself.