How To Prepare For A Coding Job Interview

Landing a job in the tech field can be difficult, especially if you shooting for jobs at major companies like Facebook or Google.  In fact, if you are applying to Facebook, you will be put through a series of targeted coding questions on the spot.  So whereas some companies may give you a coding test that you must pass in order move on to an additional round, often times you may need to answer an algorithm or syntax question without the use of Google or a cheat-sheet.

The most efficient coders are the ones who can think creatively and apply what they know quickly.  That is what companies are looking for in terms of a hire.  With that in mind, here are several things to think about when going for that dream coding job:

Prove you can communicate effectively.

Communication and collaboration are key.  Long dead is the idea that you are a single coder in a dark room creating the next big thing.  With so much already out there, hires want to be sure that you can work with their team.

Have your portfolio ready to go.

Often times, it doesn’t matter where you got your degree from, it matters what you can do.  Have a concise and wide-ranging portfolio available that is all accessible online.  Even if it is not client-driven, prove that you can create something that ties into what you would be doing at this particular job.

Get ready to think on your feet.

Many programmers like to refer to online cheat sheets or other websites in order to copy/paste syntax or code structure for ease of creating.  But when you are in that interview chair, be ready to answer any questions related to your coding expertise.

Bend the truth just a bit if needed.

It’s not a good idea to lie in an interview, and we would not recommend it.  But, if they asking, have you done ABCDEF?  And you have only done ABCDE, it’s OK to feel confident about F.  In that sense, explain that you know it and go home immediately to learn it.  The good news is that with code, there is always something to learn.

And there you have it, good luck!

If you're looking for some serious preparation for your interviews, I'd recommend this book written by a lead Google interviewer. It has 189 programming questions and solutions:

Book Cover

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