Thursday, June 23, 2022

How To Pass A Coding Interview

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How to PASS a Coding Interview – Tips, Advice & Resources

Even if you dont make it past the coding challenge stage of the interview process, dont be too disheartened. Going through a coding challenge is a great way to hone your skills, and get feedback from professional software developers. Know that youre a better developer for having completed the challenge, and take what you learned to the next coding challenge.

Most of all, have fun, and good luck!

Questions To Expect In A Technical Interview

Every company is going to focus on different things and may have a different style, but generally, these are the four types of questions you can expect:

1. Implement a Well-Known Algorithm

These are questions that have been solved, but the interviewer wants to know that you understand how they work and that you could implement them on your own if you needed to. Then the interviewer might ask you to switch and solve it iteratively or recursively, to see if you can make that switch in your mind and think about problems in two different ways.

EXAMPLE:

  • Whats the difference between Rails 4 and Rails 5?
  • When would you use Active Record?
  • What is ActionCable?

Whats the difference between a technical interview and a traditional interview that weve all been through?

Anil: Unlike an interview for a job outside of tech, where you may talk about the things you already know, a technical interview isnt as much about the right answer. Rather, its about your thought process, how you approach problems and how you work with a team. As an engineer, you spend a lot of your day not knowing the right answer, but finding your way to it. Technical interviews are trying to suss that out.

Should a bootcamp grad be surprised or hesitant if they are not asked to do a technical interview? Is that a red flag?

Is it cool to ask the interviewer for guidance ahead of time like what technology or language they should brush up on?

What Does Google Look For In A Candidate

Cognitive ability. General cognitive ability refers to your problem-solving skills, abstract thinking, curiosity, and willingness to learn. Google looks for smart people who can think complexly about themselves, their teams, and their projects.

Googleyness. Like all organizations, Google has a specific company culture, and they look for candidates who mesh well with their values. Googles main focus is on people they care about inclusivity and the improvement of human life while remaining ethical. Google is known for small teams and a laidback environment to encourage creativity, innovation, and open communication.

Leadership skills. Google hires candidates with emergent leadership skills. For Google, leadership is the ability to step in and out of difficult problems when you are needed while promoting ethics and safety. Google also looks for those who empower others to self-organize and foster open communication.

Technical skills. Google hires candidates with the strongest coding abilities, and they assess technical skills mostly on conceptual understanding, not memorization. They assess coding skills on the following topics:

  • Mathematics

Read Also: Cfo Interview

The Challenge With Conducting Technical Interviews At A Growing Company

“Imagine you had a hiring target of doubling your team size and all your interviews are conducted remotely. Welcome to GitLab,” says Clement Ho, frontend engineering manager on the Monitor: Health team at GitLab.

GitLab more than doubled the number of hires from around 400 in 2019 to roughly 1300 by end of 2020.

We identifed three core challenges with orchestrating technical interviews as GitLab grows.

  • We didn’t have enough interviewers for the pipeline of candidates.
  • Our technical interviewing process was inconsistent and even a little biased.
  • It was difficult to measure whether or not we were raising the bar.
  • “And by raising the bar, I mean making sure each candidate that joins the team makes the team better,” says Clement.

    These problems are by no means unique to GitLab. Any engineering company that is scaling rapidly will encounter some growing pains when it comes to hiring, and many will end up falling back on some of the typical models for conducting technical interviews.

    Establish A Connection With The Interviewer

    How To Pass The Programming Interview

    At the beginning of the interview, make sure to create a connection with the interviewer. Ask as many questions as possible. They want to see how you think and will guide you to get to the solution. Dont be shy in asking if the approach is what he is expecting from you.

    Follow up with how many questions will we go through in this process? or how much time do we have?. The goal of these questions is to understand if the interviewer is evaluating problem-solving speed, the performance of the solution, or familiarity with the language you chose.

    Recommended Reading: Preparing For System Design Interview

    Focus On Your Soft Skills

    Programming may require technical expertise, but your soft skills are just as necessary. Employers want professionals with leadership, communication, organization, time management, and multitasking skills. Youll often work on projects with limited time in a high-pressure situation. Achieving successful program implementation will rely on your soft skills.

    What To Expect From A Google Behavioral Interview

    Behavioral interviews at Google test how you act in employment-related situations or conflicts, both positive and negative. Behavioral interviews help an employer decide if youre someone they want to work with. These interviews will ask you to reflect on your past performance and behaviors to gain a sense of how you act under pressure and how you understand professionalism. You can expect three types of questions:

    • Past experiences
    • Values-based

    Recommended Reading: System Design Interview Preparation

    Pass Your Coding Interview Efficiently With C++

    • Learn how to solve interview questions the correct way !
    • Extensive theoretical explanations for each Data Structure
    • Understand how to work with Bitwise operators
    • Covering must-know commonly asked algorithms
    • Practice Object Oriented Programming for coding interview
    • Course contents will be updated consistently with extensive exercises, explanations and more !

    2 Ask Questions About Types Error Handling And Exceptional Cases

    How to pass a coding interview | Coding interview preparation|Interview tips for software developer

    So, you’ve confirmed you get the basic idea of what the question is asking. Now it’s time to dig a little deeper into your assumptions.

    Companies love to ask questions with intentional ambiguity. They want you to ask clarifying questions. It’s part of the test to see if you can spot when you don’t have all the necessary information to solve a problem: do you ask the right questions to seek out the missing informationor do you just make some assumptions and start coding anyway?

    This is where you ask clarifying questions on things like input/output types, how you should handle errors, or any exceptional cases that could occur.

    Here are some examples:

    • Will the input always be an number, or should I be prepared to handle different types, e.g. “3” instead of 3?
    • Could the input be a negative number, or zero? Always an integer or could it be a floating point? Is there any upper/lower limit?
    • How would you like me to handle other types of incorrect inputs ? I could throw an error, or use a default value?
    • Should the output be an array of integers? Should it be formatted any particular way?

    Chances are your interviewer won’t care too much about some of these things, and will leave it up to you to choose how you handle them. But the point of asking these questions is to show that you sweat the small stuff, and take the time to think things through in detail.

    Recommended Reading: Best System Design Interview Prep

    Tips That Will Help You Crush Your Next Live

    The disruption caused by the coronavirus is presenting an opportunity for employers to think about how they can become more agile. Organizations are cutting costs and reducing headcounts to keep their business afloat during the crisis. Along with that, this brings an opportunity for organizations to change the way they hire new employees.

    This is a second chance to so many employers to change their hiring process. This is becoming apparent from the fact that a lot of companies are conducting live-coding interviews instead of the take-home assignments.

    This is bad news for many but this is how employers are trying to ensure quality hiring. Although, this might not be a good criterion to vet the technical abilities of the candidate and to understand the value a candidate can deliver as a member of an engineering team. But this does tell you a lot about the candidate.

    I have recently given a lot of interviews and I had live-coding round with most of them. Although I am aware that challenges differ among companies, roles, and positions, Id like to share a few tips that helped me get through the live-coding interviews. Hopefully, these will enable you to nail a live coding interview in the best way possible.

    How To Pass Any Programming Interview Easily

    In this story, I am going to talk about a very interesting topic, which is passing programming interview.

    I have more than 6 years of experience in the Programming field, I have passed many interviews.

    From my experience, what is more important for companies by this kind of interview is to know if the candidate is capable of solving problems and how she/he solves it.

    So, I will give a challenge and we will try to solve it in an efficient way 🙂

    The challenge is :

    You are given a string of space separated numbers, and have to return the highest and lowest number.

    Example:

    findHighAndLow  // return "5 1"findHighAndLow // return "5 -4"findHighAndLow // return "9 -6"

    Notes:

    • All numbers are valid Int32, no need to validate them.
    • There will always be at least one number in the input string.
    • Output string must be two numbers separated by a single space, and highest number is first.

    You will be given in most cases a unit tests.

    I am more comfortable with java programming language, so I am going to write them using JUnit library, but you can write them in any other languages and testing libraries of your choice.

    import org.junit.Test import static junit.framework.TestCase.fail 
         return array + "" + array    }}

    Also the video version for the solution with extra features:

    As you see its much more easier to solve the problem when you divide it to small problems or challenges and you solve them on by one.

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    Dont Know Why Youre Failing Coding Interviews Its Likely This

    Picture this: You just had your first coding interview and you are confident you will pass to the next stage. You discussed different approaches, you found the optimal solution, you implemented it and described the Big O time complexity. And the verdict comes: You wont pass to the next stage! It happened to me before

    Follow The Programming Style Of Your Language

    How to pass a coding interview (for junior devs)

    It may sound obvious, but if you choose an object-oriented language, you should make sure to write object-oriented code. If you choose a functional language, you should write code in a functional style. If youre not sure what the appropriate style is for your language, take some time to research it before you tackle your coding challenge.

    If youre completing your challenge in an object-oriented language like Python or Ruby, the reviewer will want to see how you approach your solution in an OO way. For example, few coding challenges will be small enough that you can write a good OO solution without at least four classes, and possibly more. Theyll also want to see the single responsibility principle in action: the idea that each class in your application should have one job.

    Many coding challenges include the following stages: parsing input, processing the input, and presenting output. Each of these stages will require at least one class to perform each job. The processing stage may require several classes to handle the varying jobs involved in producing the output.

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    5 Write The Actual Code

    It’s taken 5 steps to get here, but you’re finally ready to code your actual solution.

    This should be straightforward by this point. You have test cases, you have a plan, you have a reference to copy, and you know exactly what you’re going to doso it really should be a case of now just translating all of this into real code.

    This means you can take the time to do all the things people don’t usually do when they write code in interviews: naming things well, making your code readable, making sure syntax is correct, adding comments where necessary…

    Many interviewers won’t be expecting these things, so while not strictly necessary, this kind of care and attention to detail is a big plus.

    Carefully Review And Refactor Your Solution

    Your coding challenge is finally finished! After hours or even days of grueling concentration, it might be extremely tempting to close your IDE, zip up your code, and mail it to your recruiter just to get it all over and done with. Resist the urge. Instead, take the time to refactor your solution, check it carefully for errors, and go over the Readme again. A silly mistake left in your code like a redundant variable assignment or unused method or function can make the reviewer feel like you either dont understand how programming works, or you dont care about your code. Dont let any of these silly mistakes make it into your final submission.

    Your focus has been on solving the problem. Now take the time to make your solution beautiful. Refactor your code, increase your test coverage, and elegantly handle edge cases. If you have time left before the submission deadline, keep working to make your solution better. The extra time invested in this stage can be the difference between going further in the interview process, or getting a rejection.

    Read Also: Questions To Ask Cfo During Interview

    Dont Be Afraid To Ask For Help

    If youre stuck or dont know something, ask me. Do you have any idea how fantastically expensive it is to hire someone who refuses to ask for help when they are stuck? I have no time for a developer who fails to deliver because they pretended they had everything under control while being completely lost and floundering.

    Before Your Flatiron Technical Interview:

    How To Pass Your Coding Interview
    • Practice talking about your code. Students sometimes get tripped up in the interview because theyve never had to describe code out loud before. Grab a friend, your SO, your cat, whoever, and describe your code to them until you feel comfortable talking about it. If you dont have anyone to talk to, talk to yourself in a mirrorI promise it will help.

    • Have a text editor up on your machine, ready to screenshare with the instructor.

    • Turn off all notifications! It can be incredibly distracting to get a text from your significant other about dinner while youre walking an instructor through your code.

    • Find a quiet space. This is less for the instructor and more for your benefit. The interview will be a high-energy 20-30 minutes. Youll need a space where you can focus.

    Recommended Reading: Design Interview Preparation

    Best Coding Practices To Follow According To Turing Hiring Experts

    If you want to write some clean and effective code, then it is probably best to stick to some coding standards and guidelines. Here are a few best practices that you should follow to write clean and concise code.

    • Writing readable and efficient code makes it easier to follow. This type of code also uses optimal space and time.
    • Its a good practice to write as few lines of code as possible. Limit horizontal line length.
    • Prevent usage of the same code over and over and avoid lengthy functions as it is ideal for a single function to carry out a single task.
    • Use descriptive and appropriate naming conventions to clearly define what your code does.
    • Avoid deep nesting as it only makes your code difficult to read and follow.
    • Capitalize function names to distinguish them.
    • Use different identifiers for different functions and purposes.

    Having a set of coding principles at hand keeps the code clean and concise. It also helps you to avoid unnecessary grunt work during time restrictions.

    Things Interviewers Are Looking For

    How does Dev Bootcamp prepare students for their technical interviews?

    Anil: At the Seattle campus we start with interview credits at skilled which is an online service for students to get practice and feedback with technical interviews. Every weekend, students get to practice whiteboarding with a partner from Microsoft who comes into the classroom.

    Dev Bootcamp is all about building the foundation and learning how to learn, so that when you get an unfamiliar interview question, you don’t just stare at it blankly because you dont know the exact answer. Actually, the whole coding bootcamp space does a good job of preparing folks to take whatever they do know and get started in the right direction.

    All Dev Bootcamp campuses have a career team on site. In Seattle, Lacey is just killing it, doing great things, and Kevin works in our San Diego campus. In San Diego, we have partnerships with Intuit and other local San Diego companies. Dev Bootcamp also has a larger careers team, working on more global initiatives.

    In the Dev Bootcamp curriculum, we don’t jump straight into web development. The first week is 100% algorithms. You learn concepts iteratively, recursively, etc, so that when you’re studying for a technical interview, it’s not the first time that you’ve broken down an old-school, algorithmic problem.

    What’s your advice to employers who are hiring bootcamp grads?

    Do you think that technical interviews are accurate measures of a developers potential?

    Recommended Reading: Interview Attire Womens

    Best Coding Interview Books: Conclusion

    Today we looked at 11 of the best coding interview books we could find.

    And from there, we picked our three favorites:

    Best Overall

    So whether youre looking for a coding interview book based on budget, XP or best quality, we think theres a coding interview book for everyone.

    Up next:

  • What are the best coding interview books?

    We picked three of the best coding interview books based on the following criteria. For the best overall, we recommend Cracking the Coding Interview. For newbies, we recommend Programming Interviews Exposed. And for the best value, we think Elements of Programming Interviews in Java is the way to go.

  • Is the Programming Interviews Exposed worth it?

    We think Programming Interviews Exposed is worth it. In addition to coding problems and solutions, you’ll get a thorough walkthrough of each solution. This way you’ll learn the techniques on how to solve these problems yourself. You’ll work on classic coding interview questions based on data structures and algorithms. However, you’ll also work on newer topics covering probability, data science and statistics.

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