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How To Pass The Coding Interview

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Best Coding Interview Books In 2022

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

Coding interview books are important now more than ever.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for a computer programmer is $86,550 per year.

So if you want a piece of that pie, you need to come correct, ready and prepared for your coding interview.

In addition books, were also recommending a couple coding interview courses to help you prepare.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my disclosure for more details.

TLDR: 11 Best Coding Interview BooksWe picked out the best coding interview books based on these three criteria: Best Overall

Cracking the Coding Interview is considered the Holy Grail of coding interview books.

And for good reason.

Created by software engineer and former interviewer Gayle Laakmann McDowell, this book has just about everything youll need to pass the coding interview.

The first part of the book examines the soft skills needed to charm and influence interviewers.

Then youll dive into 189 coding interview questions that are asked at actual interviews.

There are solution walkthroughs for each question. In addition, youll learn about 5 strategies to tackle algorithm questions.

The core topics covered include:

  • data structures
  • algorithms

Most answers are presented in the Java programming language. So if youre not familiar with Java, this book probably wont be of much use.

This way youll learn the techniques on how to solve these problems yourself.

Tip #: Review Potential Questions

Of all the coding interview tips, this one is a no-brainer: Taking the time to work through popular coding interview questions at home will leave you better prepared to solve similar challenges during the actual interview.

According to data published by freeCodeCamp, interviewees who had encountered specific questions before their interview were 16.6 percent more likely to be considered hirable by their interviewer.

If you take the time to review potential coding challenges and professional questions before your interview, you may find it easier not to mention less stressful! to navigate your interview.

Coding Interview Tips:

  • Take practice interview tests to familiarize yourself with common coding challenges.
  • Brainstorm questions that you could imagine interviewers asking you about your qualifications and skills, and answer them.
  • Ask a friend to stage a mock interview to help you practice.

Additional Resources:

The Big Book Of Coding Interviews In Python

We recommend The Big Book of Coding Interviews in Python by Interview Druid because it contains over 300 coding interview questions.

The questions that have been selected represent some of the most frequently asked coding interview questions at FAANG interviews.

Each question comes with detailed solutions. In addition, there are comments in the code for clarification.

Some topics covered include:

  • Python

And beyond.

Also, theres a section on different types of puzzles such as algorithmic, probability and lateral thinking.

If youre a problem-solving enthusiast, we recommend checking out AlgoExpert. With over 150 algorithms questions, you can prepare for your FAANG-level interview.

Geenas Hot TakeNow this is not the best coding interview book on this list. However, it is great for programmers who like quantity.Also, there arent a lot of explanations of how to get from problem to solution. So its better for programmers who are already pretty comfortable solving coding problems.1. Dont get this book if youre a newbie2. Dont get this book if youre looking for thorough explanations

Also Check: How To Interview An Attorney

What Is The Microsoft Interview

What exactly is the Microsoft Interview? What should you expect when you walk into the room?

For the most part, a Microsoft interview consists of coding, and this is what the focus of this post specifically will be about. For strategies regarding how to ace your system design interview, consult the following post from Byte by Byte.

Lets break down the primary components of what the Microsoft Interview consists of.

Draw A Specific And Sufficiently Large Example

How to PASS a Coding Interview

Create examples that cover a generic case and not an overly simplified one.

In your mock interviews, as every first step to solving your problem, you need to draw an example. The author of Cracking the Coding Interview cautions that interviewees commonly draw bad examples.

What is a bad example? They are too small and do not sufficiently convey a common case for the problem scenario.

The book illustrates a tree with only two branches: three cells in total. That tree is not sufficient for the problem space.

It is also possible for you to draw an example that later turns out isnt quite right.

But in a technical interview, everything can be adjusted. Go back and fix your example.

Also Check: What Are Some Good Responses To Interview Questions

How Hard Should Your Hiring Coding Interview Challenges Be

According to a Glassdoor study, more difficult job interviews are statistically linked to higher employee satisfaction across six countries we examined: U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, Germany and France. Across the whole sample, a 10% more difficult interview is related to a 2.6% higher employee satisfaction. The Glassdoor study findings indicate that on a five-point scale, the optimal or best interview difficulty that leads to the highest employee satisfaction is 4 out of 5. Source: Glassdoor

Tech giants like Google have become famous for their job interview practices, but thats not because they were difficult. Developers felt they were unfair and that they didnt do their skills justice. Developers are quite a competitive professional group and most of them love being challenged. Remember to keep the challenge relevant and adjusted to the job description .

In the case of developers, opportunities for professional development come third on the list of factors used to assess potential job attractiveness. Being faced with a challenging but fair interview experience can present the potential company in a positive light.

Ultimate Guide To Nailing Your Tech Interview In 2021

Here’s what this article will cover:

  • What is a technical interview?
  • Technical interview basics
  • What are some phases of technical interviews?
  • How do some popular technologically blessed companies organize their interview stages?
  • How to dress for a tech interview?
  • Remote coding challenge
  • Technical interview preparation tips for remote coding challenge
  • What interviewers are searching for in remote coding challenge?
  • How to be noticed in remote coding challenge?
  • Onsite interview and whiteboard challenge
  • How to be noticed in whiteboard interview?
  • How to prepare for coding interviews?
  • Trivia
  • Best questions to ask the interviewer in a coding interview
  • Avoid committing common technical interview mistakes
  • Top 5 common technical interview questions
  • Top 5 situational interview questions
  • Top 5 behavioral interview questions
  • Top 5 design interview questionsâ
  • My job is to not be easy on peopleâSteve Jobs.

    That’s right! Every potential employer in the tech world isn’t going to be easy on you when you enter the technical round of interviews. They want to get down to the heart of the matter.

    Are you as well versed in the rudiments, as you are in the finer points of computer science or are you a poser?

    Are data structures and trees the toys of your everyday play? Are you comfortably at ease with arrays as you are with sorting and search algorithms?

    As a result, he didn’t get the job.

    Let’s get started!

    What is a technical interview?

    Technical interview basics

    • Google
    • Apple
    • Amazon
    • Uber

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    The Interview Coding Challenge: Conclusion

    Polarizing as it is, the interview coding challenge can be a great tool to screen technical skills as long as you do it right.

    Coding challenges can help you identify the best developers and the less than stellar ones. Looking at their work sample, youre able to make a data-driven decision about whether you want to invite this person to an onsite interview or not. This eliminates unnecessary technical interviews which typically create bottlenecks and put a lot of unnecessary strain both on the HR and the IT department.

    I truly believe that de-demonizing the interview coding challenges by staying away from riddles and whiteboard testing can make a massive difference and finally make the IT and HR work together seamlessly.

    Most Common Mistakes In Coding Interview According To Fb Engineer

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

    Learn from FB interviewer who conduct hundreds of technical interviews

  • What are the most common mistake that candidates make during coding interviews?
    • Candidates mostly validate their logic and dont validate their code hence not able to find bugs in their code. Candidates dont follow a systemic approach while coding. They jump between places and add checks in a haphazard manner.

    2. How to avoid this mistake?

    • Be sure to validate your code by following it line by line. Adopt a systematic approach, think through and then start implementing. The benefit is to avoid syntactic mistake, handle edge case and verify output. You can see an example in this video. It only takes 5 minutes to watch and can save you months of preparation.
    • Please practice validating your code line by line with some input before grinding your leetcode.

    3. What are the two signals that FB interviewers are looking for in coding rounds?

    • Able to adapt design to follow up questions. Show understanding of data structures that they use.

    4. Is it ok if candidates know the problem/solution and just write their answer right away and finish their questions in 10 minutes? Is it a bad thing since the interviewer realize that candidate already know this question?

    • It is okay to do so, but be prepared for follow up questions. For example, if you use a complex data structure , interviewer can ask you to implement heap.


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    1 Write Down Sample Input/output To Confirm Your Understanding

    No matter how obvious it might seem, it’s always worth checking you’ve actually understood the question properly.

    Plenty of people fail interviews by answering the wrong question. You could code a perfect working solution, but if it’s a solution to a different problem than the one you were asked to solve, you’re probably not going to pass.

    For example, take these two questions:

    Write a program that prints the first n numbers in the Fibonacci sequence.

    Write a program that prints all the numbers in the Fibonacci sequence up to n.

    It would be easy enough to mistake one for the other, especially under pressure when you just want to get going with the interview.

    Let’s assume the interviewer had asked you the first of those two questions. To confirm your understanding, you could say something like:

    To check my understanding, I’m assuming n will be an integer?

    So, given an example input of n=3, the expected output would be 0, 1, 1.

    Is that correct?

    Personally, I make a point of actually writing down these sample inputs/outputs. It makes it extra clear that you and the interviewer are on the same page, and can also be useful to reference in a later part of the interview. More on that later.

    Taking a minute to do this simple check before you do anything else has two benefits:

  • It stops you wasting time by going down the wrong path and having to be corrected, or worse, failing the entire interview by answering the wrong question
  • How To Pass A Coding Interview


    • Skills to pass a coding interview
    • How to talk/listen to the interviewer
    • How to understand the requirements of an interview
    • How to prepare for the coding interview

    Coding interviews are a challenging test of your knowledge, your inventiveness, and your composure. I conduct many interviews, watching candidates stumble with a variety of mistakes. Many of the issues are not obvious. You might not even be aware youre doing something wrong. Let me share my experience with you, getting you on the fast track to success.

    In this class, Ill teach you how to navigate code interviews, reduce your stress, and give you an advantage over your competition.

    Well look at how you:

    • Prepare and write code

    • Interact with the interviewer

    • Deal with those tricky algorithms

    I cant offer a magic guarantee, as interviews are fraught with random perils. But I will help you avoid common mistakes and give you a way to polish your performance.

    Ask questions and Ill do my best to answer. Im here to support you.

    Further your preparation with the articles and references at Interview.Codes, a site I created exclusively for the purpose of helping you be successful at programming interviews.

    Read Also: How To Make An Interview Video

    What Is A Codility Test

    Codility is a coding platform that Microsoft uses for its Online Assessment. The Microsoft Codility Test is an online programming exam, that is later reviewed by a Microsoft reviewer. On this test, you will typically receive a combination of 3 questions to be solved in 60-90 mins.

    The Microsoft Online Assessment, also called the Online Technical Screen , is one of the first stages of the hiring process for software engineer roles. It will mostly involve a Codility exam, a phone interview, or both.

    Format Strings With F

    Param Solutions

    Python has a lot of different ways to handle string formatting, and it can be tricky to know what to use. In fact, we tackle formatting in depth in two separate articles: one about string formatting in general and one specifically focused on f-strings. In a coding interview, where youre using Python 3.6+, the suggested formatting approach is Pythons f-strings.

    f-strings support use of the string formatting mini-language, as well as powerful string interpolation. These features allow you to add variables or even valid Python expressions and have them evaluated at runtime before being added to the string:

    > > > defget_name_and_decades:... returnf"My name is  and I'm  decades old."...> > > get_name_and_decadesMy name is Maria and I'm 3.10000 decades old.

    The f-string allows you to put Maria into the string and add her age with the desired formatting in one succinct operation.

    The one risk to be aware of is that if youre outputting user-generated values, then that can introduce security risks, in which case Template Strings may be a safer option.

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    Tip #: Protect Yourself Against Performance Anxiety

    Ask any veteran software engineer, and theyll tell you whiteboard exercises and practical coding tests are stressful. Not everyone works well under pressure, and there are few scenarios more anxiety-inducing than needing to explain your analytical process in real-time while solving a timed coding challenge.

    Interestingly, researchers recently found that conventional technical interviews are often better at assessing applicant stress than talent.

    In the study, half of the participating coders were given a conventional technical interview and placed under the watch of supervising interviewers. The other half were allowed to solve their problem on a whiteboard in a private room and were not required to explain their thinking out loud. The researchers then assessed the accuracy and efficiency of all solutions provided. Ultimately, they found that those who took the traditional interview performed half as well as those in private rooms.

    In short, the studys authors wrote, findings suggest that companies are missing out on really good programmers because those programmers arent good at writing on a whiteboard and explaining their work out loud while coding.

    Over time, this study could prove to be a game-changer for future applicants. Companies may eventually choose to eschew traditional interviews in favor of less-stressful tests but for now, applicants need to prepare themselves to work under pressure and in front of an audience.

    Coding Interview Tips:

    Tip #: Memorize A Quick Sales Pitch On Yourself

    At the end of the day, an interview is about selling your skills to an employer. You need a polished, brief, and memorable pitch that explains who you are and why a company should hire you.

    As you cycle through interviewers, youre probably going to need to explain your qualifications and intent multiple times so it will help to have some talking points in mind! This speech might include non-coding details such as your past employment history, soft skills, goals, and independent projects.

    Coding Interview Tips:

    • Take some time to brainstorm your pitch before an interview. It may help to write out talking points!
    • Try to memorize what you can. You should have your pitch down pat so that you dont fumble or leave out important information during the interview.
    • Workshop your pitch with a friend to ensure that youre striking the right tone as you introduce yourself.

    Additional Resources:

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    How To Pass A Software Engineering Coding Interview

    To get a job as a software engineer, most companies have an interview process that includes coding. While these interviews arent perfect, theyre widely used, so in order to stay employable its a necessary skill to learn how to prepare and study for these interviews. There are plenty of resources online and this guide is a listing of many of these resources to help you practice once you have coding interviews scheduled.

    To pass these interviews, a few skills are needed:

    Additionally, if the interview is on the phone or video, ensure your environment sets you up for success.

    • Test your webcam and audio ahead of time
    • Set up your computer in a quiet environment, put your phone on silent, and ask anyone in your household not to disturb you during the interview.
    • Solving these problems quickly requires a lot of concentration and you dont want to be interrupted during the interview and break your concentration.

    Why This New Model For Technical Interviews Is Better

    How to pass a coding interview! (for junior developers)

    The new model surpasses the old model because we created realistic scenarios that reflect what it’s like to actually work for GitLab, and we established a more consistent method of measurement.

    “So we’re able to get better candidates overall. Candidates that pass through this technical interview, we’re sure that they’re going to be successful at GitLab,” says Clement.

    We also struggled in the past with finding a good way to check that the candidate knows how to use Git, and can navigate pipelines and testing. By using GitLab for interviews, we’re able to confirm a candidate’s competency with Git implicitly by evaluating their performance on the technical interviews.

    We wanted to mirror the actual experience of troubleshooting a broken MR while working at GitLab, so we allow our candidates to use the internet during their technical interview. This allows the evaluator to see how the candidate solves problems and see their resourcefulness.

    “If you’re already using GitLab for your tooling, you’re just exposing them to what it’s like to work at GitLab it’s a more accurate representation,” says Clement. “And you can also make sure you’re measuring testing proficiency and you make sure they understand how that works before they join your company.”

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