Preparing For Your Next Coding Interview

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The feeling of bagging a job is terrific, but the thought of being interviewed can make even the best of us sweat! With so many thoughts running through your mind, things can often go awry in an interview if you haven’t planned!

Usually, an interview is a highly stressed situation where you have got to perform well within the limited time and also make your thoughts crystal clear to the interviewer. Now, this calls for a whole new skill set altogether.

We know it can be challenging and so, let us guide you through this.

Generally, in coding and programming interviews, the emphasis lies on your logical reasoning skills along with the fundamental computer science concepts such as data structures, algorithms, design patterns. Basically, the skills that’ll come in handy during your job as a software engineer.

If you have interviews piled up in the near-future and despite being confident of your skills, you find yourself sweating merely at the thought of it, worry not – we’ve got you covered. Let’s help you not only tackle the interview but also ace it.

  1. Pick your sword – choose a language

In almost all software companies, the interview process is the same, that is, they allow you to code in your preferred choice of programming language. The most common languages preferred for interviews are Python, Java, JavaScript, Ruby, C#, and C++. We recommend that you go with the language you are most familiar with.

Choosing dynamic languages such as Python, Ruby or JavaScript can be beneficial as these are permissive languages with compact syntax, flexible typing, along with the list and hash literals. However, these languages can become a liability when writing complex programs.

It’s a better idea to educate yourself about the products and services of the company you’re interviewing for. The more you know about their workings, the more you’ll know about the technologies they use. That ways, you’ll be able to guide yourself through the basics of their technological stack, the knowledge of which will surely make you stand out of the crowd.

  1. Brush up on the frequently-asked interview questions and concepts

It is a known fact that a major part of the interview questions is based on algorithms and data structures. Knowing some of the basic interview concepts can be extremely helpful for a coding interview. So, having good knowledge about the following list of algorithms and data structures will come in handy for the interviews at most companies:

  • Searching and sorting algorithms
  • Concepts of arrays
  • Linked lists
  • Hash tables
  • Trees (notably, Binary Search Trees)
  • Breadth-first search, depth-first search
  • Dynamic programming
  • Complexity analysis
  1. Practice makes you a better coder!

The more you practice, the better you get! Make it a point to practice algorithms and data structures in your preferred choice of programming language. Nowadays, running and testing codes has become very easy with the availability of online judges that allow you to practice questions online. Try to learn and understand the complexities of time and space in the operations of the programming language you choose to use. With such useful information at hand, you can minimize the mistakes and who knows, you might even earn bonus points from your interviewer!

So, keep on practicing!

  1. Be logical, always.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. The journey from being a beginner to being a pro in coding takes time and it won’t work out till you’re willing to give it time. Computer programming languages are often difficult to grasp in the first go. After choosing your preferred programming language, select a particular area of this language. Now, try solving at least coding problems per day and keep on increasing the difficulty level as you progress. Set aside one day in the week to review the problems you’ve solved, see what errors you have made and try to learn how to avoid those mistakes again.

Coding is no less than an art. It requires a perfect sync of both heart and mind and is no less than writing poetry in that sense. There are two ways to go about preparing for an interview

  • Google “most asked questions”, cram them up, spit it out: You might or might not fail your interview, but you’ll definitely fail as an engineer if you choose this approach.
  • Be patient, take baby steps, enjoy your learnings, soak things slowly. The journey through the world of programming is beautiful and if you choose to rote learn instead of understand, you’ll be devoid of the beauty. Well, the rest is your choice.

Keep in mind at all times that when it comes to programming, cramming is never a solution. The interviewers always look for logical skills. Let’s, for instance, say that you were asked to derive the binary search algorithm. Now, if you’re from the lot who chose the first (easier) way out, you might or might not remember it – in any case, it won’t make a difference. The interviewer isn’t interested in you throwing the answer in his face. They’d rather have you come to the answer in front of their eyes. That ways, they’ll be able to gauge your problem solving skills too. And, if you impress them in this front, you’re pretty much in.

Therefore, at every step in your journey – right from you taking your first steps to you working as an expert software engineer, always choose the most logical route.

We at Coding Ninjas are here to make sure you live your dream of coding a product. Therefore, we like to help you all along the way. Whether it’s getting a hang of the programming languages to making you outshine your competition during interviews, we’ve got it all. Oh, and our flagship online programs are like nowhere else. You get the benefits of offline class combined with the comfort of studying at your time and pace. Don’t forget to drop by!

 

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