Programming Interview Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Read These 6 Tips

how to get through a programming interview

Many like it but most hate it. Programming is an art of crafting a piece of software that runs on some hardware. That’s it!

Let’s take it slow…

The most important aspect to look at while writing code is.. How to solve the problem easily?

Most of us can solve many problems, but it is one who does with little effort and time, a good problem solver.

And yes, in order to write code, you need to be good at problem solving.

One Thing Before Going For A Programming Interview

When it comes to a programming interview(which most of us in India would have been a part of), you only need the confidence to face the questions.

Not a good memory, not just practice!

So what should you do? Build your confidence.

Here are a few things/habits that would help you develop your confidence factor in the case of a programming interview.

Get The Basics Right

the basics of programming

Do not go after things like “important topics in <some programming language>” before an interview.

If you know only one language, it’s okay. There is nothing to worry. Your task is to prove to the interviewer that you are capable of solving problems with what you know.

In that sense, knowing multiple languages only makes it harder. You might have to solve the same problem in all the languages you know and even using different approaches.

Prepare the language of your choice daily. Every day, a question. That’s it. Nothing more.

Doing so improves your presence of mind without you even knowing it. You start to note down many aspects of a question based on your previous mistakes.

But all this shouldn’t be a burden. It must not be just a task to complete on your calendar.

The earlier you start, the more relaxed you can be.

Start Questioning

If you are asked to do something in a particular way, go ahead. But make sure you have this question in mind “Why not the other way?”.

Look to solve problems in multiple ways as possible. Using Loops or Recursion? Which is effective?

look for possible questions in a Programming Interview

Understand where it is efficient to use loops and where not to.

Only if you know C Programming: Why do we use &(address of) operator in scanf() alone? This is a good place to start.

You don’t have to understand all the concepts that a language offers.

Similarly, when an interviewer puts forth a question, immediately clarify all the doubts regarding it.

A question on numbers might seem simple enough. But there are four different number systems(Binary, Octal, Decimal and Hexadecimal) in a computer system. Now? Complex?

So, it is always a good practice to post questions.

There are chances that the interviewer might get it as offending. So see to that you deliver it softly. Sometimes, it might offer a chance for you to impress them.

Keep Improving

When you reach a state where you are confident enough, start exploring newer things. Many online platforms  give you some challenging questions to solve.

Have a look at SPOJ and Codechef. If you find them to be hard, start with LeetCode.

If you have a practice of writing down stuff that you learn, I suggest you slowly stop it. It is not going to help you on the long run.

Occasionally, take a question from GeeksForGeeks and try to solve. Once you solve, have a look at their solution(s) as well and try to understand all the possible ways to approach a problem.

Ask For Time

ask for time to the interviewerin a Programming Interview
Time is precious, well said.

If you need time during an interview, it okay to ask. No one expects you to be quick as fox.

Similarly, if you not sure about an answer, tell what all you know related to the questions and further things accept that you are not sure of.

When you express it, do it with a positive note to show that you are ready to learn. Telling “I’m not sure of that” and suffixing “now” to it makes a lot of difference.

All of these symbolizes your confidence level as there no benchmark that you have to accomplish for a programming interview.

Test It Out

Head over to Pramp and take a sample interview for free. A few such interviews would make you better and better.

You can also ask your friends, siblings or anyone else to host a mock interview.

To The End

Last, but not the least. Eat Well and Sleep Well. Both play a major role in keeping your brain active when required.

If you fail also, remember that it’s not the end. That experience would definitely help you in the next one.

Quick Tip: If you don’t know the answer to a question and the interviewer says that he/she cannot select you, you still have one last try left. Before leaving the interviewer’s table, make sure you get the answer to that question cleared.

It is common to attend multiple interviews before you receive an offer. So, make sure your confidence levels are always up.

My Personal Experience In A Programming Interview

In one of the programming interviews I attended, I was asked two simple questions related to problem solving and programming both of which I answered incorrectly. And it was the last round too.

That’s a hard situation, when the questions were simple as well. But as the results came, I saw my name in the list of selects.

Sometimes it’s not the answer that you tell matters, it’s the way you approach a question.

Hope you find these tips useful. If you are a student reading this, wish you all the best for a good start. Any more doubts, head over to the comment section below.

Varun is a Software Developer by profession and blogger by passion. He likes to talk about technology and things on the internet that makes life easy.

2 thoughts on “Programming Interview Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Read These 6 Tips

  1. Tips? You don’t need tips to pass an interview and get a job, you need skills. No tips will help you if you’re not good enough. Companies will give you a programming test like these: https://www.testdome.com/Programming-Tests
    If you’re good enough, you’ll pass on to the next part of the evaluation. If you don’t, well that just means you need to work on your skills. Forget tips like these and just keep programming.

    1. Agreed Maric. My aim via the post is to build the confidence, which can make anyone go the extra mile. And thanks for sharing TestDome. Would be useful to our readers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *