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Five tips to prepare for your next programming interview

Five tips to prepare for your next programming interview

If you are in the market for a new programming or development role then you will know that the stakes are pretty high for the best jobs around. With more and more competition and a growing pool of talented individuals all vying for positions, you need to be ahead of your game to be in with a chance.

So you passed the first stage- the CV sift- and now you have been called for an interview. How do you ace it? Here are some tips to help you on your way to bagging that job offer!


1. Know the company and who is interviewing you

Make sure you know something about the company before you turn up. Whilst no interviewer is going to expect you to know the company inside out, it would be good if you at least know what the company does and some of its history. Research their markets, clients, current and future plans and make sure you know something about the person interviewing you. Research means that not only will you be able to ask questions and maintain a two-way conversation, but it will show that you have a genuine interest in working for that company, rather than just getting a job.


2. Remember that first impressions count

You only have one chance to impress so be sure that you are well and truly on form when you arrive for your interview. Don’t be late, be confident even if you don’t feel it and make sure you have perfected your handshake. It is also important to maintain good eye contact with your interviewer throughout the process. In the world of modern software development, the chances are you will be working closely with other stakeholders as well as potentially clients. This means that your interviewers will be taking note of your interpersonal skills whilst wondering if they could trust you in front of a big client.


3. Understand basic body language

Most of our communication is completely non-verbal so knowing how to read body language is an important part of gaging how you are doing and how your interviewers are reacting to you. You also need to pay attention to your own body language as after all, actions speak louder than words. Sit up straight, smile, use appropriate hand gestures, and keep your eye on any body language cues coming your way. For example, if your interviewer clears their throat during one of your answers, you know to cut it short and move on. Keeping them engaged and maintaining good momentum is key to a successful interview.


4. Don’t be shy to talk about your projects

Don’t be afraid to talk about a project you have worked on, in detail. In fact, you should be prepared to answer a range of in-depth questions on anything on your CV. Don’t just skirt over the facts, instead be sure to give a high-level answer. Take a logical approach and start from the front of the app where the user inputs into the system and then move through the various modules in the application. Be sure to finish up at the database and note each bit of tech as you go. Just take the time to use the correct technical terms and “buzzwords” to show you have a deep understanding of how all of the components fit together in the software architecture.


5. Be prepared to do a coding challenge

It makes sense that if you are applying for a coding job, the chances are that you will have to prove yourself and write some software. The interviewer may ask you to write the code on a whiteboard or they may ask you to use a collaborative editing tool over the internet. Either way, it is likely that the challenge will be relatively simple so that you can write them during the course of the interview. Of course you might end up being sent home with a tougher problem and be asked to return it during a certain timeframe. Typical questions include writing a method that reverses a String whilst only using String API functions or arranging a range of integers from greatest to least without using an API function. Just be sure that before you start working on the task, you ask questions and clarify their requirements. It is also worth drawing process flows and diagrams so you can show you clearly understand before you start writing the code.


Credits: Finerton Malta Bloggers, July 2019
Photos: Pixabay.com

Last modified on: July 26, 2019

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