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How To Prepare For Software Engineering Interviews?

howsitlike1 profile image How's It Like Originally published at howsitlike.com ・8 min read

Interviews require preparation and even experience. Like all other interviews, software engineering interviews are quite a task, with most that have gone through them confessing that the first software engineering interviews are tough. Preparing for software engineering interviews is also a task that calls for a lot of commitment and seriousness.

During first software engineering interviews, one may receive numerous rejections, which pushes a determined candidate to research on the major do's and dont's of preparing for future software engineering interviews. In current times, technology has greatly advanced and with that, it is easier to prepare for software engineering interviews today as compared to earlier times, since there is adequate material online.

Software engineering is complex but with proper study and a well-planned study structure, one is able to achieve. Even easier is the fact that software engineering grows and develops with technology more than any other form of engineering. This article reviews important steps that can help one to prepare well for a software engineering interview.

When one learns concepts of programming during course work, interviews become easier to handle. One requires to have a well structured study plan and to practice a lot so as to grasp different concepts better. Preparing for simple interviews may only require one to prepare by going through regular interview questions, however, to be able to handle software engineering interviews, one must do more than preparing normally and more of practice.

  1. Select and learn a programming language

There are various languages in programming. For an interview, especially entry level interviews, one only needs to learn and focus on one programming language, any of those used. For some interviews however, one is required to know a specific programming language. In such a case where one is directed to know a specific language, it is good to learn and master it well. For a simple software engineering position, any of the common programming languages such as Python, Java and C++ will well equip the candidate for interview.

Having selected and picked the programming language, one must put effort to learn the programming basics of that language.

One may enroll and take a course to learn the programming basics of the language as well as to grow their practical skills. From the learning and practical skills, one should know the language concepts which include variable, data types, arrays, object oriented programming and more.

Information about key aspects of programming languages can be gained from online sources, books articles and other sources. Like in all other learning processes, there are basic and complex topics when learning a programming language.

For better understanding of the complex topics, one must have good grasp and understanding of the simple topics first. In the beginning, one needs to learn basic topics so as to build on a good fundamental understanding before getting to learn the more complex topics.

Software programming languages are a major aspect of software engineering, software engineering interviews are difficult and hard to prepare for and manage but very possible. For good deliver and success in all aspects of learning a programming language, acquiring skills is not enough.

Practice and good grasp of the programming language is also important. With software engineering interviews a candidate is able to prove that he or she has good understanding of software engineering and would be key in development as they work. Practical skills in software engineering are as important and not just crammed content from reading and learning sessions. There is also good and reliable software engineering content online that would best help an interview candidate while preparing.

Software engineering interviews have various stages and steps and each one of the stages is key and equally important to get the interviewee to the next level of the interview and finally to the last stage.

  1. Datastructures andAlgorithms

Another key step in preparing for software engineering interviews is learning data structures and algorithms.

These are the core of software engineering interviews and it is important that one proves they are very well conversant with this specific topic during interview.While preparing on this topic, there are points to note that one can easily come across.

One should understand the uses of data structures as well as the complexity of their time of insert, lookup and delete procedure. For algorithms, it is important to know the time and space complexity for each one of them.

Using one’s own language of choice, one should be able to write popular algorithms such as merge sort, binary search and quick sort.

The content may seem much to internalize but with more time and even online research, one is able to understand the content deeper and easily.

  1. Acquire a copy of cracking and coding interview

This is a book that many programmers largely refer to when preparing for interview. The bookentails key tips on interview processes, review of concept and questions asked during interview.

The book offers one a complete summary of key topics. By going through this book, one is able to recap the knowledge and information learnt during programming basics as well as data structures and algorithms.

With the cracking and coding interview, it is advisable to begin by reading the book content to revise and then tackling the questions provided for practice.Unlike in previous times, technology has greatly changed and with that, it is easier to prepare for software engineering interviews since there is enough review material online.

Software engineering like all other sectors has been simplified by technology in a very big way and this makes it possible for candidates to best prepare for software engineering interviews. With the growth in technology, software engineering cannot be left behind and for learners, there is more to learn as well.

This article reviews key and important steps that can help one to prepare well for a software engineering interview.

There is also key ways one can use online to be able to get to know what he or she needs to be able to handle a software engineering interview. Reading as a way for revision and preparation is a good way to create better mastery of concepts and understanding of given content.

The more one sees something, the harder it gets for one to forget during interview. They are able to handle questions and even in a situation where the interviewer tries to twist basic questions to make them appear complex, the interview candidate is able to relate to all language used and answer the interviewer as expected.

  1. Practice as many times as possible

They say that practice makes perfect. During an examination period, revising and reviewing taken notes and commonly tested areas helps one master taught content better. It is effective and efficient to practice and do it many times other than walking into a software engineering interview without adequate practice.

When preparing for software engineering interview, practice is inevitable and a good way to understand and learn.There are many online sites that offer good practice content and apps and software engineering sites are of key importance for interview candidates.

For intense preparation through practice, sites such as Geeks for Geeks and Leetcode as well as that on Leetcode provide good preparing content, including questions previously asked during past interview questions in various companies.

The sites offer nice interface thus allowing the reader to code solutions in the many available programming languages, as well as be able to run and test one’s code. One can also resubmit their code for retest against a plethora of test cases to ascertain that the code is well functional and efficient. Review materials such as books have review questions that are common during interview.

One should try and review simpler questions and then the more challenging ones with time as they advance. During entry level or internship interviews, companies ask simple and medium questions to the candidates, with rare occasions of one or two hard questions. Candidates preparing for internship interviews and entry level job interviews should ensure good understanding of easy and medium problems and questions.

There are problem patterns that one should take note of while preparing for interview. This also helps toget used to tackling the interview questions. One should also avoid the mentality that reviewed questions will be the ones to be asked during interview because that may not be the case.

The reason for practicing is to gain mastery of questions patterns and familiarize with interview questions.

  1. White boarding

Another important step to handling a software engineering interview is to practice white boarding. This is easy to practice with a colleague.

If one is a student at college, they will be expected to express code in writing on a whiteboard. For one to get to the final round of any interview in a company, the person must write code on a white board to proceed through.

The final stage interview is a complex and different platform. Unlike during rehearsal, one is expected to write code on a whiteboard without getting code completion features or being able to run the code or refer to any documentation.

This is why whiteboard practice is important, to help one get used to the environment.It is possible for an interview candidate to forget content they earlier reviewed.

In a case where one forgets a library function, they can freely explain it to their interviewer who either proceeds to tell the candidate the name or allow you to create another name for it that the candidate and the interviewer both agree on.

If one has no whiteboard to use to practice, they can use a simple text editor and use a pramp if they have no friend or colleague to rehearse with.

A pramp is a free service which creates a video call platform between one and another person and the two take turns as the interviewee and interviewer.

It is same as practicing white boarding with a colleague. The pramp is very useful as it allows one to get feedback from a person, have an almost real interview experience and gives one the chance to experience interviews from an interviewer’s perspective.

Final Verdict:

As discussed in the article, software engineering interviews are complex not only during the main interview but also during preparation for the interview. For good deliver and success in all aspects of learning, acquiring skills is not enough. Practice and good grasp of the application skill is additionally important.

What software engineering interviews are focused on achieving is purely to prove that the candidate being interviewed has good practical skills on software engineering and not just crammed content from reading and learning sessions.

There is also good and reliable software engineering content online that would best help an interview candidate while preparing. Software engineering interviews have various stages and steps and each one of the stages is key and equally important to get the interviewee to the next level of the interview and finally to the last stage.

Attending a number of interviews also prepares one to be able to handle software engineering interviews in future as compared to being a first timer. This is to mean that interviews not only require practice but experience as well to a large extent.

Preparing for software engineering interviews is possible when one is keen and focused during study and preparation.

During first software engineering interviews, one may not succeed to go through and may receive numerous rejections.

In current times, technology has greatly advanced and with that, it is easier to prepare for software engineering interviews today as compared to earlier times, since there is adequate material online. Software engineering is complex but with proper study and a well-planned study structure, one is able to achieve.

This article is very useful most especially for persons preparing for entry level position interviews or software engineering internship interview. The most important point from the content is that understanding the content and being able to put it into practice is very important.

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