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5 Top Tips For Crushing Programming Interviews

lukehglazebrook profile image Luke Glazebrook ・2 min read

🐦 Would you rather view this content in Tweet-sized bites? Check out my Programming Interview Tips Thread.


Technical interviews are typically the final and most challenging stage of most developer hiring processes. You don't know what to expect - who is going to interview you? What is the challenge? How much time are you going to have?

So, with all of these unknowns, how can you give yourself the best chance of impressing?

Here are my top five tips for crushing the technical interview!

💬 Verbalise

Whatever you're thinking, the questions you're asking yourself - speak them out loud. This will give the interviewer an insight into your thought process and showcase the steps you're taking to solve the problem.

⚙️ Form Follows Function

Your main objective in a programming interview should always to be to complete the task or get as close to completion as you can. Because of this, you shouldn't let your inner perfectionist hamper your progress by worrying about trivial details.

You can always re-visit these minor details if you find yourself with excess time at the end of the interview.

🔭 Clarify Before Starting

If you don't feel confident you know what is being asked of you, you're setting yourself up for confusion and frustration.

This unneeded anxiety can be avoided by ensuring you have a good understanding of the challenge before you start writing/typing.

👨‍💻 Be Personable

Given the nerves and pressure of being in an interview scenario, this can be tough. But always try and approach the exercise as you would when pair programming with a friend or colleague.

This can be a great time to show your personality and give the interviewer an example of what it would be like to work with you in the future.

📝 Pseudo Code Is Your Friend

If you get stuck on a specific part of the challenge then implement your existing idea in pseudo-code and move on. You can always come back to it later and, this way, you can unblock yourself to continue the rest of the challenge.

This approach is also effective because it affords you additional time to think about alternative approaches to the tough problem in the background.

Best of luck!


🐦 Follow me on Twitter @LukeHGlazebrook

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