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Tackling the technical interview

11/14/2018

Interviews are intimidating by nature. We get it.

You want a position that you’re confident that you could succeed in, but it’s up to a stranger to decide your fate. So you laugh nervously, fidget and try your hand at small talk while simultaneously trying to memorize your resume talking points. Trust us, we’ve all been there. 

Whether you’ve been programming since you were a pre-teen, or just completed bootcamp in your 40s, the technical interview frightens everyone.

But don’t fear—just get ready to show off your skills. Below you’ll find some tips that are helpful to nailing any technical interview (including Zip Code Wilmington’s).

It starts before the interview.

We’ve all heard this before but: Prepare, prepare, prepare. Try one of the many available online trainings (or books) to refresh your algorithms and data structures knowledge.

Practice! Look up a few technical questions and practice mapping out a strategy along with understanding why and how you break down a question. The more comfortable you are, the better. It may be odd to speak your process aloud at first but the idea is to get used to it so you stumble less during the interview.

Preparation moves far beyond the necessary content review into less obvious areas like everyday stresses. Make sure to get your head in the game by creating an easy day for yourself before your interview. No extra headaches or distractions before your interview. That means: arrive early, get enough sleep, eat, and avoid unnecessary stresses, etc.

You made it to the interview. You can ace it.

Now that you’ve arrived on-time with a clear head, it’s time to ace the interview.

Rule number one: Be ready to problem solve.

The interviewer may present you with a few different kinds of problem solving. Maybe you’ll be creating code, or talking through your ideas, or whiteboarding -- you don’t know. But the base of this work is problem solving so be prepared to show off your skill. Remember there’s no singular way to solve a problem.

Make sure that you take your time to think through your ideas. It’s okay to take a minute to process the problem before getting started. Most importantly: Talk. Bring your interviewers along with you in your problem solving. This can be as simple as outlining what you’re about to do when you’re doing it or posing problems to yourself as you go.

Did you know that soft skills also count as good tech skills?

Don’t feel the need to be overly technical throughout the entire interview. Make sure you highlight other skills that are just as important in your success, such as your ability to learn quickly and collaborate with a team.

It’s very important to employers that developers can simplify and be concise, clear and expressive when designing, coding and testing.

Also, make sure to show off your natural curiosity by asking questions.

Kristofer Younger, Director of Education at Zip Code Wilmington, shared his Interview Don’ts:

  • Don’t put your hands underneath the table.

  • Don’t take out your phone and put it onto the table. Also, make sure your phone is muted.

  • Don’t dress like you’re going to the beach, but also don’t come in like it’s your wedding day. Dress business casual.

  • Don’t make jokes because you don’t know what kind of humor the interviewer likes.

  • Don’t look at the ceiling or the floor when talking, make eye contact.

  • Don’t be late, instead you should come in 15 minutes earlier than scheduled.

 



Cited

https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-ace-your-technical-interview

https://insights.dice.com/2018/10/03/survey-devs-worry-tech-interview/

https://firstround.com/review/The-anatomy-of-the-perfect-technical-interview-from-a-former-Amazon-VP/

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