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How do you pass a tech interview?
Tech interviews are notoriously dificult to get through. The main reason for this is that they are simply difficult events. While interviews in other sectors and industries may have tough questions for you, not many of them will require that you put together a piece of code, for example, the task for which you were given five minutes ago. However, while tech interviews are tough, there are plenty of areas that you can develop as part of your preparation. Here are just a few tips.
One issue that some tech interviewees find challenging is the ‘live’ coding challenge, where the applicant is asked to produce some code with little time to prepare or even think. The best tip we can offer in this area is to actually talk to the assessor as you do it. Keeping up a live dialogue will alert you to changes in mood (which is generally when an assessor thinks you’ve done things wrong), as well as make you feel more relaxed. The assessor will want to see an applicant who is relaxed and able to socialise while coding. It seems a little weird, but by talking to your assessor during your live challenge, you’ll find a lot of the stress you’ve experienced before in a similar situation will simply not be there.
The assessor or employer is also not expecting you to rush either. In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that they would prefer it if you didn’t during the live coding part of the interview. There is a lot to be said for slowing down during this segment. Again, it will help with your overall level of confidence, but it will also allow you to catch any little hints the assessor is dropping. It is often the case that hints will be provided, so as long as you are able to listen, you may even find the answer to a particulalrly troublesome part of the coding task.
One key aspect of live coding tasks is testing. If the examiner sees that you are testing your code as you go, they will recognise someone who is analytical and someone who is a problem-solving professional. Those aspects are key aspects for the employer, so the live coding segment is a great opportunity to display what they are looking for.
And one final piece of advice concerns the coding itself. It’s important to remember that you are capable of writing code. You wouldn’t be in that interview if you were not capable. So self-belief is incredibly important here. Employers will want to see confidence by the bucketload.
In all aspects of the tech interview, if you can show even a little confidence, half the battle is won. So prior to the interview, practise your skills, check out your successful projects from the past, and be sure to walk into the inteview situation with a real sense of confidence and a clear understanding of your abilities.