How to hack your coding interview

Use this preparation strategy to ace your onsite interview

Some people are better at thinking on the spot than others. Whether you're one of those strange people or, like me, allergic to nerve-wracking interviews, this guide from Philip Youssef can help you ace your next interview, especially if it's one that tests your programming skills.

Youssef's Hacking the coding interview blog post identifies all the challenges potential coders face when seeking a new job: The many stages of the interview, finding companies to apply to, and, most importantly, how to train your brain for the interview.

The article offers sound advice for coders on training their brains for the problem-solving whiteboard tests so common in coding interviews: problem-solving categories you should work on practicing, essential algorithms you should know, and how to track your progress.

Although the advice is specific to programmers, however, much of it is also universal. Think out loud while answering questions, because "Candidates that get a problem and write code for 45 minutes without saying a word will not get hired"--the same goes true for non-programming-related problem questions. Build rapport with your interviewer by trying to get him or her to laugh and tell something personal about themselves. Answer what's asked, but no more. Don't eat so much before the interview(s) that you end up lethargic and unable to think clearly.

Whether you're facing a coding interview or just a similarly trying one, this is a great preparation resource.

Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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