Daily Tip: Prep for That Coding Test

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A coding interview is one of the most stress-inducing tests a developer can face on the path to a new job. The hiring manager not only wants to know if you have the analytical and coding skills to handle the position; he or she also wants to get a sense of how well you’d fit within the company’s culture.

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With that in mind, here are some tips for handling a coding test:

Be Specific: Ask questions, to ensure you have a firm understanding of the problem at hand.

Show (and Tell) Your Work: Your interviewer doesn’t just want to see you solve the problem; he or she also wants to know how you think. Make sure you talk through what you’re doing as you do it.

Be Comfortable With Handwriting: It’s one thing to type code on a screen; it’s another to scrawl it out by hand. Before you head into the interview or test, make sure you’re comfortable with writing out code, because chances are pretty good you’ll end up using a whiteboard.

Write Real Code: No shorthand. No pseudo-code. Real code—it’s how the interviewer will judge whether you’re a worthy candidate.

Assess How You Did: After the interview, review your work and take notes about what you could do to improve the next time you face a similar test.

Good luck—with the right preparation, anybody can get through a whiteboard challenge.

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