Now that you know what to expect, here’s how to prepare for a tech interview, even if it is your first one.

Practice a specific coding language or framework

Some interviews will test your skill in a specific language, therefore build a project from scratch in that language. A basic project should be able to pull data from an API or database, manipulate the data (create, update and delete) and an easy and well-flowing user interface. Also, practice solving little problems in that specific language. Read on its fundamentals, rules and understand how it works. Could be Java, Python, Javascript, C++, C#. Frameworks include React, Angular, Django Flask, Vue… and so many others.

Coding challenges

Practice your problem-solving skills in coding challenges or exercises. I especially like to use HackerRank among others. Practice solving coding interview questions. With time you get the hang of it and finding solutions come to you in an instant as soon as you see the problem.

Computer science basics

Depending on the role you are applying for, you have to understand the basic fundamentals of computer science. From data structures, algorithms, trees, to arrays. Some interviews test your knowledge and ability to find an optimum solution using these fundamentals. In such a scenario, the language you use does not matter. What matters is how well you understand computer science foundations. Here are some sites I use to keep my knowledge sharp.

Build your own project from scratch

Find a project and build it in the language you are applying for. This project is not what you have been required to build in the application, but your own personal project that you can time yourself, research and have some fun building. Have a more experienced developer guide you as you build it and later rate you. Also, you can showcase this project on your CV and bring it up when you meet your interviewers. Having your own projects, maybe more than one gives you an advantage.

Have an experienced developer as a mentor

I cannot emphasize enough on this. Having a software engineer who has had some years in the industry and is good at software engineering is extremely important. This person should obviously have more experience than you. They will advise you on what to learn, what to keep learning, the best ways to practice, languages and technologies that are outdated and the ones that are marketable. They’ll help you understand debugging,  build seamless systems, good documentation, and its importance and how to be a good programmer in general. Having a mentor for your career is something I believe should be mandatory. Not only will they help you prepare for your interview, but you will also have somebody to guide you throughout your days as a software developer.

 

You don’t need to be an expert especially if it is your first or second job, but you need to know enough to build a simple project that meets the requirements asked for in the job description.

 

All the best and practice practice practice!!!!

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Lulu Ngei

Lulu Ngei

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