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Coding interviews

Technically, not all tech interviews are technical. But the coding interview definitely is. 😝

What is a coding interview?

In the coding interview, you’re usually matched up with a member of the team that you’d be working with if you got hired and tasked with a realistic challenge, which might mean whiteboarding or live coding. (More about these types of interviews in other modules.)

Sometimes a coding interview is just another Leetcode question -- but this time with the watchful eyes of a potential team member. If that's the case, remember to use REACTO to really shine.

The challenges that you’re given will usually not require more than 30-45 minutes to complete, and you’ll work through them in real-time under the guidance of your interviewer. They’ll watch as you work, ask clarifying questions, and nudge you in the right direction if you get off track.

There are a few things the interviewer is looking for.

Does your reality match your resume?

We hear a lot from employers that it’s a big red flag if they start digging into experience listed on a candidate’s resume and it turns out things weren’t represented honestly.

We also hear that anything on your resume is fair game for questions during the coding interview, and your interviewer will know how to code and be able to tell if you understand these topics.

Be honest and be willing to show off what you do know and admit when you don’t know something. Nobody knows everything!

How well can you code?

In addition to being able to complete the task, the interviewer might be paying attention to your code formatting, how often you use comments, your naming conventions, and more. Before you go into the interview, you should do a bit of research into the company’s best practices and see if they have a public style guide that you can follow.

How well can you communicate?

Coding in a coding interview is less about the code itself and more about your thought process, attitude, ability to solve problems, and receptiveness to input from others. Be a great communicator by clearly explaining what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what you expect the result to be.

Stay positive and take any hints the interviewer gives you along the way.

How well can you work with others?

The person interviewing you might become your day-to-day teammate. Be receptive to their input and keep in mind that they’re trying to help. If you’re resistant to hints and interrupt them when they’re speaking, you’ll leave a negative impression. Follow their guidance, use their suggestions, and work with them to solve the challenge.