Software engineers often have a double disadvantage when it comes to job interviews. Not only should they meet with the hiring manager and team members, they should also score well on their coding tests.

Gayle Laakmann McDowell knows a lot about this. She is the author of Cracking the Coding Interview: 150 Programming Questions and Solutions and cracking the coding interview latest edition The Google Resume. She has good advice on coding interviews.


Preparing for the telephone interview

To begin with, never assume that the pre-screen telephone interview will be a breeze. Never.

The interviewer will usually share a document with you that you are expected to code. In other cases, you will take multiple coding quizzes online or use an online testing site like Interview street.

And don't think you'll have to deal with HR on screen. • Knowledge of the basic elements of computing, such as data structures and algorithms.

• Analysis capacity.

• Coding skills.

• Cultural suitability.

Go to the second interview

The second interview is usually with the hiring manager, members of the team you would be working with, and often a third person from a completely different team. It is to the latter that you should pay special attention.

 Their questions may not be any more difficult, but their standards are Higher, ”McDowell says, generally, he says, the one who raises the bar asks more difficult questions.

5 stage wins

When doing a whiteboard test, McDowell advises you to follow these essential steps:

• Ask questions. You want to make sure you understand what you are being asked to solve.


• The interviewer wants to know how you think and solve problems. If you keep quiet, it is more difficult to realize that.


• Openly discuss trade-offs in your algorithm decisions. Identifying the weak links in your approach shows that you know where potential problems may arise and suggests why you were willing to make your changes.


• Write code. While you can sketch mock code for an outline, you should inform interviewers that this is what you are doing so they don't assume it is your final version. After writing fake code, you will need to find and write the real code.


• Test your code. Interviewers expect to see mistakes, so don't hesitate to correct them. What they are looking for is how errors are corrected. If all the interviewers notice a pattern in which you adopt a band-aid approach that is likely to present other problems, don't expect to be employed and check out this: