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Daring To Be Vulnerable

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Daring To Be Vulnerable

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Test your code

I find that many students forget to apply the best practices they know from real-world coding to their interviews. They assume that coding interviews are totally different, so the things they’d do normally don’t apply. One of the things people forget all of the time is to test their interview solution. But would you ever commit code in the real world without testing it thoroughly first?


97 reads


Plan out the full solution before you code

Often, people dive right into writing code as soon, until you’ve fully worked out the solution. Writing any more code than just for thinking is a critical mistake for two reasons.

  1.  if you want to move lines of code around, you have to either erase and rewrite them or draw arrows going ...


106 reads

Keep the big picture in mind

Your thought process is non-linear when you’re solving problems, so you may have thought you needed a HashMap because of some other line of thinking that you have since abandoned.

This is why it is so critical to stop every so often, especially if you start doing something that seems challe...


95 reads

Start with the brute force solution

I’ll tell you that finding a brute force solution is 1000% better than not finding a solution at all. And if you start by immediately trying to find the optimal solution, it is easy to get stuck and end up without a complete solution by the end of the interview.

This accomplishes two import...


112 reads

Strategically approach each interview question

[0:00–0:05] Get settled & fully understand the problem. Work through example inputs.

[0:05–0:10] Find a brute force solution.No coding, just talk & draw pictures. If stuck, try by hand and translate pr...


177 reads

Consider different possible solutions

The key here is that while in some cases there may be one “best” solution, there are way more problems where you can make different trade-offs and you have to decide which ones to make. As an interviewer, I love to see candidates who weigh the different possibilities.

You should always cons...


108 reads

Use abstraction to your advantage

I love asking complicated interview problems. If a problem involves several different components, you as the interviewer get such great insights into how a candidate manages their thinking when there is so much to deal with all at once. The key to successfully solving these problems is to use abs...


104 reads

Develop a strong foundation

The first step of the FAST Method is to find an initial brute force recursive solution. This is something that you need to be able to do on your own for the FAST Method to be of any use to you. 

If you don’t know how to implement a linked list, then it doesn’t matter how many tricks you lea...


215 reads

Get more coding experience

The key here is simply to get more practice coding, and ideally do so in an environment where you are getting good feedback on your code. One of the best ways to do this is by contributing to open source projects. Not only is this a great way to show off your experience, but you will get the bene...


179 reads

Get good feedback

While test interviews has merits, there is one fatal flaw: Companies are notoriously bad at giving you any meaningful feedback. “So,” you might say, “Who cares? I can just judge my own performance.” Well yes, that’s true, but it can be really hard to judge yourself. You don’t know what criteria y...


102 reads



These list down great points on how to approach a coding interview


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