• Mariane Bekker

How to Prepare for a Technical Interview

Updated: Apr 27

A technical interview is a high-pressure situation. If you are not used to solving difficult problems in high-pressure situations, it results in you being nervous and not being able to perform at your best. Here are some tips to prepare for a technical round of interviews.

Simulate coding challenges with a popular learning platform

LeetCode and HackerRank are popular platforms for software engineers who are looking to practice for their upcoming technical interviews in the same environment they will likely be tested in. They let you filter the questions by topic and skill level in data structures, algorithms, general math, and a variety of programming languages.

Both services offer an in-browser coding window so you can solve problems directly on the site and are used by employers to sponsor challenges and recruit top talent.

LeetCode and HackerRank offer tutorials for users who need help on certain topics as well.

Practice algorithm questions in the Cracking the Coding interview book

Cracking the Coding Interview is an interview preparation book with over 150 programming questions, especially around data structures and algorithms.

They also provide you with the solutions that will teach you how to break down a problem into manageable chunks, develop techniques to get yourself unstuck and learn (or re-learn) core computer science concepts.

Solve system design questions

First, brush up on some common system design concepts (Link here) and then go through some popular system design interview questions (Link here).

With practice, you will be able to come up with a pattern and a list of components that are common to each system and discuss the pros, cons, and optimizations of different solutions. Use the questions below to help you design an effective system:

  • What is the goal of the system?

  • Who are the users of the system?

  • What is the scale we’re working with?

  • Is this a new/old system? How do we handle versioning?

Do a technical mock interview with a hiring manager in your network

A mock interview mirrors an actual job interview. It gives you an opportunity to practice what to say and do during an interview and get feedback. Whether it’s face-to-face, online, or through video, a mock interview is useful in reviewing your answers to common interview questions and assessing other factors such as mannerism, communication, and collaboration skills.

It’s easy to ask a friend or a family member, but if you want to get objective and honest feedback, you may want to ask someone with experience in interviewing job candidates. Try to find a hiring manager in your network who is willing to help out, reach out to one of your previous managers or find a technical mock interview practice group online.

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