The coding interview is a daunting experience. Imagine that you are interviewed for the job of your dreams, you are completely analyzed. Every statement you make and every code you write is noticed intensely. In this article, I’ll walk you through some tips and tricks to prepare for your Python coding interview.
The most important topics that are considered in a Python Coding interview are Data Structures and Algorithms. Not when I say data structures I do not mean to say collections in Python like list and dictionaries.
Data Structures and Algorithms are something that you rarely study in a Python course. You can get the complete knowledge of Data Structures and algorithms for your Python coding interview from here.
Tips for Python Coding Interviews
Practice Writing Codes on Whiteboard and a Sheet
The most important skill before sitting in a coding interview is that you must know writing codes in a sheet and a whiteboard. Even companies like Amazon still take your first coding impression on a sheet or a whiteboard.
So it becomes very important for you to make an impact on the first impression by writing the Python scripts with proper indentation. It’s not easy to write on the whiteboard when you are habitual with typing your codes. So before sitting in your Python coding interviews or any coding interview you should practice writing codes in a sheet and a whiteboard.
Plan Before Writing any code
Before you start writing code, you need to make a plan to resolve the problem. You should spend about 5 to 20 minutes on this portion.
There are several advantages to developing a plan. Most importantly, an interviewer can let you know if you are headed in the wrong direction. If so, you just saved yourself 30 minutes writing all that bad code. Second, it is easy to determine which data structures and variables will be needed to solve the problem.
Test Your Code Before Submitting
It’s a rewarding feeling once you write the last line of code. You feel accomplished in solving a difficult problem under pressure. However, you have not yet crossed the finish line. If you tell your interviewer that you are done with your code without validating it with test cases, you could significantly compromise interview performance.
If the interviewer finds bugs in your code and notifies you, the interviewer will mention in the comment review that the interviewee has not tested the code and I have identified bugs for the candidate. Failure to test your code violates most basic programming practices.
Always Communicate With The Interviewer
It is very important to communicate with the interviewer because the interviewer does not know what is going on in your head, you need to communicate your thinking process to your interviewer. This is an important non-technical skill to focus on, as the interviewer assesses your problem-solving skills and your journey to solving that problem.
You must communicate:
- when you make a plan
- when you notice that there are a lot of methods for solving the problem and identify which method is the most effective and why
- when you see a bug in your code
- when you go through your final code with a test case to validate the correctness
I hope you liked this article on the tips and ways to crack your Python Coding Interview. Feel free to ask your valuable questions in the comments section below.