Searching for a job is hard enough – imagine getting a technical interview on top of an actual “who are you” interview?
I started hunting for a career change early January and it was a shit show – either I was under qualified or over qualified which made no sense to me. How could I be both at the same time and lose out on job opportunities based on that? I finally got a few opportunities which I will highlight on the next few blogs but they all came with unexpected challenges – technical assessments!
I always heard about them but going through them is something else. I went through such a variety that it made sense to document them in order to help others prep for them. I had 3 major different types in overall and most technical interviews fell either in between the 3 or were a combination.
Whiteboard: This was like taking a computer science theory exam where you were asked to write code on paper and still had the lecturer seeing what you are writing and erasing at the same time. Good practice is writing the code and explaining why you doing what you doing. You won’t be able to run code to test it out so they would want to understand your thinking even if you get to the wrong answer. I tried prepping for this but the best thing to do is to know your concepts and EXPLAIN!
Coding games/Take at home coding games: These were my favorite because there are so many practice/mock tests you can do. They vary from “recording while you doing the game in order to send to the recruiter” to “picking up errors/mistakes done and grading according to that”. Normally you find a link which would say how many days you have till it is due. The link will show you where you can either do a practice run or mock test – my advise is practice, practice and practice. Create a dummy account and use it to fail as much as you can cause you learn how and what needs to be paid attention to.
Explain how you would do it coding questions: This is similar to whiteboard but it is a chat without writing it down. One interviewer asked “If I need you to calculate the weight of a bus, how would you?”. Seemed like a weird question but they were trying to understand how I go about solving problems and how I handle them. There was no right or wrong answer but they did want you to consider if the bus had people, how far apart were the seats, what kind of bus was it etc. My advise is follow logic and take the questions bit by bit. Explain it like it is a conversation and there are no right or wrong answers – at least that is what they say.
Technical interviews are terrifying but for most of the part, you need to own the room/game/virtual meeting. Remember that if you don’t know or can’t explain then it is alright to admit especially during the ones where the interviewer is present.
Affirmation: I am in the right place at the right time!