Exercise Weekend

Here is some great advice taken from a presentation on technical interviews:

  • Make sure you understand the question. Do not start until you do! Ask for clarification if you're at all unsure.
  • Use the programming language you're most familiar with. It doesn't matter if the interviewer is unfamiliar with that language. They can probably figure it out. They can consult colleagues after with any questions.
  • Verbalize your thought processes. Don't just stand there and do nothing while you think about the problem. Talk about what you're thinking, discuss the pros and cons. Think out loud!
  • If you don't know something, admit it. The interviewer may give you a hint, or move on to another question.

And here is some more advice (from the same presentation) or preparing for the interview:

  • Don't cram. Either you're ready or you're not.
  • Clear out your calendar. Don't do anything stressful immediately before or after the interviews.
  • Get a good night's sleep. Get several nights of sleep!
  • Dress appropriately. Suits are not necessary, but you still want to look good.
  • If you are sick, try to reschedule the interview. You won't perform well and the interviewers really don't want to see you if you're sick.
  • Arrive early. Go to the washroom. Relax.

Here's another bit of advice from me: Don't undervalue yourself. The worst thing you can do is tell your interview "I'm not very good at coding." If you've gotten this far in the course, you are a great beginner! Nobody's going to hire you for a senior-level job, but you will do great work at a junior-level position or internship. So don't offer up your weaknesses or paint yourself negatively. The interviewer should know where you're coming from and can figure out your weaknesses on their own - it's your job to emphasize your strengths.

Finally, don't forget to send a thank-you email after the interview. Read this article about following up after an interview.