Helpful Tips for Successfully Completing a Coding Assessment During an Interview

When you’re trying to land a software development job, the odds are good that you’ll need to take part in a coding assessment. This allows a prospective employer to gauge your programming skills, mainly to determine if you have what it takes to thrive in the role.

Often, the idea of completing a coding assessment can be intimidating. After all, the company may test you on anything you could potentially need to know in the role so that the exam may cover a lot of territory.

Luckily, by taking the right steps to prepare, you can increase your odds of excelling. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some tips that can help.

Learn About the Position

Usually, companies hire software developers for one of two reasons. First, they may need a coder who can work on internal applications. Second, they might be hiring a programmer who will work on software the company sells, either as a product or a service.

Before your coding test, it’s wise to spend some time getting to know the job, particularly the kind of software you’ll work on if hired for the role. This can help you determine what languages, frameworks, tools, and systems the company has in place, making it easier to figure out what kind of coding challenges you might face during the assessment.

Work on the Fundamentals

When you take part in a coding assessment, having strong fundamentals is a must. A mistake while performing what could be deemed an entry-level task or step could completely derail your chances of landing the position, so you want to make sure your foundation is solid.

In many cases, the bulk of the coding assessment will focus on core situations you’ll face. The company wants to know that you don’t need help with the basics.

Additionally, one of the main purposes of a coding assessment is to learn more about how you approach problems. If you’re presented with a complex scenario, strong fundamentals combined with a straightforward strategy for tackling it is often enough to shine.

Practice the Right Way

Today, it’s fairly simple to find coding tests online, allowing you to rehearse dealing with the kinds of questions you may face. The issue is you might not be using a computer during your exam. Instead, you might have to write out your code on a whiteboard.

Using a whiteboard to write code can feel unnatural. First, many software developers have a degree of muscle memory related to using a keyboard, something that you won’t be able to harness if you’re writing on a board.

Second, writing on a vertical surface doesn’t always come effortlessly. You may want to practice creating your code in that position. That way, you can make sure everything is legible.

Asking Clarifying Questions is a Smart Move

If you’re in the room with the interviewer, you can ask them clarifying questions whenever you’re given a problem during your coding assessment. If you don’t feel that they have given you all of the information you need to handle the situation correctly, engage with the interviewer and request the details you require.

In many cases, asking smart clarifying questions can work in your favor. It lets the interviewer know that you take steps to ensure you understand what’s required, a quality they often want in a new hire.

Ultimately, all of the tips above can help you succeed during your coding assessment. If you’d like to learn more, the team at The Squires Group wants to hear from you. Contact us today.


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