Live Coding Interview Solutions

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CodeSignal Interview is a best-in-class solution for live technical interviews in a collaborative and realistic coding environment.

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Live Coding Interview

Programming is a discipline that’s ever-changing. With current shifts to cloud architecture and the pressure to produce flawless software performance, finding the right programmers for your business is essential. 

A key part of finding the right talent is to assess an applicant’s technical skills. A live coding interview is a face-to-face assessment that gives candidates the opportunity to showcase their coding abilities in a natural coding environment. Taking place on specialized coding interview platforms, hiring managers can accurately assess an applicant’s programming skills by giving them a problem statement to solve. For example, JavaScript live coding interview questions can look like this:

    • How do you reverse a string in Java?
    • Can you explain what a callback function is?
    • How do you check if an object is an array or not?

Hiring managers want to ensure that they’re recruiting the best talent, so chances are that writing coding questions will be a challenging and time-consuming task. That’s where expert coding interview platforms come in. Resumes serve their purpose in helping hiring managers put together a longlist of candidates, but a remote coding interview allows companies to assess a candidate’s ability to apply their coding skills to real-world coding problems quickly and cost-effectively. 

Whether it’s in Java, HTML or Python, live interview platforms help recruiters and hiring managers assess a candidate’s coding ability from a larger pool of candidates, diversifying their talent pool without having to spend additional time and resources searching for candidates. With interview platforms like CodeSignal, hiring managers are also able to interview multiple candidates simultaneously, saving businesses time and money during what is often a very costly and time-consuming part of the recruitment process.  

CodeSignal is a live interview platform that provides an interactive environment with video functionality. The audio and video function means interviewers can code collaboratively with candidates, run unit tests, and debug mistakes in a realistic coding environment. This unique live platform not only shows interviewers how candidates approach coding problems, but also gives them a sense of how a candidate communicates under pressure and how well they collaborate with others. By testing these skills, hiring managers can confidently hire the best candidates and improve their company’s overall employee performance quality.

Live Coding Interview Examples

Whether it’s in Java, C++, or HTML, the main purpose of a live coding interview is to highlight how strong a candidate’s programming logic is. For many hiring managers, writing technical interview questions can be a lengthy and challenging process. Coding interviews usually start with some basic questions, such as:

    • How can you reverse a string?
    • What is a palindrome string?
    • How do you get the matching characters in a string?
    • How do you get the non-matching characters in a string?

To help narrow down your prospects, you may also want to put together some more tricky programming questions. The purpose of the more challenging questions is to prompt the candidate to think of creative, design-led solutions. Here are some examples:

    • What will be the output of the following program?
    • Consider the following program and predict the outcome

In addition to the examples above, you should also make time for some customized questions. Customized questions should address the specific demands and requirements of the job a company is hiring for. 

Given the variety of questions required, being a coding language expert is crucial to the success of your coding interview. So what happens if you’re not, or you don’t have the time or resources to write quality coding questions? The answer lies in a live coding interview tool. CodeSignal, for example, provides live coding interview questions in Java, C++ and many other languages using a pre-set pool of predefined tasks from test-design experts. There is also the option to import your own projects. 

For candidates wanting to prepare for their interviews, coding interview questions are available online, usually as PDF downloads. While the questions candidates can find online might not be identical to the ones they’ll be asked during their assessment, these downloads can often help put participants at ease and guide them in the right direction ahead of their interview. By looking at the numerous resources available online and CodeSignal’s resource library, participants can go into a coding interview feeling confident about their success.

Live Coding Interview Python

During live coding interviews, applicants are typically asked to code in a language they are comfortable with. Pythona high-level programming language typically used for building websites and software applicationsis highly sought after in today’s market. It’s an interpreted, object-oriented programming language with dynamic semantics and is often used to automate tasks and conduct data analysis. Used by many businesses across the world, Python is a language applicants are likely to face in live coding interviews. Python coding questions may include:

    • How do you debug a Python program?
    • What is the <Yield> keyword in Python?
    • How to convert a list into a string?
    • What is a NumPy array?

Python interview coding challenges involve an added layer of difficulty. For example, participants may be asked to merge two sorted arrays into a single sorted array. If needed, participants can find a thorough Python coding interview cheat sheet online when preparing for a coding interview. 

Data analysis is in high demand as companies focus on business growth and sustainability. Python is a preferred programming language for data analysis, so participants will want to ensure they are fully prepared to answer Python coding questions. Python coding interview questions for data scientists will focus on aggregation, grouping, and ordering data.

Failing Coding Interviews

Coding interviews are challenging, so failure is not uncommon. The key to successful technical interviews is to learn from the experience. Keep in mind that a good coding interview isn’t always about getting every question right. Sometimes participants get the answer wrong but they’ll still impress the interviewer with the way they approached the question or how they communicated their thought process. Equally, there are times when participants may get the answer right but will fail to impress the interviewer with a lack of communication or teamwork skills. 

There are also times when someone is getting all the answers right, but the interviewer will throw in something difficult and interrupt their flow. In this case, applicants can find solace by connecting with others who have been through similar situations. For example, the popular thread, I Keep Failing Coding Interviews (Reddit), is worth reading if anyone is struggling to get past the coding interview stage. 

A helpful reminder to applicants is that even if it takes time, with the right preparation you can have a successful live coding interview. Platforms like CodeSignal and online resources can help you prepare for a coding assessment and are crucial to getting hired for a job that’s suited to your skills. You may even benefit from studying coding assessments, general interview questions, and skills tests. The more prepared you are for every part of the interview, the better chance you’ll have of success. And remember: You don’t just want to highlight your coding skills during tech interviews. To have the best chance of landing the job, you should also show the hiring manager who you are and why you have both the skills and mindset to take on this position.

As we’ve already discussed, successful live coding interviews aren’t all about coding. Some of the best ways you can prepare for an interview include researching the company you are applying to by reading their website, blog, and social profiles. Then, be sure to review potential questions and coding basics. In many coding interviews, you’ll be allowed to choose at least one of the coding languages, so make sure you choose wisely with a language you’re comfortable with. Taking mock tests and practicing your verbal skills will also serve you well. 

If you fail, remember to learn from your past interviews, get help from resources like CodeSignal, and just keep at it. Best of luck!

Additional Resources

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