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Last-Minute Coding Interview Tips to Help You Nail Your Technical Interview

Posted on 
August 17, 2022
Utkarsh Sahu
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About The Author!
Utkarsh Sahu
Utkarsh Sahu
Director of Category Management at Interview Kickstart || IIM Bangalore || NITW

Coding interviews at FAANG+ companies are significantly hard even for experienced and seasoned programmers. These interviews are highly competitive, and only the best candidates make it through the grueling rounds. If you are getting ready for your upcoming coding interview, preparing yourself thoroughly is the key to success. Feeling anxious is pretty normal, no matter how well you’ve prepared.

To help you bring out your best at the interview, we’ve listed a bunch of last-minute coding tips you can adopt. Adopting these effective tips before your interview will help you feel more confident and beat interview anxiety.

If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready!

Having trained over 12,000 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the most challenging tech interviews. Our alums consistently land offers from FAANG+ companies. The highest ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $1.267 Million!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors who are hiring managers and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies.

Want to nail your next tech interview? Sign up for our FREE Webinar.

Let’s go ahead and look at these last-minute coding interview tips that will help you calm your nerves and feel far more confident during your interview. Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

The Interview Process at FAANG+ and Tier-1 Companies

If you’re a software engineer who wants to crack challenging technical interviews, it is essential that you know the interview process at top companies and accordingly plan your prep.

For junior software engineering and IC (junior and senior) positions, coding is a significant part of tech interviews. Coding problems, typically around algorithms and core data structures, feature in multiple interview stages.

After the Initial Screen with the recruiter, you’re invited to the Technical Screen, which is typically a coding interview. You’re asked to solve 1-2 coding problems (core DSA) in this interview. Hiring managers in this round carefully assess how you factor in Big-O complexities, your approach to problem-solving, and your ability to write error-free code.

The Technical Screen is a time-bound interview, usually lasting about 30-45 minutes. While some companies prefer conducting this interview remotely, others may ask you to appear at the company premises for the technical screen.

Coding questions also feature during On-site or In-person interviews. Depending on the position you’re applying to, On-site interviews typically have 1-2 coding rounds. These rounds are time-bound and seek to evaluate your general approach to coding and problem-solving.

To learn more about the FAANG+ interview process, you can read our blog on “Understanding Technical Interviews at FAANG+ and How to Crack Them.”

Important Coding Topics to Prepare and Sample Coding Interview Questions

To ace coding interviews, preparing the important concepts is crucial. We've listed the important coding topics below to give you a thorough idea of what to prepare.

You can also look at the degrees required to score a software engineer job at FAANG+ companies.

Below are some sample coding interview questions to practice for your interview.

  1. Given an integer array arr of size n, find all magic triplets in it. A Magic triplet is a group of three numbers whose sum is zero. Note that magic triplets may or may not be made of consecutive numbers in arr. (Click here for the solution)
  2. Implement a Least Recently Used (LRU) cache and execute a given sequence of SET(key, value) and GET(key) operations. Return the results of all the GET operations from the sequence. (Click here for the solution)
  3. Given K sorted arrays arr, of size N each, merge them into a new array res, such that res is a sorted array. (Click here for the solution)
  4. Given an array of numbers nums of size n, find an array of numbers products of size n, such that products[i] are the product of all numbers nums[j], where j != i. (Click here for the solution)
  5. You are given an array of integers, arr, of size n, which is analogous to a continuous stream of integers input. Your task is to find K largest elements from a given stream of numbers. (Click here for the solution)

Want to practice more coding questions and check for optimal solutions? Visit our Problems Page.

Let’s go ahead and look at some important last-minute coding interview tips to help you bring out your best during the interview. 

Last Minute Coding Interview Prep

1. Revise the basic algorithms

Algorithms are an essential component of technical interviews. Reviewing the basic algorithms -BFS and DFS, and sorting algorithms can help a great deal as most algorithm-based problems employ these concepts. While reviewing the algorithms, you don’t necessarily have to solve long and complex problems. Rethinking how to implement them is good enough. 

2. Revise the basic data structures

Most problems asked in coding interviews are based on core data structures. Knowing how to implement the basic data structures, including arrays, linked lists, trees, graphs, and hash tables, is enough. While going about revising core data structure concepts, make sure you brush up on how to implement Big-O complexities for problems.

Look at the top Coding, Data Structures, and Algorithm Questions for Google Software Engineer Interview to better prep.

3. Practice the areas that you are good at

Preparation for coding interviews usually involves studying and practicing multiple concepts. But if your interview is not far away, reviewing all the concepts you’ve prepared isn’t ideal. Instead, focus on revising and practicing the areas you’re already good at. This will help you feel less anxious and far more confident.

To know exactly what to practice for coding interviews, check out our post on “What to Practice for Coding Interviews.”

4. Practice responses to behavioral questions

Behavioral questions feature extensively in programming interviews. Even though this isn't a coding interview tip, practicing responses to commonly-asked behavioral questions is crucial. Make sure you use the STAR method while practicing answers to behavioral questions.

You can also check some more prep tips on how to prepare for behavioral rounds at FAANG+ tech interviews.

5. Create a good project portfolio

Your project portfolio can be a defining element in influencing interview success. Create a strong project portfolio that lists the important projects you've worked on, and go through your portfolio before the interview.

Take a look at our post on “How to Create an Impressive Full Stack Developer Portfolio” to understand what needs to be done.

6. Practice coding problems in a time-tested environment

Coding interviews these days are time-bound. They usually last 30-40 minutes. By practicing problems in a time-sensitive environment, you can prepare yourself well for what is to come in your interview. Practice brute-forcing solutions and writing error-free code. Practicing writing code on a whiteboard is an added bonus.

The above last-minute coding interview tips will help you gear up for your next technical interview. To learn more about acing technical interviews like a pro, check out our Ultimate Guide to Nail Technical Interviews.

FAQs on Last Minute Coding Interview Tips

Q1. Are coding interviews time-bound? How long do coding rounds at FAANG+ interviews last?

Yes, coding interviews are time-bound and typically last 30-45 minutes. You’ll be asked to solve 1-2 problems on core data structures and algorithms.

Q2. What are the important data structures to brush up on for coding interviews?

The essential data structures to practice for coding interviews are - arrays, strings, linked lists, trees, graphs, hash tables, and hash maps.

Q3. How many coding rounds do FAANG+ interviews generally have?

The FAANG+ interviews typically have 2-3 coding rounds - a technical screen where you’re asked 1-2 coding problems and 1-2 coding rounds at the on-site/In-person interview.

Q4. What languages should you be good at for programming/coding interviews?

For coding/programming interviews, you’re expected to be proficient with at least one Object-Oriented Programming language, preferably Java, Python, Galong, or JavaScript.

Q5. Can you be asked to code on a whiteboard in coding interviews?

Yes, you can be asked to code on a whiteboard in interviews at FAANG+ companies. This is because interviewers get an understanding.

Gear Up for Your Next Technical Interview

Are you getting ready for your upcoming technical interview? Register for our technical interview webinar to get the best guidance and insight from highly experienced professionals on how to crack tough technical interviews and land high-paying offers from the biggest companies.

At Interview Kickstart, we’ve trained thousands of engineers to land lucrative offers at the biggest tech companies. We have built a community of tech professionals and career coaches from FAANG+ companies to guide you and teach you winning interview prep strategies and tips to crack technical interviews. 

Register for our FREE webinar to learn more.

Last updated on: 
September 22, 2023

Utkarsh Sahu

Director, Category Management @ Interview Kickstart || IIM Bangalore || NITW.

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