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How to Stand Out in a Python Coding Interview

Coding interviews at top tech companies are significantly challenging. These interviews test your problem-solving abilities and knowledge of the language’s core programming concepts. To stand out in a Python coding interview, adopt a good, sound strategy and put in the hours. At software engineering interviews, Python coding interview questions are typically around core data structures and algorithms.

If you’re getting ready for a Python coding interview, this piece will give you all the information you need to stand out in your next interview.

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 10,000 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the toughest 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!

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Let’s go ahead and look at what you should do to stand out in your Python interview. We’ll also look at some sample Python coding interview questions to help you understand the type of questions asked at Python coding interviews.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

  • Python Coding Interview Tips
  • Professions That Have Python Coding Interviews
  • Python Coding Interview Questions
  • FAQs on How to Stand Out in Your Python Coding Interview

Python Coding Interview Tips

Standing out in your Python coding interview requires a consistent and well-thought-out strategy. FAANG+ companies have extremely low acceptance rates, making it significantly tricky even for experienced programmers to land offers. To answer tough Python coding interview questions, you must remember to practice coding problems every day and diligently work towards mastering problem-solving.

In this section, we’ll look at some practical tips that will help you stand out in your Next Python coding interview.

Choose the Right Built-in Functions While Solving Problems

Python interviews aren’t just about finding the solution to a problem. They’re more about your approach to writing error-free prolific problem code. They’re about how you can use Python’s built-in libraries and functions to find the optimal solution to a problem.

Compared to the standard library, Python has a relatively short built-in library, but the functions are readily available, meaning that you don’t have to import them. Let’s look at some readily-available built-in functions and how to use them to stand out in your Python coding interview. 

One of the best ways to stand out in your Python coding interview is to use the proper built-in functions and leverage Python’s resourceful libraries. Let’s look at how you can do this and stand out in your next Python coding interview.

Debugging with breakpoint() instead of print()

Using the print() function to debug your code will make the code longer and more difficult to read and execute, consuming more time and memory. Using the breakpoint() function will make your debugging process much quicker and smoother.

Using f-strings to format strings in Python

Python has multiple procedures to format strings. This can sometimes create confusion around which particular formatting procedure to employ. F-strings in Python makes it easy to format strings, especially if you’re coding in version 3.6 and above.

Executing iterations with the enumerate() function instead of the range() function

Iterations are situations when a certain set of instructions need to be executed repeatedly before a result is obtained. While running iterations, it makes sense to use the enumerate() function, especially if you wish to iterate list items from their index, as the enumerate() function works much faster than the range() function.

Using sorted() to sort complex linked lists in Python

This is applicable when you solve problems on linked lists. Unless you’re building your one sorting algorithm, using sorted() makes a ton of sense while tackling linked list-related sorting problems in your Python coding interview.

Use Generators Against List Comprehensions

Using list comprehensions works if the size of the list is minimal. Using list comprehensions to execute code blocks consumes way more time and memory for larger lists. Therefore, using constructors is the best way to approach problems that pertain to lists.

Using Python’s Collection Module

The best way to implement Python’s container data types, such as tuples, sets, lists, dicts, etc., is through the collection module. Employing the collection module for these container data types - UserString, Counter, OrderedDict, Chainmap, ChainMap, UserList, and namedtuple() can largely influence the performance of your program.

The **kwargs Function

The ** kwargs keyword defines functions that pass argument lists of variable lengths. With this, you don’t need to determine the length of a particular argument list, making it much simpler and more effective while passing arguments.

Master Core Data Structures and Algorithms

Your ability to solve challenging problems in core data structures and algorithms vastly influences your interview success. Interviewers typically want to understand your approach to problem-solving and how effectively you can articulate your thoughts. As such, mastering the fundamental concepts in core data structures and algorithms is key to standing out in your Python coding interview.

Understand the Working of Different Python Tools

Knowing how various Python tools work should be an integral part of your prep strategy. Tools like Theano, SciPy, Robot Framework, Test Complete, and Scrapy are popular tools developers are expected to know. Spend time learning how some of these tools work to get ahead of your competition.

Practice at Least 1-2 Coding Problems Everyday

Diligent practice is the only proven way to sharpen your problem-solving skills. While prepping for coding interviews, begin your prep at least ten weeks before getting ample time to cover all the essential topics. Practicing at least 1-2 coding problems every day is highly recommended to take your problem-solving skills to the next level. Because eventually, it is your approach to problem-solving that will be decisive.

Identify Patterns in Problems to Boost Your Problem-Solving Skills

In continuation to the previous point, the best way to give your problem-solving skills a boost is by identifying inherent patterns in solution patterns while solving problems. When you solve problems, aim to figure out what problems have similar solution patterns and classify them accordingly. 

By doing this, you’ll be able to solve new problems by using analogous problems. Identifying patterns and using these power patterns to solve problems is the quickest and most effective way to boost your problem-solving skills.

Do Timed Tests and Practice Whiteboard Coding

On-site interviews at FAANG+ companies can sometimes test your ability to code on a whiteboard. The idea behind this is that it makes it possible for recruiters to gauge your thought process and problem-solving approach and consequently make a hiring decision. 

Timed tests are another way to gear up for your interview. By exposing yourself frequently to an interview environment, you will be able to perform better when the real test transpires.

Practice Mock Interviews

Mock interviews are the best way to hone your interviewing skills. They help you build confidence, overcome interview anxiety, and also help you understand what to expect at coding interviews. 

By practicing mocks with professionals who can give you the proper feedback, you can take your interviewing skills to the next level, stand out from the crowd, and make a great impression.

Create a Strong Portfolio

A strong portfolio can greatly influence interview success. Make sure to spend time listing out the important projects you worked on. List them in the STAR format to give interviewers a clear understanding of the events around the project. 

Learn how to list projects in a resume. Click here

Leverage LinkedIn

Keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date with the latest information and the right keywords can be highly beneficial if you want to land high-paying interviews. Learn how to leverage LinkedIn with Interview Kickstart and stand out from the rest!

Professions That Have Python Coding Interviews

Your knowledge of Python is tested not just in developer interviews. Several leading domains in software have mandatory Python interviews, as these domains extensively use the Python language. Some of these domains are the most in-demand and highest-paying in software engineering.

  • Full Stack Development
  • Backend Development
  • Data Engineering
  • Data Science
  • Machine Learning
  • Game Development
  • Quality Assurance Engineering

Salaries of Various Python Developer Roles Across Professions

Sample Python Coding Interview Questions

This section will look at some sample Python coding interview questions to help you understand the type of questions asked in Python interviews. Before that, here are the important concepts to prepare to crack Python interviews at top companies:

Let’s look at some of the most commonly asked Python coding interview questions:

  1. Write a program to print the left view and right view of a given Binary Search Tree
  2. Write a program to find the missing integer in a preset sequence in an array
  3. Write a program to find if a given String is a Palindrome or not
  4. Write a program to connect the notes of a given Binary Tree that are at the same level
  5. Write a program to compute the number of strongly connected components in a given Binary Search Tree
  6. Write a code to implement a Queue using two stacks
  7. Write a program to decipher if a given Binary Tree is a Binary Search Tree or not
  8. Write a code to find the element that appears multiple times in a given Sorted Array A.

FAQs on How to Stand Out in a Python Coding Interview

Q1. What are the important topics to prepare to solve Python coding interview questions?

The important coding topics to prepare include - Arrays, Strings, Linked Lists, Trees, Graphs, Recursion, Greedy Algorithms, and Dynamic Programming.

Q2. Which are some domain interviews that involve solving Python coding interview questions?

Some domain interviews that involve answering Python coding interview questions include - Machine Learning, Data Science, Backend Engineering, Front End Engineering, Data Engineering, and Full-stack Engineering.

Q3. How long should you spend preparing for Python coding interviews?

If you’re appearing for software engineering interviews at top tech companies, it is highly recommended that you begin your interview prep at least ten weeks before your interview.

Q4. What is the average salary of Python developers in the US?

The average Python developer salary in the US is $113,861 per year.

Q5. What key tasks can you perform after you learn Python?

With Python, you can perform Data Visualization, design Machine Learning algorithms, perform Statistical Analysis, Web Development, and Application Development.

Gear Up for Your Next Python Coding Interview

Are you getting ready for your next Python interview? Register for our technical interview webinar to learn the best strategies to nail Python coding interviews.

At Interview Kickstart, we’ve trained over 10,000 engineers to land lucrative offers at the biggest tech companies. Our instructors, who are FAANG hiring managers, know what it takes to nail tough tech interviews at top technology companies.

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