Many university candidates ask me how to succeed in programming interviews. It’s a great question, because it’s nearly impossible to prepare for the unknown. But that is what being an engineer is all about: solving problems that haven’t been solved yet. : )
I always encourage people to think about programming interviews as a conversation and get in the mindset of solving problems collaboratively. We want you to succeed. So consider these ways to do your best:
1. ABC: Always Be Coding.
- Join programming teams at your school.
- Follow competitions online.
- Mentor underclassmen, who are just starting in computer science.
Here’s why: The more you code, the more it becomes second nature.
- Use a whiteboard. This will help you think away from your machine.
- Solve tough coding problems in front of your friends and peers.
- Encourage those people to ask questions about why you’re solving problems in certain ways, while you’re actually coding.
- Talk out alternate solutions to the problems and come up with pros and cons for the various solutions you provide.
3. Have an opinion.
- In your interviews, don’t be shy about talking about the work you love to do. I come to work excited every day and I want my colleagues to as well.
- You’d be surprised at the number of teams and technologies you don’t know exist at Microsoft. The more we know about you, the better we can find the right team for you.
- The more passion you have, the better you’ll do in our interviews. We promise. : )
In the news:
Trish also shared her interviewing know-how in a story on Dice.com. Check out “What to Expect During a Microsoft Interview,” and you’ll learn even more about the “ABCs” of interviewing.
Don’t miss this must-read guide: Everything you wanted to know about university recruiting at Microsoft:
How to get started (Hint: If we’re at your university, come say hi…)
How to ace the big day on the Microsoft campus (and enjoy a night out in Seattle!)
Follow your muse:
Whether you’re a student, recent grad, or working professional, we invite you to bring your passion for technology to your job search. Here’s how to apply.