How to take a technical phone interview

30DaysCoding.com

Couple of days before

  • Stop solving/preparing/studying for interviews, take a chill pill for 1-2 days. Solve easy questions to get some confidence.

  • Explore more about the company - teams, projects, languages, locations, culture, etc.

  • Look into the interviewers profile on linkedin, google, other socials. Connect and introduce a day before if possible.

  • Don’t prepare a new thing if you feel that’s going to come. Only things you know will be asked, trust it!

  • Read solutions!

    • Reading a lot of similar questions helps you get confidence about that particular type.

    • So if you read a lot of graph solutions and understand them, there’s a high chance you’ll recognize if someone gives you a new question of that type.

Right before

  • Listen to music, pump yourself up!

  • Check internet connection, keep a phone ready for emergency cases. Keep a copy and pen, for any test cases

  • Prepare a small greeting + introduction message. Less likely this makes a huge difference, but always good to have something ready.

  • Prepare questions to ask at the end, if the interviewer gives you the option. Examples:

    • What are some core company values…

    • How does a team function/ how is your team working…

    • What kind of projects…

    • How has your time been there…

  • Do random things, the easiest way to be calm is not think about it.

During 

  • DON’T code right away. Discuss the question with the interviewer. They are there to explain it to you, not fight or argue about something. They’re investing time and money to help you ace it. Remind yourself of this.

  • Think, think, think, and speak-out-loud before starting to code. It’s very important the interviewer knows what you’re thinking so that they can help you! They can’t help if they don’t know.

  • They’re not looking at how fast you write code. Take it easy, type in slowly, speak while you’re talking, and make sure they understand what’s the overall solution you’re thinking of.

  • Interviewer will always try to help you with HINTS, lookout for those. Lookout for their reaction - positive or negative. Think carefully when they tell you something

  • There are 45-60 minutes. You CAN and SHOULD think for the first 15-20 minutes. Don’t dive right into code and then mess up things. Take your time and think before coding.

  • Think of the time and space complexity when writing code, they’ll always ask that after the question is done. If you don’t know it or are confused, repeat the same drill - think out loud.

  • Always come up with TEST cases even before the interviewer prompts you - “let’s test this with some edge cases” 

After

  • Follow up even if the interview was bad. Write a simple email back saying how you enjoyed it and look forward to the next steps. It shows interest and everyone likes it. If the recruiter or manager replies to that, well and good. If they don’t, you got nothing to lose.

  • Make sure to check in after a week or two. A lot of times recruiters forget to follow back for some reason so it’s fine to send in a friendly ping to them.

  • Keep working hard, good luck!