Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job

how to: ace technical interviews and land jobs
how to: ace technical interviews and land jobs

This question was submitted by Vijay who needs advice on “how to ace programming interviews and land the next job!

If you need help with a Question or Challenge, be sure to ask it as a comment on this page and I will answer it fully just as I am answering Vijay’s questions below!

Question: How To Impress Hiring Manager at Programming Interviews

Here is the question submitted by Vijay:

On my last job I was given a technical test to write nested SQL queries.

I did not write the nested SQL query in one statement rather I created a temp table and then later join the results.

Even though the rest of the interview went ok and was able to answer other technical questions on face to face interview.

I am looking for an entry level job and I have been practicing my programming skill in C#/ and SQL queries, but in the last interview I missed the nested query question and I am thinking that it is because of this that am not selected.

So how should some one impress the hiring manager if they have not performed well on the written technical questions.

How can somebody cover the weakness in one skill while other skills are stronger and impress the hiring manager.



Answer: Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job

Knowing how to ace technical interviews is important because it determines whether you land the next job or not.

With this in mind, here is some advice on how to ace your next technical interview or get a job.

  1. Self Confidence at Programming Interviews: failing to get one technical / programming question is usually not enough to fail you at the interview.

    The real reason is that you lost confidence after missing one (1) technical question and the hiring manager noticed that!

    It may not be realistic to expect that you will pass all your technical questions. What you need to do, is to continue in a self assured or confident manner as that signals that you know what you are doing!

    For more information, read this post titled: “Fear And Self Confidence In Programming Interviews.

  2. Kaizen Principle Applied To Programming Interviews: there is a Japanese quality improvement term known as Kaizen.

    Kaizen practitioners achieve significant results through small, incremental improvements.

    What this means for you is that, you can land the next computer programmer job making incremental improvements in your performance at the job interview!

    Bringing it home, you should make a note of all your weak technical skills like nested sql queries and then practice and improve on it before your next programming job interview.

    Also, you should keep a journal of all the questions that find challenging at job interviews and then research, practice and improve on them.

  3. How To Impress Hiring Managers: note that it is hard to impress the hiring manager if you fail to perform at the job interview.

    So, a better question to ask may be: how do I impress the hiring manager at a programmer job interview?

    If you really want to impress the hiring manager, start your preparing for technical interviews really early … before you have to take them!

    Why? … Because making significant improvements in skill level takes time. So, it cannot be treated like you are ordering fast food or buying soda from a vending machine!

    So start preparing intensively for your programming job interview really early and you will have the knowledge needed to impress hiring managers!

This post is one in a series dedicated to answering questions submitted by readers.

If you have a burning question or challenging situation in your career … be sure to post it as a comment on this page and we will take care of it for you!

This post was submitted by Vijay.

One Response to "Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job"

  1. charles   February 21, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Yes I will tell you what my toughest challenge is, the job interview.

    I have had over 30 interviews within the past 10 months with no success at all.

    I get overly nervous, can’t remember anything, can’t talk, stammer when I talk, and totally fail the interview.

    I cannot pass an interview because I am mentally incapable due to anxiety, nerves, no confidence, inability to remember or recall my past accomplishments or abilities, hell I can’t even remember my birthday, that’s how bad I gets.

    Each time I fail an interview, my confidence level drops even further down make it that much more difficult for the next interview I have.

    It’s hopeless, I am hopeless, and I guess I will never be able to work as a software engineer again.

    I have been out of work for almost a year. I am about to lose my house, my car, my sanity, my life if I cannot get a job now!


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