By January 24, 2019

Coding Interview Traps Every Developer Should Be Aware Of ?

Did you know that a lot of developers fall in many traps (sometimes even set up by themselves) in coding interviews?

When searching for programming jobs, developers often face a step that they fear: coding interviews.

What most programmers don't know, is that they often fall into so many coding interview traps that can literally kill the way they perform in coding interviews.

But… What are those coding interview traps? Things like dress code, resumes and job descriptions might be harming the way you perform in coding interviews and putting you far away from the programming job of your dreams.

Transcript Of The Video

Jason Humphrey:  This video is all about the interviewing traps. And boy let me tell you; there's a lot of them. Because there's so many different areas that people fall into and it's like; “You didn't see that coming? Darn.” All it hurts, doesn't help and we want to make sure we're helping you today with these traps. And suddenly you get hurt with them.

So, first off and foremost, the first one out of six we're going to talking about is resumes. So your resume, yes, it's a trap. Not really, like you think it is a trap, trap. But it is a trap for you if you haven't studied it. And hat sounds funny right? What do you mean ‘study my resume, of course I know I studied my resume'. Let me give you an example; I had the fortune of interviewing someone months back and they had on their resume this whole life cycle, ten things on it in a life cycle and so I go: Oh, this is perfect. This is great, I was interested in this.

So I asked him about this life cycle and he said; what's the most ideal life cycle for you? You've helped run a team, what's the most pristine life cycle you've seen? Or what's the most efficient? And this is why I say it's a trap, they couldn't answer the ten things that they put on their resume. I didn't even set the trap, they set the trap themselves because they wrote it on their resume. And so the fact that they weren't able to articulate even what they had on their resume and really when I said “What's the most efficient?” And they couldn't articulate more than one or two, it's like; Oh, so you actually don't know what the whole life cycle is, even though it's on your resume, you don't actually know it up here, you just know it on a piece of paper. Okay. So that's the first trap, don't fall into that – what you put on your resume you must know because you set your own traps there and hopefully you're not setting traps.

Second is; the job description trap. People don't think about this too much, but they look at the job description once, read over it and go; Yeah, that job's for me. And that's probably the last time they look at the job description. When, that should not be. Because what I've seen far too often with students of mine is that companies are not just now, but they have always put little snippets and little nuggets and little traps on their job description that then they ask you during the interview. Like; Oh, hey, what's WordPress? Granted that's a really simple example, but I think you get my point of, you're a [Node 00:02:30] developer, you've never used WordPress, what is WordPress? You know it's a content management system but it was on the job description saying they're an efficient WordPress team or effective WordPress team, right? Maybe you should know a little bit more in depth about WordPress.

and I realize that example is easy, but point being that these traps show up on job descriptions all the time, read that job description inside and out and know it thoroughly.

The third trap is researching the audience. I've seen this time and time again. When you have the ability to know your audience, you need to research them. And what I mean in this trap is, if they tell you who you're gonna interview with, it's in your best interests to LinkedIn them, research them, Google them, see if they got blogs, see if they got a YouTube channel, see what opinions they might have or what they've done. Because that can be ever important when you sit down and talk with them and they might have written a mean stack. You should probably be able to talk about a mean stack and know what there's is like and why and how there's is maybe opinionated. I think that's a good one and at the same time, it's not just the interviewer, it can also be the company. Do the research of the audience of the company and how and what the reviews are saying about this company and how they conduct their interviews, you might find some relevant information in there.

Now the fourth trap, this is a common question trap you see, and that is the strength and weaknesses trap. It gets asked all the time in interviews and I say it's a trap here, it actually is a really great question to set you up to look really, really good if you make your weakness become your greatest success. It can be a really good question for you to set yourself up to, they basically put it on the tee for you and you knock it out of the park. But it's a trap because most people don't prepare for it and then when it comes to weakness they're like; Uh, weakness … And the nerves are kicking in and the stress and the overwhelmed feeling and you're just like …. I'm bad at communication, my strength is coding … Well we're not looking for bad communicators, like whatever it might be, it's a trap that if you're not prepared for, just get prepared. Prepare for that question, if you want some help or you got any questions or comments on it, leave it down below under strengths and weaknesses, we might do a video on that one more in depth.

The fifth trap is; What is the greatest thing you learned from your last job? The reason why I say this is a trap is because people fall into this question and instead of answering it … people don't jump over the hole, they fall right into it because they start talking about; They wanted to get away because they didn't make money, it was a bad situation, they talk about personal stuff they really shouldn't and that doesn't always happen but it does. And they start talking about things that really are like; Oh you're not actually interested in our job, you're just interested in getting out of your situation. You can go work at McDonalds.

I think I've used that example on a couple of videos but the point is still true. You don't want to necessarily with us, you just want to work anywhere, so you can go work at McDonalds. That is one that people do it to themselves, it's not a particular question that the company's doing meaningful. It's a trap that is actually a trap for people because their answers trap themselves.

Which falls into the sixth point and that is; Talking about your last job is a trap in general. So these two could be lumped together but the dislikes from your last job, don't let those come into your interview for this job. Leave it very cordial, leave it, let it go. Because the more you talk bad about your previous job or your previous company, it's not gonna look to good on you in this room because they're gonna wonder; Well is this what he's gonna say about us ina year? Is this what he's gonna … it doesn't look good. So the trap of when you talk about the old job, talk about it in a good light. I don't men lie about it, if it was really that bad and you need to say, you know, you had a tough time … Great, just don't talk about how you'll do anything to get out of doing .net development or you'll do anything ti get out of C++, whatever it might be.

you need to not fall into that trap because … I don't get into it, I could go on for a while on this topic, I have another video here that I talked about … I'll link it up above or down below.

Those are some of the traps, you have your resume – don't fall into that trap, that's the easiest one not to fall into because you said it yourself. You have your job descriptions to read over. You should know your audience. Have prepared for strengths and weaknesses. What's the greatest thing you learned from your last job? And in general, talking about your job and the dislikes. Those are the six traps that I see most common people are falling into and I encourage you to prepare for these traps and I will see you guys in the next video.




About the author

Jason Humphrey

Jason Humphrey is an full stack development, entrepreneur and investor. He is a professional programmer and engineer working in Node js, Angularjs, HTML5, CSS, JavaScript/jQuery, Mongodb, and Jive. He is a full stack developer, with a special emphasis on and passion for MEAN stack. You can find more about him on his website.