Worried about nailing your Python technical interview? Nate Welter, Technical Instructor at Coding Temple, is sharing the top 3 Python interview questions you should be prepared to respond to in 2022. Learn how to break down any of these Python interview questions, and the best ways to prepare yourself with Nate’s tips and resources. Plus, find out how the new Technical Career Support Program at Coding Temple gives graduates an edge in their Python interviews.
First of all, the questions you hear in an interview will vary by industry. Python is a back-end language, but can be used in web development, software engineering, data analysis, data engineering, and data science. Before the interview, look through your projects and choose past work in the context of the industry.
For example, an API project would make sense for a web developer job interview. A data scraping project would be a great example to share in a data-centric job interview.
Regardless of the industry, my advice to stand out in any Python interview is to talk to your interviewer!
Interview questions will vary depending on the company, but there are three topics or types of questions you might be asked in a Python interview.
Expect one lower-level, conceptual Python. On the job, you’ll need to know syntax and how to write a program, but this question will ask you to explain how the computer is actually registering the code.
Example Question: “Does Python pass arguments by reference or by value?”
How to solve this question: Break the larger conceptual problem down into smaller parts.
Tip for solving this question: Study! Go to realpython.com for Python documentation and PEP 8 styling standards. While in the interview, you can break questions down and ask clarifying questions to try to get to the correct answer, but when a question centers around technical terminology, you either know it or you don’t.
Python has specific syntax and built-in functionalities, so if you are interviewing for a Python-specific development role, you will need to know how to implement certain things.
Sample Interview Questions:
Tip for solving this question: While a Python code implementation question can be answered creatively, the purpose of this type of question is to draw out a specific sort of solution. Make sure you prepare for all possible ways that this question can be asked!
If you’re stuck on a Python-specific syntax question, rather than saying, “I don’t know,” you might say "I'm not too familiar with this specific method you're asking about, but from what I know about this data structure, I'm assuming it does this..."
Object oriented programming (OOP) is a design standard throughout the software development world. It’s a vital topic discussed in most software development interviews, but especially in Python development roles. In Python, it is the use of classes and having scalable, maintainable, and testable code. Most jobs require proficiency in object oriented design or programming and you could be asked about anything relating to OOP in an interview.
Sample Interview Questions:
When answering OOP questions, you must know the four pillars of object-oriented programming:
Tip for solving this question: OOP is a rigid structure on its own, but there is room for creative solutions. In regards to OOP questions, have examples prepared for the four pillars of object-oriented programming and have 1-2 previous OOP projects that you’ve completed in mind. If you’ve worked with Flask, Django, or any sort of API, it should be relatively easy for you to talk about a past project in the interview.
One of the most important parts of the interview process and something I stress to all alumni leaving Coding Temple is to have a solid grasp on whiteboarding. Whiteboard challenges are a way to test your ability to code and problem-solve. The questions in the interview may be related to the role you’re applying for or it could be a question that tests your ability to use data structures and algorithms.
Sample Whiteboarding Questions:
3 Steps to Approach a Whiteboarding Problem
Most Coding Temple bootcamp grads are qualified to apply for entry-level and mid-level Python developer roles, but if you’re curious about the trajectory of a Python career, here’s what to expect.
Entry-Level Python Interview
An entry-level Python applicant needs to have a solid foundation of programming fundamentals and syntax, and should understand Python data types. The biggest barrier to entry on an entry-level job is the volume of knowledge you need to have. You’ll need to know all about the rules, tools, and standard built-in data types in Python.
Entry-level Python applicants should know:
Less important on the job, but imperative for an interview, you want to have a solid grasp of the more common data structures and algorithms, and time-space complexity analysis of those data structures and algorithms.
Mid-Level Python Interview
In addition to entry-level information, a mid-level interview consists of low-level, in-depth, computer science questions, like:
Mid-level Python interviews may also consist of:
Senior-Level Python Interview
A senior-level Python developer leans into managerial and mentorship roles. In mid-level interviews, it’s all about how to ask the right questions, while a senior-level interviewee knows how to answer those questions. Senior-level roles are focused on conceptual big-picture specifics, like how a team’s specific projects fit into the scope of the overall structure (organization, website, app, etc). The senior-level role may also be involved conceptualizing new features and additions to a site or software; building new ideas from the ground up since they understand how everything works. They often manage a team and are extremely well-versed in and can write elegant code and design.
Applicable to all levels, Seniors are also highly interested in new tech, implementing new best practices, and updating legacy code from when they were a Junior developer. Seniors are on the front lines of learning and teaching new tech to their team.
During the 10-week bootcamp, Coding Temple prepares bootcampers with whiteboard challenges and devoted, in-depth Python curriculum, but often our bootcampers are still digesting this information after they graduate. Coding Temple developed a new Technical Career Support curriculum to ensure graduates retain that info and that they’re prepared for technical interviews.
What does Coding Temple’s Technical Career Support curriculum include?
We’ve broken the curriculum into workshops, mock interviews, 1:1 coaching, whiteboard practice, and algorithm practice.
Coming out of a bootcamp can be overwhelming as the job application process takes front seat. This course is a great way to keep challenging yourself daily, and stay up-to-date on evolving technology and applications that you can implement in your code or in an interview.
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