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Alexander R
Alexander R

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Level Up Your Coding Interview Skills: 5 Secret Weapons

Coding interviews are designed to be a challenge. I should know — I failed, then passed Meta’s notoriously difficult coding interview, and went on to grow into a senior engineering manager there.

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If you haven’t done one for a while, or ever, it’s normal to get stuck while solving a coding problem. From staying calm under pressure to breaking down complex problems into manageable steps, here are 5 tried-and-true ways to unblock yourself during a live technical interview:

✖️ Don’t panic

If you don’t know how to address a coding problem immediately, first make sure you understand it. Try to verbalize the problem’s input, the expected output, and any known constraints to verify that you have grasped what is being asked.

💡 Ask for clarity

Many coding problems are ambiguous on purpose. If something is unclear, ask questions. Make sure your assumptions are correct.

🔨 Break it down

Divide the problem into smaller steps that build on each other. Consider the order of execution and tackle each part systematically.

🧠 Think out loud

Talk through your thought process. Speaking aloud can help you organize your thoughts and identify a solution.

✅ Use examples

Work through examples and test with real data. If the interviewer provides specific examples, be sure to use those!


Interviewers are not only evaluating your final solution but also your problem-solving skills, adaptability, and how you handle challenges in real time. By using these 5 tactics during the interview, you can increase your chances of finding a solution and making a positive impression.

➡️ Want to improve your interviewing skills?

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What other tactics do you use to get #unstuck? Let me know in the comments.

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