How to prepare yourself before appearing for data structures and algorithms interview

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The method of organising data using a virtual system is called a data structure. The tables of data, or sequences of numbers, are all well-defined structures. An algorithm is basically a series of steps that are carried out by a computer, which takes input and then transforms that into target outputs.

The combination of data structures and algorithms helps programmers to build the computer programs of their choice. A highly optimised and efficient code can be ensured only by having deep knowledge of data structures and algorithms. If one wants to learn data structures and algorithms, there are solid courses available online.

Preparations for a Data Structure and Algorithms Interview

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For developing the skills that are required for acing a data structure and algorithms interview, it is very important to explore all the directions, ask the right kind of questions, and understand the most suitable practices along with common pitfalls of the modern software symptoms.

The main purpose of a data structure and algorithms interview is to exhibit one’s ability in order to become an appropriate engineering teammate by identifying strong coding, problem-solving and communication skills. Some of the things that one should focus on throughout the interview are:

  • Preparing Before the Interview

It is very important to have deep knowledge and talk about different kinds of data structures and all their weaknesses, strengths and how they can be compared to each other. It is better to execute data structures from scratch because that makes one more prepared for these interviews, compared to studying those data structures like an abstract concept. It is extremely important to be familiar with all the major algorithms. 

  • Understanding a Problem

Generally, the interview starts by briefly discussing a problem that the interviewee needs to solve. Many applicants start to code when they see the questions, but later on, that may often lead to errors. Instead, it is much more important to read the question thoroughly and understand the constraints. It is very important for the interviewer to get a good insight into the way the applicant thinks through a problem or an issue. It is very important to make the interviewer understand that the applicant is spending time on implementing the solution. It is also important to have enough time for coding the solution as well.

  • Conversing Through the Brute Force Solution

It is very important to talk through the brute force solution that the applicant can think of with the interviewer. Quite often, applicants skip conversing through the brute force solution because they think that the brute force solution is very obvious. This is actually a mistake. Even if it takes a lot of time, it is very important to come up with a solution to the stated problem. After talking through the brute force solution, it is important to ask the interviewer if they would like the applicant to implement that solution, or come up with a better solution.

  • Optimising the Solution

After talking through the brute force solution, the interviewer might ask for a better solution. If something like this happens, then it is very important to discuss the applicant’s approach with the interviewer and then understand what to optimise, space, time, or both. Some initial assumptions can change too while optimising. For that reason, it is important to check with the interviewer. Once the interviewer and the applicant agree on a specific solution, the coding starts. 

  • Coding the Solution

It is very important to make the interviewer understand what the applicant is doing. While coding, it is important to converse on the section of the code that the applicant is going to implement on a higher level and why it was written. The interviewer should understand the applicant’s code and whether that code would return the expected results and be a solution to the problem. There is a high chance of missing out on a bug or having a syntax error, and for that reason, it is necessary to go through the code thoroughly.

  • Testing the Solution

Debugging is an extremely important skill. If the code has any bug, the applicant can showcase his or her ability to analyse why the code failed and then fix it. Good programmers are more likely to solve bugs as they code, rather than writing a perfect code on their first attempt. It is very important to do some manual testing to make sure it performs the way the applicant expected it to work. 

  • Practising and Learning New Tactics

Practicing questions on data structures and algorithms is one of the most important ways of improving an applicant’s performance. Mostly, data structures and algorithms interviews are very similar and for that reason, practicing more means having a higher chance of facing problems that the applicant is already familiar with. One of the best ways to prepare for these interviews is by doing mock interviews. 


The full stack web development course from Imarticus helps the applicant to have a deep knowledge of web development technologies as well as data structures and algorithms. The full stack developer certification can help the applicants to acquire the knowledge needed to crack data structures and algorithms interviews.

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