Congrats! You’ve just landed your first interview with a coding bootcamp. But, landing the interview is just half the battle. Don’t worry. At CareerKarma, we’re here to help you find out what to expect and help you increase your chances of passing that interview so you can begin your new coding career.
How to Prepare for Your Interview
First things first! Do your research! Each coding bootcamp is different and each interview is different. Brush up on what your coding bootcamp is all about such as the bootcamp’s mission and values. You will also need to start asking yourself questions like why are you interested in coding? Or what are your goals? What do you think your career path looks like? Although these are non-technical questions, you’ll still want to be prepared to answer them during your interview, because for the majority of the interviews will be more about you and your intent than your current skill level.
Once you’ve gotten the basic questions down, here are a few tips to help you nail your interview while you’re in the hot seat:
A Few Tips to Nail Your Interview:
Tip #1: Don’t Be Afraid to Show Your Interest and Motivation
In order to be successful in your coding career, it has to be something that you are fully committed to. You won’t thrive as a coder if it’s just something you’re doing because you might want to build a website one day or because it’s simply convenient. If that’s the case, then maybe coding isn’t the path you want to pursue. But if it is something you are truly committed to, be upfront about your goals and desires. Don’t be afraid to show your passion for coding and tell your interviewer what draws your to this field.
Tip #2: Share Your Previous Experiences
If you’ve tried to learn code in the past, talk about that with your interviewer. Discuss what you’ve learned and how you were successful. Don’t be afraid to mention barriers and how you overcame them and/or how you are currently working to overcome the barriers. And, maybe you haven’t coded before. So, mentioning that you’ve played an instrument or played on a sports team can really help you make an impression because it shows your ability to achieve technical feats and follow specific rules and guidelines to be successful.
Tip #3: Communicate and Show that You can be Apart of a Team
When you think about coding or programming or development, you think about your eyes glued to the screen focusing on just your work and nothing else. However, although much of the work is independent, you are still apart of a larger team. So, demonstrating that you are capable and willing to be a teammate and offer effective communication to create the best product that you can will help you stand out among the rest.
Tip #4: Be Optimistic and Positive
We understand that the entire coding bootcamp process can be extremely draining, especially if you know nothing about coding. Your limits are constantly being pushed and will continue to be pushed throughout your career. So, it’s easy to bring all that stress and frustration into your interview. However, it’s important to remain positive and optimistic during your interview. You want your interviewer to know that you will stay calm and focused even during the most challenging of times because let’s face it, no matter how good of a coder you are, there is no way you are going to avoid bugs or barriers in your coding career.
Tip #5: Don’t Show Entitlement
Truth can be hard to swallow. And the truth is, there probably won’t be anyone jumping out of their seat to let you in the golden gates of your desired coding bootcamp. No matter how confident you are in your coding skills or your ability to learn, there is something to be said about staying humble. Show your interest, show your willingness to learn as well as your capabilities, but don’t expect any guarantees.
Tip #6: Answer all the Questions
Your interviewer will probably ask you A LOT of questions. So, avoid brushing questions off. Answer each question fully and in the best way that you can. Leaving a question unanswered can be the demise of your interview. Some common questions to be prepared for include:
- Living expenses: Be sure to prepare answers on how you’re going to pay for your living expenses while you are enrolled in your coding bootcamp. You interviewer will want to make sure you have a thought out plan that will lead you to the highest rate of success.
- Part-time considerations: If you plan on enrolling in your coding bootcamp part-time, be prepared to explain how you will be able to balance your job with a bootcamp.
- Full-time considerations: If the coding bootcamp is full time and in-person, long commute times can become a major issue. If you’re commute is longer than 45 minutes each way, make sure to have a response prepared that explains how you plan on attending regularly and on-time.
Tip #7: Be Prepared to Answer the Question: Why do you want to become a coder?
Without a doubt, no matter which coding bootcamp you are being interviewed for, you will be asked why you want to become a coder. Make sure you have a well thought out answer that really shows your intent and desires to be successful in the world of coding.
Tip #8: Be on Time
You would honestly think this is a no-brainer, but you would also be surprised at how many people show up late or don’t show up at all for an interview! If you are notorious for being late, plan to get there earlier than the interview. Have the mentality of “if you’re not early, you’re late” and you won’t fail. If you are late or you no-show, this will absolutely have a lasting negative impression on your interviewer.
The Interview is Over. Now What?
Phew! The interview is over! Now it’s time for you to hang tight and wait to hear back from your coding bootcamp program. Feel free to shoot a thank you email just to show your interest and appreciate the time that the interviewer took to sit down with you.
Common Questions per Bootcamp
Hack Reactor Interview Questions
Unfortunately, Hack Reactor doesn’t provide details about the questions they ask during the interview, however, they do say this: “The interviewer and interviewee will work on a technical problem together. The interview is not just a test, but a chance to learn and experience the Hack Reactor teaching method. Applicants are encouraged to examine the underlying logic of their code.”
Lambda School Interview Questions
At Lambda School, they say to treat your interview just like a job interview. Although there won’t be any technical questions, there will be predictable questions about your interest, proactivity, availability, financial support, etc.
If you get Conditionally Accepted, then in most cases finishing your prep course will get you fully accepted.
App Academy Interview Questions
Just like any other coding bootcamp interview, the questions consist of non-technical questions about your goals, desires, and interests. But, the technical interview consists of one guaranteed coding challenge and a second coding test if App Academy decides you’re ready to move forward.
App Academy has a more rigorous interview process than most bootcamps, so make sure to check out their Jump Start prep program.
Thinkful Interview Questions
During the Actualize interview, they have four basic practices they want you to follow. These practices include:
- Be Professional: This doesn’t mean dress up in a business suit. What this means is come prepared to show you have done your research about the program you are applying for. Treat it like a job interview but it’s not necessary to go all out with the bells and whistles.
- Be Passionate: Thinkful doesn’t expect you to have tons of knowledge and experience, but they do expect you to have passion and drive. Don’t be afraid to show it!
- Ask Questions: This is also your time to ask questions. Show interest in the bootcamp and get to know if this program is right for you.
- Follow Instructions: You will likely be asked to complete a coding assignment. Follow instructions exactly and you will be sure to impress.
Flatiron School Interview Questions
Flatiron School will set up a quick Skype interview to discuss your ambitions and your story. It is their chance to learn more about you and why you want to join their coding bootcamp. After the interview, you will be then sent a code assignment. Once the code assignment is completed and submitted, you will be set up with an instructor to review the assignment.
Coding Dojo Interview Questions
At Coding Dojo, once you have applied, you will get a call to set up a 15 to 30 minute phone interview so that the program can get to know you better. Once the interview is complete, your application goes to the Admissions team for a final decision, which is made 2-3 days after the interview. The decision is based on the Coding Challenge score.
Ironhack Interview Questions
One of the most important things that Ironhack evaluates in a potential student is their curiosity, passion, and drive. If you don’t have those three things, then you might not be able to get through the 8-week program. Luckily, Ironhack provides a couple sample questions to look out for during the interview. These sample questions include:
- What motivates you on a day-to-day basis and what do you love to do?
- What happens when you put a function inside a loop?
At DevMountain, you will be invited to partake in a phone interview. The admissions team then looks for two primary qualities: aptitude and passion. They want to find people who really want to learn to code and can demonstrate either some experience in learning on their own. Next, you will be invited to complete a coding challenge. They will send out a set of problems and give you approximately one week to complete.
Questions to Ask During Your Interview
The interview is not just a time where you answer all the questions, you will have the opportunity to ask a few questions yourself! Take this time to really get to know your coding bootcamp to make sure that if you do get accepted, this is the right program for you. 20 questions to ask during your interview include:
- Who is the interview and what is their experience?
- Do you have multiple campuses
- How much or (if any) is required before the first day of class? If there is pre-work, what is the purpose?
- What is the coding bootcamp’s acceptance rate?
- Who are the instructors?
- What are the instructor qualifications?
- What kind of teaching style does the instructor have?
- How is feedback given between student and instructor?
- Ask about expectations outside of the program. Is there additional expected work? If so, how much?
- Are there cohorts and if so, how diverse are the cohorts?
- Do you have a refund policy?
- What is the graduation rate?
- Is there a final exam?
- What is the job placement rate?
- What is your job guarantee?
- What is the average annual salary?
- Do you offer scholarships?
- What does tuition cover?
- Is there a deposit due before class starts?
- What are your financial options?
Preparing for Your Technical Coding Bootcamp Interview with CareerKarma
If you still don’t quite feel prepared for your coding bootcamp interview, CareerKarma is can help. At CareerKarma, we will help you every step of the way. From your coding application to finding the perfect program for you to overcoming barriers while you are in the program. We have mentors, peers, and resources you need to be successful! And, if you find a bootcamp through us, you may be eligible for an ISA. What this means is that you won’t have to pay for your coding bootcamp until you have found a job after graduation. If you are interested in signing up with CareerKarma, visit our website here.