Feeling anxious, huh? This is normal. Your body tells you that you're going to do something that matters.
Twenty-four hours before your site, it's about finding ways to maximize your performance. Ideally, you want to have one of those days when elegant code flows effortlessly from your fingertips, and bugs don't dare to speak your name for fear that you'll squash them.
Before you interview you have to get your mind and body in the Zone and we have some quick suggestions to support.
Don't study the whole night—sleep!
Interviewing sleep deprivation could be worse than getting drunk beforehand. Make it your mission to get a full night's sleep, because you want all the brain power you can get.
In fact, try to get two nights of good sleep before interviewing, because the sleep debt lasts a couple of days.
As soon as the sun sets, put down the problems of practice and focus on relaxation. If sleeping is not your strongest skill, try the following sleepy-time guidelines:
- Exercise slightly earlier in the day.
- Don't drink caffeine in the afternoon, don't drink alcohol at all.
- In the evening, avoid bright screens. Dim your screen as soon as the sun sets.
- Eat a light dinner, ideally one with noggin-friendly foods, such as salmon, beans and vegetables.
- Before bed, turn on a boring podcast, listen to some soothing music, or read a book.
The most important thing is not to stay up late in practicing new or difficult problems. That's just going to put your brain on a train to Los Anxiety. Instead, you ought to...
Practice the stuff that you rock at
Practice questions that you can already solve handily to cultivate your trust. Sure, feel free to start the day with a new problem, but by the afternoon, you should be building momentum with the questions that you know best.
Gaining experience with just a few wins, such as this, helps your brain mimic a fantastic whiteboard presentation. You'll be dreaming about data structures while you sleep, and you'll be doing your best to show employers that you've grown in confidence and self-esteem, since your interviews will take place while you're awake.
Imagine the best day of yours
Focus on taking an excellent photograph of the ideal version of your day. This is a visualization exercise for positive experiences. Sometimes this might sound like some hippie kumbaya, but the truth is that successful athletes and entrepreneurs have engaged in this type of behavior for ages.
Grab a piece of paper and write down everything that's going to happen on a successful interview day. Here's an inspiration to get you started:
Greetings to your interviewer (s). Play through a little talk. You might make a little joke that they find funny.
Crush the first question. The first question comes your way, and you're going to write the answer down deftly. Your interviewer's face looks stunned.
Overcome a difficult question. You're going to get to a trickier part of the problem. You feel some adrenaline, but you're still calm. You are asking a few clarification questions and you are continuing to find a solution.
End the day with a high note. Your last interview of the day involves talking to a director or vice president, and the conversation is lively. You're leaving the building smiling and feeling great about the whole experience.
Visualizing a successful day will build your trust. During your interview, you train your brain to expect success and feel more comfortable.
Walk through your troubleshooting process
Reinforcing problem-solving patterns is a longer way than practicing new problems in the hours leading up to your interview. Notice how our encoding interview tips article gives you a handy process to solve algorithmic problems:
Brainstorm is an algorithm. Draw the sample inputs and play with them while talking and thinking out loud. Don't start writing your code until you and your interviewer feel good about your algorithm.
Barf out your code algorithm. Focus on getting all of this down first, and jot down the notes next to the stuff you want to go back and double-check it later.
Debug your code right now. Walk through your sample input code, look for bugs and other bugs.
This high-level "What's My Problem Solving Process" is great for you to keep thinking about the morning of your interview. And I'm talking about that morning...
Precalculate your morning
The decision to fatigue is real. That's why successful people like Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama always wear the same thing—to minimize the number of decisions they make every morning. Luckily, it's easy to avoid decision fatigue when you're aware of it!
Plan the boring stuff in advance of the time. Here are a few suggestions for you to begin with: Pack the bag. Include a snack and a bottle of water.
Put out some nice clothes. Dress a tiny step above what others wear in the office (usually sporting jeans and t-shirts).
Well, plan your breakfast. Try to include eggs, berries, and avocado for your brain's sake.
Choose your way to the office. Wait for traffic. Scope out the parking situation when you're driving.
Tarantino in the morning. Work back about 30 minutes before your interview, and figure out what time you need to wake up.
Set up an alarm (or ten). Remember that you want time to chill in the morning, eat a leisurely breakfast, and sip a cup of coffee (if that's your cup of tea).
Brainstorm is a pump-up routine. Come along with a couple of things to get you stoked. If you don't know what your morning pump-up routine looks like, we've got you covered... Get pumped up
You want to get energized the morning of your interview! The right pump-up routine should make you excited, confident, and ready to face your face-to-face interview.
Get your body moving around. Do some sun salutations and some jumping jacks. Light exercise increases the flow of blood to your brain and helps to clear your mind.
Power poses and reads your positive visualization. It might be odd at first, but you will get used to it.! You're going to be the first to feel more confident going into your interview.
Hey, listen to the pump-up music. If you're like me, the Backstreet Back Intro is supposed to do the trick. If you're not like me (i.e., you're not willing to admit that you like the Backstreet Boys), you probably have an equally awesome song in mind.
I'm glad you're aware of what to do one day before your interview. If you manage to hit all of these points, then you're on the right track for your interview.
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