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Interview questions: Introduction

Getting ready for a job interview is tough work, so I’ve prepared a whole bunch of common questions and answers to help give you a jump start. But before you get into them, let me explain the plan in more detail…

Watch the video here, or read the article below

Once you’ve polished your resume, prepped your portfolio, and applied for the job of your dreams, you still have one major hurdle to get through: the interviews, which might be an hour if you’re lucky, or potentially a day or two if it’s for a bigger company or a more senior role.

I’ve done a lot of job interviews in my time, and I’m also responsible for maintaining the world’s largest collection of interview questions for Swift developers – questions that are specifically and directly used by countless companies around the world. So, I tell you the kinds of things you’re likely to be asked in your interview, but that’s not enough by itself.

Yes, if I were to tell you all the most popular interviews questions, it would give you something to plan for and prepare for, and hopefully would give you extra confidence when walking into the interview that you have good answers ready. But it wouldn’t do much to help you structure those answers – it wouldn’t give you guidance on what to include in your answer, or how to structure things, and so on.

So, this section of Hacking with Swift+ is designed to solve that problem: not only have I selected the most common interview questions for you, but I’ve also answered them in detail, explained the approach I would take, and often provided code samples to, so you have the complete toolkit needed to really ace your next interview.

You’ll see a few things come up regularly, and I want to repeat them here:

  1. There’s a lot of value in being pragmatic – in not sticking to one fixed idea because it’s your favorite thing, but instead being able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of multiple concepts.
  2. It’s often a good idea to list a few possible answers to a question, then pick one or perhaps two to zoom in on and discuss in detail.
  3. Giving a simple, factual answer matters, and is usually the first thing you should do, but make sure you follow it up with some hands-on examples you have from real-world projects, and ideally also some discussion of any nuances or complexities that show you have experience.
  4. Although I’m not a big fan of asking folks to write code while someone is watching them, it’s a good idea to have some simplified examples you can present if needed.
  5. All the best questions lead to open discussion where the interviewee can focus on what interests them or go off on tangents, so look for areas where you can explore topics together and show off your knowledge.

There’s one bonus tip that isn’t about iOS: if they ask you whether you’d like some coffee or something, say yes. I don’t care if you don’t want coffee – ask for tea, or water, or soda, or something, just take the drink. Why? Because when they ask you a tough question, you can take a sip of your drink and pause for just a moment, and in doing so buy yourself a few seconds to phrase your answer as best as you can. Seriously, it works – take the drink!

If you liked this, you'd love Hacking with Swift+…

Here's just a sample of the other tutorials, with each one coming as an article to read and as a 4K Ultra HD video.

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