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How to prepare for (and ace) the technical interview

Technical interviews can make or break your chances for landing a new job. Here’s how to prepare yourself for success, even if you’re a self-taught programmer.

Technical interviews are time-consuming and stressful, and they can make or break your chances for landing a job. The stress level of the technical interview is even higher for self-taught developers and those interviewing for the first time. But with the right preparation and practice, your next technical interview can be a breeze, no matter your background.

“Non-traditional candidates are really intimidated by technical screenings, coding interviews, because they’ve been made to feel they’re not qualified without that CS degree. But I don’t think that’s true,” says Gayle Laakmann McDowell, founder of technical career consulting firm CareerCup and author of Cracking the Coding Interview.

More important than having a degree, McDowell says, is being able to ace the technical interview to prove you can excel in the role, a completely manageable undertaking if you know what you’re up against.

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