Interview Prep for Hack Reactor

After submitting my application to Hack Reactor (HR) and scheduling my interview over skype, I immediately began to freak out. I had never had a technical coding interview, and I was sure I wouldn’t know enough to pass.

I started prepping with HR’s own suggestions. This meant working all the way through CodeAcademy’s javascript course, reading Eloquent Javascript‘s first six chapters, and googling the word closure about 132 times. Eloquent has an amazing sandbox for playing with your code as your learn, and if you’re serious about learning javascript, then you should seriously be playing around in that sandbox.

Your best friend while learning javascript

Next, I began reading a few blogs from HR graduates about how they got accepted, and the overwhelming consensus was that I should be putting my skills to the test. Most of the blogs suggested Coderbyte, a site with four levels of challenges that represent problems you might see in a job (or bootcamp) interview. The blogs also suggested using Coderbyte as a way to tell if you would really enjoy Hack Reactor – if you found yourself finishing challenges enthusiastically and then starting the next one immediately afterwards, you’d probably be a good fit.

I found myself skipping UCLA classes to work on the challenges, and before I realized it I had finished all of the easy and medium challenges. I still had a week left until my interview, so I decided to try to make my own sudoku solver out of javascript. Even after a week of trying, I didn’t even come close to solving the easiest puzzles, but I did learn a lot about what I didn’t know.

When the interview finally came around, I found that it was much easier than I expected. I won’t say exactly what questions they asked me, but I can say that they asked tougher and tougher questions until I couldn’t answer them without help. It seemed that once they knew I had the basics down, they wanted to find out how well I could absorb new ideas.

If you’re prepping for an interview with HR or any other bootcamp, there’s no need to freak out. Do your research, have fun, and put on your best smile for the interview.

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