How to Prepare for a Coding Bootcamp Interview
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Coding bootcamps prepare students for careers in the tech industry. But before these aspiring techies prepare for any job interviews they'll need to first tackle the bootcamp interview.
Coding bootcamps often require a three-step application process for prospective students:
- Submit an online application
- Take an aptitude test that measures critical thinking or a coding challenge that assess your programming skill
- Complete an interview
Coding bootcamp interviews are often the final application step or are key to continuing on in the admissions process. In the following guide, we'll cover what to expect and how you can prepare for a bootcamp admissions interview.
How an Interview Fits Into the Coding Bootcamp Admissions Process
Bootcamps use the applicant interview to determine which candidates they want to attend their program. An interview may be the last step in the application process, or it may come first before a coding or critical thinking assessment. Either way, prospective students need to leave a good impression and demonstrate that they will be a good fit for the program.
During the interview, candidates must convey their goals for the program and explain their plans for after graduation. Bootcamps seek driven, hard-working students with clear career goals. Applicants must also indicate a passion for coding and an eagerness to learn, and show that they will rise to any challenges presented in the program.
What to Communicate in a Coding Bootcamp Interview
Important topics to cover during a coding bootcamp interview include your interest in the program, your passion for the tech industry, your prior experience, and a commitment to succeeding.
Interest in the Bootcamp
Interviewers want to know why applicants chose their particular bootcamp — essentially, what makes their bootcamp special. Candidates should bring up unique points about the bootcamp that made them want to apply, such as the location, the flexible schedule, the instructor experience, or a specific topic or set of tools covered in the curriculum.
Passion for Tech
Prospective students without previous experience in the tech industry should show their dedication to switching career paths or explain why they want to learn a new skill set for their current job.
Applicants should demonstrate passion and excitement for information technology and the tech industry. This helps convince interviewers that attending a coding bootcamp is the right next step for the applicant.
Candidates can demonstrate passion in their interview by sharing examples of the ways that tech has shaped their lives. They can also share their career aspirations, though applicants should look beyond anticipated coding bootcamp salary outcomes for examples.
Though many bootcamps do not require previous tech experience, candidates should still share meaningful job experiences and/or training in tech they received in the past. Previous experience may set an applicant apart from other candidates and give them an edge in the interviewing process.
During your bootcamp interview preparation, try to compile a list of relevant previous experiences, such as on-the-job training, formal education, and other practical experience. Candidates can then refer to the list during the phone interview or use it to prepare for an in-person interview.
Commitment and Determination
Coding bootcamps require a huge time commitment from their students. On average, bootcamps last about four months. Some coding bootcamps demand full-time attendance, but even part-time bootcamps feature hours of class time with additional time spent on assignments, projects, and career advising services.
Applicants must prove they can meet the demands of the bootcamp without burning out. Interviewers seek candidates who show a determination to succeed. During the interview, consider providing an example of a time you overcame a professional challenge or maintained a commitment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coding Bootcamps
In light of COVID-19, what bootcamps offer online programs?
There are many online coding bootcamps for you to choose from. Online programs include both full-time and part-time options, as well as self-paced bootcamps. Some traditionally in-person bootcamps switched to remote learning during the pandemic; make sure you confirm current learning formats at bootcamps you're interested in attending.
Why aren't bootcamps regulated like colleges?
Many bootcamps exist outside of traditional postsecondary education accreditation, because they are still relatively new. The development of bootcamps has outpaced regulatory institutions, though this will likely change as bootcamps become more established in the industry.