How can I ace the bootcamp admissions interview?

c Maxim Ilyahov

Talk about your tech past — even if it’s the very recent past — even if it’s only a “Hello World” script!

Bootcamps just want to know that you have had the motivation to get to know what coding is, find out if you have an aptitude for it, and an interest and a passion to drive you to learn more. If you have past experience, great!! If you don’t, do not fear! Many of us (myself included!), had no prior knowledge of code when we began this journey. The best way to prepare for that particular school’s technical interview, is to complete the free prep course associated with it.

For this reason, I do not recommend to schedule too many interviews back to back, but to space them a week apart, to ensure you have time to review what you have done from *their* particular prep course and will likely ask you to code something similar, or they will ask to see one of your solutions or to talk about how you solved one of the prep course questions.

If you are applying to multiple bootcamps, allow yourself the time to get through the prep work prior to beginning to schedule the interviews. With up to 80 hours of practice questions, it is best to give yourself several weeks’ time to complete the prep, and to review, so that you feel confident discussing what you have done.

Express your motivation, be passionate in your goals!

Why are you doing this? What makes you willing to drop everything and pour 13 to 26 weeks of blood, sweat and tears into this? Ask yourself those questions beforehand.

Coding is hard. Coding will require you to reach to the bottom of your tired soul again and again, and push through one more line of code, one more bug to debug. What makes you know that you not only want to do this, but have the confidence that you can succeed? What excites you about making great code?

In order to succeed, you will need to have great passion and the bootcamp interviewer is looking for this kind of energy and excitement. Oftentimes, what you lack in prior coding can more than be made up for in sheer drive and enthusiasm, because then they know that you are a person who has the passion to learn and succeed.

Flaunt your people skills — have personality!

Lots of bootcamp, and all of the real world of coding, requires working in pairs and in teams. Demonstrate your ability to work well with people. HIghlight your past experiences and transferable soft skills that show you work well with others.

Be articulate and communicate clearly. This is a huge part of teamwork, being able to tell people what you are doing, either verbally, or by commenting inside your code to alert other developers what each line of code is doing there.

Demonstrate commitment and preparedness for the journey!

Be sure to confidently discuss the time you have available for bootcamp each day, and the time you have set aside outside class to code. Whether you are going full time immersive, or part time online, have prepared a thoughtful and detailed response for this question.

And finally… don’t miss your interview, and please be on time!!

There is nothing that will say you are not taking this very seriously more clearly than blowing off your interview and disrespecting your interviewer’s time. Be on time, be prepared. Even if it’s on zoom, be dressed for an interview. Be ready to shine!!

Ok, that’s it!! YOU GOT THIS!!

Hope this helps and happy coding!

Full Stack Developer | Software Engineer | React | Ruby on Rails | Musician | Artist | Educator