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How to Practice Python Before a Job Interview

Job interviews can be stressful, especially if you apply for your dream job. The best remedy is to prepare as well as possible. We’ll share the secret of preparing for a Python job interview in this article. (Hint: Practice Python!)

Python is one of the most commonly-used programming languages. Programmers around the world choose this language every day to work and develop their careers;  people of all ages choose Python as their first programming language. Why? For most of them, the goal is to work with Python.

If you are interested in working in the IT industry, you probably already know how many possibilities Python skills open up. It is used in many different areas: machine learning, AI industry, game development, web development,  hardware programming, and more.

But Python is increasingly being used well beyond the IT industry. Its demand is growing in areas like data science, data visualization, data analysis, and so on.

There are a lot of reasons why it is worth learning Python. But suppose you’ve already learned enough Python to start job hunting. Now it's time to make your plan come true by starting your career as a professional Python programmer. Let’s see how to prepare for a Python job interview.

Python Practice, Practice, and … More Practice

To become a good programmer, you need to practice a lot. It is like learning French, Spanish, Polish, or any other language. Only systematic repetition with speaking, writing, and listening will make you good at it.

There are many sources where you can find valuable learning content. The Internet is many people’s first choice, but you need to know how to separate the good content from the fluff – what is worth your time and will bring tangible results.

You can look for some YouTube channels specializing in programming languages or find some examples to practice on websites like Stack Overflow. But the best way to practice is by writing the real code. So how can you do that efficiently?

If you’re learning Python online, you may not have a teacher or a physical classroom. But you can still complete a full training path if you choose the right online learning provider. The most important thing here is to choose an effective course. It should be tailored to your needs with a lot of exercises, a clear path to track the progress and real life examples which will prepare you to succeed during a job interview.

Let’s have a look at some online Python courses that will help you practice and improve your coding skills.

Python Basics: Practice

If you have just finished a basic Python course and need to practice more, this is the perfect solution. You don’t have to wonder if the exercises are the right level for you; you’ll find a complete pack of programming challenges suitable for your level of experience. If you are familiar with variables, statements, basic Python data structures, and working with files, this course will help you practice and gain confidence for that job interview.

Practice Python Before a Job Interview

In this course’s 17 interactive exercises, you’ll sharpen a variety of coding skills:

  • Handling variables.
  • Using if statements and conditions.
  • Writing loops and functions.
  • Basic Python data structures (lists, dictionaries, sets, and tuples).
  • Working with text files.

This Python practice course has you writing real code in a browser-based learning platform. It will read your code, verify it, and give you instant feedback. When you get stuck, there is always a hint to help you.

Introduction to Python for Data Science

This course is especially for those who want to become data scientists or who are working as data analysts. In both cases, you’ll often find that an Excel file is not enough. Python is also a perfect tool for such challenges. It combines data science libraries and algorithms with the expressive power of a regular programming language.

If you need to practice Python focusing on data analysis or data science, you will find everything in this set 140+ exercises. They’ll teach you how to:

  • Perform simple data analyses and basic calculations.
  • Import CSV files into Python.
  • Create simple data visualizations with the matplotlib library.
  • Use the pandas library to analyze data.

Python Practice: Word Games

If you are worried that learning programming will be boring, try this Python practice set. It contains 27 interactive exercises for beginners, similar to the Python Basics practice set. But here you’ll be working with many string functions and text files and practicing various iteration techniques.

This Python Practice training is organized into three fun thematic sections:

  • Cipher – You’ll learn about Unicode by implementing a simple cipher in Python and use it to code and decode words. To complete this section, you’ll have to crack a code encrypted with Caesar's cipher.
  • Sherlock Holmes – Do you know The Hound of the Baskervilles? In this section, you’ll analyze the text of this novel, find out how many unique words there are, and count how many times a given character occurs. And you’ll check for playful word-related concepts such as palindromes (words that are the same forward and backwards, e.g. “mom” or “toot”) and semordnilaps (words that turn into another word when read backwards, e.g. “desserts” and “stressed”).
  • Scrabble – In this final part, you’ll implement functions that can help in playing this popular word game. You’ll learn how to list all possible words you can create from given letter tiles, how to calculate the value of a word, and how to find words with the greatest number of points.

Maybe you don’t have weeks to polish up your coding skills. Even if you don’t have much time left, do the best you can.

Python Interview Practice Is More Than Programming

Practice Python Before a Job Interview

Although coding is an important part of the interview process for a Python job, there’s more you need to do.

First of all, you need to be prepared for technical and non-technical questions like:

  • Explain the difference between lists and tuples.
  • What are the common built-in data types in Python?
  • What is a negative index, and how is it used in Python?
  • Name some well-known Python data analysis libraries.
  • Why do you want to work as a Python developer/data analyst/other?
  • What are your financial expectations?

You’ll most likely be interviewing for junior-level jobs.  In Common Interview Questions for Junior Python Developer Jobs, you’ll find more info on the types of questions you can expect. And if you’re applying for a data science job, check out 15 Python Interview Questions for Data Science Jobs.

Practice Prepares You for a Python Job Interview

Learning Python gives a lot of possibilities to develop your professional career. The demand in the labor market for Python specialists is strong. You have probably already heard about the thousands of job openings and high salaries that come with Python expertise. Well, it’s very close to reality. The thing is that not everyone wants to make this effort or take the risk and reach for a chance at a better job.

So if you are still hesitating, just give it a try. Maybe a little visualization will help. Or maybe you need the financial motivation in this article about Python job salaries. According to Glassdoor, junior Python developers in New York earn $77,554 per year on average – definitely worth an effort!

So keep learning and keep practicing Python!  If you have your own story that can help other Python newbies and job seekers, share it in the comment section!