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How to Stand Out in a Python Coding Interview
How to Stand Out in a Python Coding Interview
by James Timmins 22 Comments best-practices
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Table of Contents

Select the Right Built-In Function for the Job
Iterate With enumerate() Instead of range()
Use List Comprehensions Instead of map() and filter()
Debug With breakpoint() Instead of print()
Format strings With f-Strings
Sort Complex Lists With sorted()
Leverage Data Structures Effectively
Store Unique Values With Sets
Save Memory With Generators
Define Default Values in Dictionaries With .get() and .setdefault()
Take Advantage of Python’s Standard Library
Handle Missing Dictionary Keys With collections.defaultdict()
Count Hashable Objects With collections.Counter
Access Common String Groups With string Constants
Generate Permutations and Combinations With itertools
Conclusion: Coding Interview Superpowers
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Watch Now This tutorial has a related video course created by the Real Python team. Watch it together with the written tutorial to deepen your understanding: Python Coding Interviews: Tips & Best Practices

You’ve made it past the phone call with the recruiter, and now it’s time to show that you know how to solve problems with actual code. Whether it’s a HackerRank exercise, a take-home assignment, or an onsite whiteboard interview, this is your moment to prove your coding interview skills.

But interviews aren’t just about solving problems: they’re also about showing that you can write clean production code. This means that you have a deep knowledge of Python’s built-in functionality and libraries. This knowledge shows companies that you can move quickly and won’t duplicate functionality that comes with the language just because you don’t know it exists.

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