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How to prepare yourself for programming interview questions?

I found older questions but I was wondering if newer, better books/guides have been published in the last two years.

I am interviewing for a technology analyst position in finance and I expect to have a lot of technical questions based on running time/data structures etc. This is for an entry-level position so I have not had previous experience programming for work, only experience through my coursework.

  • these guys have posted quite a few books, and the books rock; but lemme just mention that there is no substitute for practice and experience. You might be able to impress your interviewers by in-depth understanding of just a few concepts compared to going thru an entire book and not implementing stuff yourself, hence shallow knowledge. – Chani Oct 18 '11 at 19:18
  • if you need to cram a book to pass a job interview, you shouldn't pass it as you're not up to the job you're interviewed for. – jwenting Oct 19 '11 at 5:35
  • A very good Java book list: asjava.com/core-java/… – Kur.C Dec 5 '12 at 5:02
  • Prepare with this blog- java4732.blogspot.in/2015/05/… – Umesh Kushwaha Sep 13 '16 at 18:40

I highly recommend Head First Design Patterns and Clean Code. Forget the interview, and read them regardless.


What you need is a good OOP book. And IMHO one of the best relating to Java is Thinking in Java. Bruce Eckel is a very good author, check the "Best Java book" answer here and read the reviews on Amazon to see why many people recommend this book.


I would recommend Effective Java and another one would be Generics and Collections. Assuming that they will ask you OOP, Head First Java, very easy to read.

  1. Effective Java by Joshua Bloch

  2. The SCJP study guide

  3. Java/J2EE Job Interview Companion


If you're just looking for a book to help you out on your interview I'd recommend Programming Interviews Exposed. It answers questions in C and C# as well as Java. Even the questions it doesn't answer in Java it does a good job at explaining the concepts behind the question. It's helped me out a lot to review the few days before a big interview.


This isn't specifically related to java, but "Cracking the Coding Interview" by Career Cup people might be a good option as far as the interview is concerned... :)

  • Not sure why this isn't higher in the list. Thanks! – mathjacks Oct 20 '11 at 22:52

From an introductory to mid-level perspective, I believe the best book to give you a very good overview of most of the features of Java is the Sun Certified Java Programmer.

SCJP for Java 6

I highly recommend this book for nearly any Java programmer to sharpen their skills and understanding of core Java concepts.

One of the best ways to quickly sharpen your Java skills is to prepare for the certification test, even if you aren't going to take it. The SCJP test covers a very good base of skills and this book is an excellent preparation tool for that test.

  • It covers the majority of important topics in Java
  • It's easy to read and enjoyable — it is written in a tone which can be easily understood by programmers of all levels
  • It goes deep enough to sharpen your skills but not so deep that you can't take most if it in all at once.

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