Wednesday, September 28, 2022

How To Prepare For Google Coding Interview

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How I Got Here

Prepare for Your Google Interview: Coding

I started programming in middle school, but when it came time for college I pursued a degree in Economics. My rationale was that there would be too many programmers looking for jobs by the time I graduated. Boy, I was wrong.

Later, I joined the Army to become a programmer, but the recruiter talked me into a military intelligence position, and I spent the next two years studying the Korean language. I served in South Korea for 2 years afterward.

Before I left the Army, I attempted to get back into programming and was surprised at the difficulty. I had learned BASIC in middle school and kept programming it through high school. But I restarted my programming studies with C++, and the leap was too large. I just couldnt grasp it.

I did enjoy making websites, however, but I used software with a Word-like interface that I used to publish my websites. I didnt know how to make websites from scratch.

After the Army, I decided to stay in Korea for a year and teach English. I used my nights and weekends to study web programming, using Perl, HTML, CSS , JavaScript, and SQL.

After a year of intense study, I landed a job in the Seattle area, and Ive been here ever since.

Ive been a web developer now for 15 years. Ive started 3 companies, 2 of which are still running and generating revenue. Ive worked at large and small companies, helped startups launch and grow, and recruited and managed teams. Ive been a product manager, a CEO, a designer, and a marketer.

What’s The Best Way To Prepare For A Coding Interview

Data structures and algorithms will likely be an integral component of the coding challenges, so it’s important to spend time on those topics when preparing for your interview. Try to mimic the actual interview conditions in your prep: Practice on a whiteboard and set a timer to emulate the time pressure during coding challenges. As you write your code, practice explaining your thought processes out loud.

It’s also key to do your research on the company this will give you a better idea of what languages, frameworks, and other tech it uses. You can also research the company’s current strategies and goals to best identify and articulate how you will contribute to the company.

As the interview processes for many well-known companies are widely discussed, this research could lead you to specific information about your upcoming coding interview. At Google, for instance, applicants must pass a pre-screen and an onsite interview, which includes meeting with 4-6 Google employees for nearly an hour each.

Remember that while much of the interview will focus on technical skills, there will also be behavioral and soft skill components involved. It’s a good idea to connect to the company’s recruiter to get the full picture of the process.

Lastly, run through a couple of mock interviews. Have a friend play the role of the interviewer or use free mock interview sites like Pramp to practice.

Software Testing : Get Started With Software Testing Types

As software becomes more advanced, software testing must evolve with it. Software testing is how we check if the actual software product matches requirements and runs properly once distributed.

Knowledge of different testing methodologies can help build your resume and land a high paying jobs like a quality assurance engineer in top FAANG companies.

Today, well look at these modern methodologies and how they lead to more polished software products.

Heres what well cover today:

Learn Selenium testing framework fast

Get hands-on experience with the most popular automation testing framework, including interactive examples and insider tips.

Design a Test Automation Framework with Selenium and Java

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Practice Is The Only Way You’ll Get Better

You have to create and stick to your practice schedule. Diligently. It’s surprisingly difficult to stick to simple habits, but that’s often the difference between success and failure. For example., 2-4 hours a day to solve one or two problems is a great habit â necessary and often sufficient. But it’s imperative that you actually do so several days a week for a number of weeks, rain or shine, in order to get cumulative benefits.

How You Can Stand Out From Others And Pass Every Time

The Coding Interview: A Preparation Guide

Is there anything more intimidating than live coding in front of someone during an interview? I think not.

I used to be so frightened of live coding interviews. So much so that, for a while, thats what prevented me from finding a new job. I didnt want to have to study complex algorithms and computer science riddles that nobody uses in their day-to-day job just to land a new role.

This just didnt feel like an efficient use of my time when I could be grinding away at real-world projects instead.

Eventually, I bit the bullet and started applying for new roles, knowing very well that the coding interviews could not be avoided. Practicing SQL Leetcode problems each day definitely did help, but theres so much more to them than knowing the language.

At the time, I didnt quite realize what makes one candidate stand out from another in a coding interview. Now, I perform them at my current company and see a huge difference in the candidates I pass and those that dont make it to the next round.

Heres how you can pass your coding interviews:

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The Google Onsite Interview

The Google onsite round involves speaking to a number of Googlers. Usually this will include four to six separate interviews, including one lunch interview.

Generally, you will be asked primarily coding interview questions and potentially one or two system design questions as well.

The more experience you have, the higher proportion of system design and topic-specific questions you can expect to be asked. Google rarely asks any system design questions to engineers with less than 5 years of experience.

Each interviewer collects feedback on how well you performed during the one-on-one interview with you. This feedback is collected by each interviewer independently as to eliminate cross-chatter and biases between your interviewers. If you felt as if you performed subpar in one of the interviews, that baggage stays there and does not follow you into the next interview.

Practice Like You Play

Effective practice is realistic practice.

In the midst of an interview, you want to be focused and able to spend the majority of your mental energy on the problem given from the interviewer. You dont want to be thrown off by extraneous factors such as not being used to writing code in a non-IDE environment.

Here is a list of factors that you should be mindful of when developing your practice regimen.

Time Constraints

The phone interview is 30-45 minutes, and each of the one-on-one onsite interviews will be roughly 45 minutes to an hour each. In each of these scenarios, you will be presented with at least one question, which, in most cases, is a coding category question.

In order to effectively practice under time constraints, one strategy would be to select one specific problem.

For instance, selecting a problem from one of the book or video resources under the Additional Resources section of this post would be a good place to start. Then, start a timer and attempt to solve the problem without access to an IDE.

Following this practice for a few different categories of questions will give you some signal with respect to how you are faring with time constraints. Getting optimal solutions within the time interval of 30-45 minutes consistently for problems of varying difficulty is the ultimate goal. If you are struggling to hit this goal, use this as an opportunity to tighten up this area is something you will need to work on.

Whiteboarding

Pressure Constraints

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Overview Of Google Interviews

The whole interview process takes 2 to 2.5 months to complete. Google interviews for software developers consist of 5 to 7 interviews in total. This includes an initial phone screen with a Google recruiter, followed by 4 to 6 on-site interviews with different Google employees. All coding challenges are done on a whiteboard, Google Docs, or a Chromebook.

Google normally hires at level T3 with T11 being the height of levels. T3 is an entry-level, full-time software engineer with an undergraduate or Masters degree. The average salary for a T3 employee is $117,000 annually. Google prefers the following programming languages: Java, C++, C Go, and Python.

There are three types of coding problems you can expect to see in a Google interview.

  • System design questions: these questions gauge your ability to handle high-level system design with scalability in mind.

  • Coding interview challenges: these questions gauge your knowledge of data structures and algorithms to optimize a solution to common problems.

  • General analysis questions: these questions gauge your thought process through mathematical or opinion-based questions

Test Case Closure And Analysis

How To Ace The Google Coding Interview – Complete Guide

This step is about recovering solid, reportable takeaways from the tests. Most companies will have you write either a daily or weekly report that summarizes how each test went and what changes will be made as a result of the test.

From here you can either:

  • Tweek the test and repeat for more information .
  • Return to develop solutions for the product using the test results

Using agile testing practices, youll complete this test cycle before you create the product code as well as after. This allows you to speed up development as you keep the test specifications in mind during product development.

Recommended Reading: How To Code Interview Transcripts

Goal For The Week: Start Proactively Challenging Your Own Solutions And Think Of Possible Optimizations For Either Time Or Space Be Able To Implement Your Solution Both Top

Being a good engineer means being able to explain why one approach is better than another & also have the ability to implement it in clean code.

5 highly suggested review questions

*There is a trend of companies now phasing out dynamic programming problems in their interviews as they can be seen as unfair if the interviewee doesnt know the trick. In my opinion I believe that DP problems are still a great way to review and improve algorithmic thinking, so as long as youre focusing on optimizations this week you should be covered!

How Many Questions You Should Solve Whatever It Takes

The focus has to be on quality more than quantity. The answer to this question varies according to your experience and expertise on each topic.

If you are starting from scratch. Target 100 leetcode problems as a number and divide it well across different topics and difficulty levels.

If you have already practiced some topics you can reduce the number for that topic.

Overall I solved 200 Questions on leetcode.

There are all kinds of extremes to this answer, there are people who have solved more than 500 questions and werent lucky to clear the interview. Some people solved 300 questions and cleared interview in 22 companies. You need to find out what works for you. when you feel confident enough on one topic, you can move on to next.

Key pointers specific to leetcode-

  • Pick a topic and solve problems with that. Do not move to a different topic before finishing it.
  • Solve Easy, Medium & Hard problems in 3:6:1 ratio .
  • Solve Easy problems by sorting them on two factors
  • i) Acceptance rate this indicates the question is easy.

    ii) Frequency . This data is crowdsourced, sorting by frequency is a premium feature.

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    What Is Software Testing

    Software testing is a cyclical process used by developers to continually evaluate and correct the functionality of the features during the development process. Software testing compares the current build of the software with software requirements to confirm there are no missing requirements.

    It also verifies that software can function correctly across different mediums or with existing integrated software.

    Without software testing during development, youd only know if your software worked when it reached the end-user!

    Data Structures And Algorithms

    Google Software Engineer Interview Experience and ...

    Impact: very highFrequency: very high

    Most of the technical questions you will face in your coding interviews are related to data structures and algorithms.

    If you dont know what data structures are, then you need to build a strong foundation in computer science first before you are ready for the next steps.

    In other words, if you are not familiar with terms like linked lists, trees, graphs, binary search, and dynamic programming , then you have some work to do!

    A solid understanding of data structures and algorithms help you write efficient programs that can run faster and utilize resources more efficiently.

    It is one thing to write code that is functionally correct, it is a completely different thing to write efficient code that is functionally correct.

    Interviewers value candidates who can analyze code, spot performance bottlenecks, and possibly come up with better solutions.

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    Preparing For The Google Interview

    In order to improve your chances of acing the Google interview, and to prevent you from having to spend another 6-months waiting to reapply, you should definitely stack the odds in your favor and prepare.

    But how do you prepare effectively? There is no shortage of websites like HackerRank, LeetCode, ProjectEuler, TopCoder, etc. that serve as technical interviewing problem farms.

    Sure, you could spend your time grinding through every single problem on LeetCode, but is the massive time investment really worth it? Is there a more efficient way you could be preparing?

    Everyone has a finite amount of time and energy, and therefore using both resources as effectively as possible is an important factor in optimizing for both. Deliberate, consistent, and targeted practice is integral to successfully navigate the Google interview.

    How To Prepare For Coding And Technical Interview Rounds

  • Last Updated :11 Feb, 2021

    I will begin by giving a brief introduction about myself.

    I am pursuing my B. Tech in Computer Science Engineering from NIET, Greater Noida and I am a 3rd-year student. I am currently an intern at SAPIO ANALYTIC as a Database Associate Intern.

    Hey geek! It’s time to become a success story instead of reading them. Check out our most renowned DSA Self Paced Course, now at a student-friendly price and become industry ready. And if you are looking for a more complete interview preparation resource, check out Complete Interview Preparation Course that will prepare you for the SDE role of your dreams!

    Feeling prepared enough for your interview? Test your skills with our Test Series that will help you prepare for top companies like Amazon, Microsft, TCS, Wipro, Google and many more!

    I started off competitive programming in 2-1. So I had around 1.5 years of experience in competitive programming while I was sitting for placement tests. Having a strong background in competitive programming really saves your ass while others keep reading GeeksforGeeks to prepare themselves.

    How to crack the interviews and get a decent job?

    So, the organizations will be coming in many colleges soon, and conduct their shortlisting tests. Now, I will be talking very short and to the point. Each point is important.

    Basic Skill Set :

  • Quick implementation & debugging
  • String Matching
  • Binary Search, Sorting, STL very very very useful
  • Data Structures:
  • DFS/BFS questions on Graphs
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    Practice With Mock Interviews

    The steps mentioned above can be rehearsed over and over again until you have fully internalized them and they become second nature to you. A good way to practice is by partnering with a friend and taking turns to interview each other.

    A great resource for preparing for coding interviews is interviewing.io. This platform provides free and anonymous practice interviews with Google and Facebook engineers, which can lead to real jobs and internships. By virtue of being anonymous during the interview, the inclusive interview process is unbiased and low risk. At the end of the interview, both the interviewer and interviewee can provide feedback to each other for the purpose of helping one another improve.

    Doing well in mock interviews will unlock the jobs page for candidates, and allow them to book interviews with top companies like Uber, Lyft, Quora, Asana, and more. For those who are new to coding interviews, a demo interview can be viewed on this site. Note that this site requires users to sign in.

    Another platform that allows you to practice coding interviews is Pramp. Where interviewing.io matches potential job seekers with seasoned coding interviewers, Pramp takes a different approach. Pramp pairs you up with another peer who is also a job seeker. The two of you take turns assuming the roles of interviewer and interviewee. Pramp also prepares questions, and provides solutions and prompts to guide the interviewee.

    Phases Of A Coding Interview

    How to: Work at Google Example Coding/Engineering Interview

    Congratulations, you are ready to put your skills to practice! In a coding interview, you will be given a technical question by the interviewer. You will write the code in a real-time, collaborative editor or on a whiteboard , and have 30 to 45 minutes to solve the problem. This is where the real fun begins!

    Your interviewer will be looking to see that you meet the requirements of the role. It is up to you to show them that you have the skills. Initially, it may feel weird to talk while you code, as most programmers do not make a habit of explaining out loud their thoughts while they are typing code.

    However, it is hard for the interviewer to know what you are thinking by just looking at your code. If you communicate your approach to the interviewer even before you start to code, you can validate your approach with them. This way, the two of you can agree on an acceptable approach.

    Preparing for a remote interview

    For phone screens and remote interviews, have a paper and pen or pencil to jot down any notes or diagrams. If you are given a question about trees and graphs, it usually helps if you draw examples of the data structure.

    Use earphones. Make sure you are in a quiet environment. You do not want to be holding a phone in one hand and typing with the other. Try to avoid using speakers. If the feedback is bad, communication is made harder. Having to repeat yourself will just result in the loss of valuable time.

    What to do when you get the question

    Starting to code

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