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How To Prepare For Software Developer Interview

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How To Prepare For Software Engineer Interviews

Businesses form software development teams to solve problems for real people. Being deeply immersed in development, its easy to forget this. While some engineers may wish to be provided software requirements and work uninterrupted on a project until its ready, its important to remember that stakeholders in non-technical departmentslike customer success and marketingmust plan around the development. Unforeseen obstacles often present themselves in one form or another, requiring a conversation on how to best solve the problem. Employers want to know that you are able to clearly communicate these obstacles to non-technical stakeholders, ensuring all parties are fully informed when decisions are made.

Example:“When confronted with an obstacle, I dont feel it is my job to unilaterally alter the project scope or tell stakeholders that something cant be done. The quality of software is often a matter of balancing scope, cost and time. That balance is a business decision as opposed to a technical one. Rather, I come up with some potential alternatives and present their impact on that balance. For example, if an impediment may significantly push delivery beyond what was projected, I might present an alternative that can meet the current timeline with much of the same scope but will likely diminish the quality and degrade the user experience.

How Interview Kickstart Can Help You Crack Coding Interviews

The coding interviews at top tech companies may appear to be nerve-wracking given that they usually have a success rate of less than 20%. This does not imply that you cannot crack it.

With the right resources and the assistance of experts at Interview Kickstart, you can ace coding interviews at FAANG and other big tech companies.

Here are some of the reasons why IKâs coding interview prep program has a success rate of more than 95%.

  • Our courses are developed and delivered by tech leads and hiring managers at FAANG.
  • They are constantly updated to accommodate the evolving changes of the tech interview scene.
  • There are as many as 15 live mock sessions with actual hiring managers at FAANG who give you actionable feedback to improve your performance.
  • Thereâs a 6-month extended support period after the completion of the comprehensive 2-month course.
  • Intensive coaching to crack technical as well as behavioral interview rounds at FAANG

To know more about Interview Kickstartâs coding interview program, head to this post, where we explain everything you need to know about the course.

You can also register for our FREE webinar on how to nail your next tech interview, conducted by IKâs co-founder â learn about coding interviews at FAANG, how to prepare for them, and land your next dream job.

Practice Programming Questions Using Leetcode

LeetCode is the current standard for coding interview preparation. Most candidates will solve hundreds of questions as preparation for the top high-tech companies. Also, interviewers typically select their questions from the LeetCode question database. There are other similar platforms , but my suggestion is to use LeetCode as your main website for coding practice.

Here are some answers regarding the most common questions about how to structure your preparation.

Which programming language should I use?

  • If you are an experienced programmer, you probably have a preferred programming language that you are most comfortable with. Use that one.
  • If the job description refers to a specific language, then use that one.
  • If you feel comfortable with multiple languages or want to learn a new one, then most interviewees use Python, Java or C++. Fewer use C# or Javascript.
  • Python: Requires the least lines of code, which is important, when you have time constraints. Also, its the only option for ML jobs. However, it might lead to complicated code and it does not support binary trees natively.
  • Java: Supports OOP and simplifies garbage collection
  • C++: Lots of advanced features such a pointers, memory management, etc which make the language very powerful, but also requires more lines of code and is more prone for errors. If you decide to use it, you should also learn STL.
  • You can also read some additional thoughts regarding this question from the Tech Interview Handbook
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    How Would You Describe An Api To Someone Who Knew Nothing About Programming

    Your interviewer may ask you to break down a complex concept in a way that’s easy to understand. Being able to explain highly specific, technical processes in simple terms can show excellent communication skills and thorough understanding of a topic. Try to make your answer as basic as possible and avoid using specialized vocabulary in your description.

    Example:“**API stands for Application Programming Interface. APIs exist to allow programs to communicate with one another.For example, if you wanted to schedule a hair appointment on a salon’s site and have that appointment show up in your Google calendar, an API would allow the salon’s server to communicate directly with Google’s. APIs allow users to complete an action without leaving the website.”

    Round Ii Onsite Interview

    How to Prepare for Software Developer Interview?

    If you pass the recruiter screening and coding assessment, you will be called for an onsite interview. This is a day-long process at Microsoftâs office and involves four onsite interviews. These interviews are based on product design, technical knowledge, behavioral aspects, and strategy. Each interview lasts for 60 minutes.

    Onsite interviews are usually one-on-one with people from the team youâre applying to be a part of. This may include current Microsoft Software Engineers, a hiring manager, and a senior executive. Most of the interviews will be based on data structure and algorithm questions, which you will need to solve on a whiteboard. You may also be asked a system design question.

    Behavioral questions will be a part of all interviews and will focus on evaluating whether you are culturally a good fit for Microsoft or not. It involves behavioral questions. Microsoft tends to spend more time on behavioral questions as compared to its counterparts like Google and Facebook. Check out the following articles for sample interview questions:

    Microsoft Senior Software Engineer Interview Process

    Check out System Design Interview Preparation Tips for more.

    Microsoft Software Engineering Manager Interview Process

    AA or ASAPP Interview

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    How To Prepare For Behavioural Interviews

    In this stage, you would usually have interviews with developer team leads along with other managers in the business . Their goal is to assess whether you would be the right fit for the company. Be yourself!

    • Before the interview, you should think about all the projects and work you have done in previous jobs, hackathons or hobbies, which you can use as examples for showing your success/failure in taking on challenges and how you went about solving them.
    • There is no shame in discussing failures, as long as you can explain what lessons you have learned and how you have been using them since.
    • There are plenty of articles posted online to help you to prepare for a behavioural interview such as this and this.
    • Interviewers like to see candidates who are passionate about what they do, ideally in software development but also in your hobbies.
    • This part of the interview process is a good way to assess your personality and communication skills storytelling is a good way to differentiate, influence and connect with your interviewers. Some companies like to ask candidates to give a short presentation for these reasons

    What Resources Should I Use To Prepare For A Coding Interview

    Cracking the Coding Interview,” a book by software engineer Gayle Laakmann McDowell, breaks down 189 common technical interview questions and walks the reader through each solution. It also gives tips on how to complete on-the-spot algorithms and how to handle behavioral questions.

    You practice your coding skills on LeetCode, a website dedicated to helping tech professionals get jobs. It offers hundreds of test questions and even has a premier membership in which members can filter sample interview questions by specific companies.

    Job and recruitment website Glassdoor is a repository for hundreds of sample interview questions that Glassdoor users were asked in their technical interviews.

    Applicants can hone their soft skills and get ready for behavioral questions with Educative’s Grokking the Behavioural Interview course.

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    Alex Moir Mythical Games

    Knowing the right scenario and when to use recursion is a helpful interview skill. Early in my career, I was asked a pretty challenging algorithm question that I tried to solve without doing recursion, which was a bad move. I was taught in college to always try iterative first, which just isnt practical for interviews. Even if you are told that you need recursion, this stumps people trying to do it iteratively is impossible and you run out of room on the whiteboard.

    Staying calm and composed goes a long way because it is easy to get sidetracked worrying about time limits or feeling pressured by the various life changes you may have to consider when getting a new job.

    Why Get Into The Trading Industry

    How to pass a coding interview | Coding interview preparation|Interview tips for software developer

    From a technical perspective, there are challenging problems to solve day-to-day which demand a fast paced rapid development cycle . A technology stack that measures latencies in nanoseconds and more importantly, an on-going battle with other competing firms to make markets as efficient as possible, which could be challenging and rewarding .

    Also Check: How To Do An Exit Interview

    Interviewing Is A Skill

    During my preparation, I always knew that interviewing would be challenging. But I honestly had no idea how hard it would be until I was knee-deep into my first interview.

    In the lead-up to the interviews, I had used both paid and free services, which simulated coding and whiteboarding interviews over the phone with people who had industry experience interviewing candidates. Those practice interviews were essential for priming me for the pressure involved. But as I later realized, they only amounted to a fraction of what a real interview consists of.

    Id advise against interviewing at your dream job without having a few mock or real interviews under your belt. The nervousness can be incredibly overwhelming, and it can only be dulled through practice.

    As with many other things in life, practice will improve your confidence.

    Faqs About Interviews At Faang

    1. How to deal with anxiety while appearing for a FAANG interview?

    Anxiety during interviews is common. But, anxiety during a FAANG interview goes through the roof. You cannot eliminate anxiety entirely, but you can certainly manage it better. Here are some ways to do it.

    • Preparing well for the interview
    • Taking mock tests to get comfortable with the interview ambiance
    • Having confidence in your ability

    Related read: Read more about Dealing with Interview Anxiety, a post written by our co-founder to help you strategically reduce the anxiety of coding interviews with FAANG.

    2. What are some of the job interview mistakes that I should avoid?

    Some of the most common job interview mistakes you should avoid are:

    • Lying during the interview
    • Panicking when youâre stuck

    To know more about the common mistakes to avoid during interviews, check out this post.

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    Understand The Fundamental Concepts

    In the beginning, you need to understand/refresh the fundamental concepts, e.g. linked lists, string handling, tree parsing, dynamic programming, etc. The following books are great resources:

    • Cracking the Coding Interview: This is a great introductory book
    • Elements of Programming Interviews: This book goes into much more depth. Depending on your preferred programming language, you can buy the version that uses C++, Java or Python
    • The Algorithm Design Manual: This book is more advanced and can be used as a very useful resource while working on Leetcode problems. Many Leetcode problems are based on the algorithms that are shown in the book

    If you prefer to watch YouTube videos, then you can use the following:

    • Back to Back SWE channel: Lots of videos on fundamental concepts. Also, it includes very easy-to-understand explanations on dynamic programming, which is always a tricky subject
    • Dynamic Programming for Beginners: Great introduction to Dynamic Programming, which is one of the most difficult types of questions that are asked during the interviews

    Finally, if you prefer to read the structured material online in a class format, then take a look at the following:

  • Geeks for Geeks: Online portal that goes through several Computer Science concepts and also includes a step-by-step preparation guide, as well as company-specific preparation guides
  • How To Improve Second

    How to Prepare for Software Engineer Interviews ...

    Be honest regarding your level of English competency. Your willingness & open effort to communicate shows that you are driven and intelligent enough to put boundaries aside in lure of your goals and professional aspirations. If you’re concerned that you’re going to be misunderstood, then run a Q& A with someone who’s a native-English speaker. Almost all verbal communication can often be clarified, overcoming language hurdles if yousimply practice what you expect to be asked, and how you plan to answer. During the interview, non-verbal communication is your best friend. Your positive attitude should be infectious, while every aspect of your person and persona should be focused on professionalism and the interviewer. Finally, consider the way that you phrase things during this vital first impression. There is no need to come up with extravagant speech, flowing in complex phrases but use just one or two comparisons or idioms, and you’ll hit home every time.

    Read Also: What Are Good Interview Skills

    Which Programming Languages Do You Have Experience With

    Your interviewer might ask you about the coding languages you use to learn more about who you are as a programmer and developer. If you’ve taught yourself a language, it may reveal enthusiasm for programming that can appeal to employers. An interviewer may ask this question to understand more about your commitment as a software developer and how motivated you are to continue your education. Improve your answer by describing your specific experience or the reasons behind your preferences for certain languages.

    Example:“In college, I used C++ for most of my classes, but I like to use JavaScript and Python for my personal projects. I’ve found both languages apply in many contexts and I still enjoy making math-based games like I used to before I started earning my degree.”

    What Soft Skills Are Required

    • Team-oriented mindset with great communication skills
    • Fast learner who can think outside the box
    • Good problem solving skills to understand your requirements and limitations in order to devise a solution that would work best
    • Disciplined mindset that is testing-focused. You canât write perfect code all the time, therefore you need to be used to writing unit tests, regression tests and other tests.
    • Collaborative approach – you care about documentation and knowledge sharing so that your whole team can grow together
    • Some basic understanding of stock markets is an advantage but is not always required

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    A Few More Things To Expect:

    Plan for a full day: We cover a lot of material, so plan to join us from 9am to 5pm.

    • The morning is technically focused: The first half of the day is very technical in nature and is broken up into three, hour-long interviews. You will be asked technical questions covering a range of computer science topics such as data structures, algorithms, and object-oriented design patterns. You will definitely be asked to write code on the desktop and may be asked to take part in a systems-design exercise on the white board. Other CS areas that we may cover could include concepts such as: big O notation, tree/graph traversals, recursion, searching/sorting, hash tables, concurrency, and other similar topics.
    • Lunch is to get to know each other: After the morning session, well take a break and youll go to lunch with a few Two Sigma employees. During this time, well compile the feedback from your morning interviews and make a recommendation on whether or not youll be continuing along in the process.
    • If you join us for the afternoon, well cover the rest: Your afternoon will consist of additional interviews that cover a wide variety of topics to further gauge your technical skills, previous experience and interests. These meetings typically last around 60 minutes and you will likely be asked to discuss specific projects and contributions youve made in previous roles.

    Alex Moir Senior Software Engineer

    How to Prepare for Software Engineer Interviews | Interview Preperation

    For Alex Moir, senior software engineer at Mythical Games, college didnt prepare him for all engineering challenges, especially in terms of iteration. Brushing up on main data structures and algorithms and re-reading Cracking the Code Interview are how he preps for future interviews.

    Read Cracking the Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell . Pull out my portable little whiteboard and start answering problems. Google software interview questions. Brush up on the main data structures and algorithms like binary search. Practice system design. Remind myself to stay calm and things will be fine!

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    Tips To Negotiate Software Engineer Salary At Microsoft

    Negotiating oneâs salary can seem daunting at first, and many candidates are uncomfortable doing it in fear of spoiling their chance of getting selected. Here are a few pointers you can keep in mind while negotiating your package:

    • Do not share your current compensation with your interviewer.
    • You are not obligated to share the compensation you are expecting.
    • Build a good rapport with the hiring manager.
    • Do not insist on receiving offers in writing.
    • Check with your recruiter and ask for a relocation package if it applies to your case.
    • Remember to compare your offer with publicly available data.

    Salary negotiation is a must-have skill for any role. Read The Ultimate Guide to Salary Negotiation at FAANG for Software Engineersto hone your negotiation skills and get an offer that matches your value.

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