Saturday, June 15, 2024

Mock Interview For Software Engineer

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How Does Tech Mock Interview Compare To Pathrise

Senior Software Engineer Mock Technical Interview (Coding/Algorithms in JavaScript)

Tech Mock Interview is a tool that helps software engineers prepare for behavioral and technical interviews. Their service pairs users with experienced interviewers from top companies to conduct mock interviewers and provide feedback. While their program helps users with interviewers, it doesnt actually help them look for a job or help them through the job search.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with people on each step of their job search. Not only does our curriculum cover the ins and outs of technical and behavioral interviews, but also fellows work 1-on-1 on resume and LinkedIn optimization, reverse recruiting and cold emailing, negotiation, and much more.

Mock interviews can be extremely helpful for job-seekers, so we encourage software engineers in our program to practice as often as possible. This means that people can use Tech Mock Interview alongside Pathrise to further prepare for upcoming interviews.

Pathrise optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentoring. Fellows in our program often see their interview scores double and their application responses triple, landing a job in only 3-5 months on average. If you would like to work with any of our mentors to land your dream job, join Pathrise.

Describe A Difficult Bug You Were Tasked With Fixing In A Large Application How Did You Debug The Issue

Bugs usually appear in new applications and software programs, and it’s a software engineer’s responsibility to locate and resolve these issues. Difficult bugs are often the result of an unusual alignment of conditions. Hearing your experience of resolving bugs explores several aspects of your skills including critical thinking and how well you handle stress and pressure.

Example:”I received a bug report from our DevOps team about one of our databases being stressed from an expensive query being called excessively from the UI. I first checked the logs to find out when the trouble started. This gave me the rough commit range in which the bug was introduced. I was able to reproduce the bug on the latest piece of code, but only in production. I ran a git bisect to isolate the specific commit that introduced the bug and pulled the branch. However, I was not able to reproduce the issue. I went to the UI to debug using the browser devtools. Sourcemaps are not available in our production environment, so I had to map the minified JavaScript code to the source CoffeeScript code.

Why Should We Hire You

This is also an important question, as it will give the applicant the opportunity to explain more about themselves, what their skills are, what they bring to the table, and how they will help your company reach its goals.

That last part is important, as it will give you an opportunity to see whether teamwork is important to them or not.

You dont want them to just go on about their education and skills, but you also want them to show you how they can help you and be an important asset to your team.

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How You Should Prepare

As I wrote earlier, interviewing is a skill of its own. Even if youre already a great programmer in your day job or getting great grades in your studies, those skills wont exactly transfer 1:1 when youre in a tiny interview room. Persistence, repetition, and consistency with interview preparation and practice will be the key determining factors of your outcome.

Minimum knowledge

If anyone were to ask me what I felt would be areas to focus on, Id suggest the following:

  • Learn to write code by hand on paper and a whiteboard first and then throw it into an IDE for syntax highlighting, this should become second nature to you.
  • Develop deep knowledge of data structures, their strengths, and weaknesses in comparison to each other. I discovered that implementing data structures and their behaviours from scratch taught me so much more than what I knew from their abstract concepts.
  • Completely understand Big O notation for both time and space complexities, this will pair perfectly with your algorithm and sorting questions.
  • Grasp all major sorting algorithms because the difference in time/space complexities have the potential to derail your optimum solution for an algorithm youre trying to solve.

When to start

Dont worry

Tell Me About A Time You Needed Information From Someone Who Wasn’t Responsive How Did You Handle It


If the hiring manager asks you this question during an interview, try to highlight your communication skills and your ability to handle challenges with your coworkers. The hiring manager may want to see your level of understanding toward your colleague’s perspective in the situation, so emphasize your ability to be considerate of others while obtaining the information you need.

Example:”I was in a situation at my previous job where I was organizing a plan of action for my team, and the deadline was rapidly approaching. My manager expressed that she was busy with several projects at the time and couldn’t respond to my emails until two to three days later. Rather than getting frustrated, I asked my team members for input, and we created a fully formed plan that we then presented to my manager, who approved it immediately.”

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Hitting All Of The Key Steps In The Interview

You should be inspecting and reviewing every single programming interview you do. Inspecting is analyzing the problem at the top, reviewing is ensuring your work is correct after you think you are done coding. Leetcode questions donât force you to write out your analysis of the problem and they donât encourage you to manually test your work.

Be sure to check all of the boxes in this rubric when doing mock interviews to show your interviewer you are thorough in your work and serious about your preparation. This will stand out to tech companies.

Explaining Your Thought Process

You can quickly write down a 100% perfect algorithm for a difficult problem and still not get the job at Google. This goes into why I firmly believe that just grinding leetcode and Cracking the Coding Interview is not good advice for someone trying to get into Big Tech. During the actual interview, the Microsoft engineer interviewing you wants to know you understand the fundamentals versus just memorizing an answer to a problem.

This is done by giving a detailed explanation as to what you are thinking. This is uncomfortable for engineers who are used to listening to lofi beats and skipping steps in their head. Talking through what you are thinking in a professional and detailed manner takes practice. When I was at Facebook, I frequently conducted programming interviews. What made candidates great was their ability to take their time as they code and let me know what they are thinking.

Doing mock interviews will help you develop this muscle really quickly as you are preparing for the technical interview.

Read Also: How To Interview A Web Developer

What Are Your Most Used Design Patterns And In What Contexts Do You Use Them

Similar to the previous question, this probes your knowledge of more abstract, theoretical concepts. Very few people are familiar with all of the formalized software design patterns. In fact, many well-established engineers have a hard time even naming more than a few. After reviewing the topic, you may realize that you leverage many of these patterns daily, even if you aren’t aware of the formal name. Reviewing these concepts helps provide a common shorthand, streamlining complex discussions.

Example:”For gaming projects, my level state and player character are generally implemented as singletons. For enemy creation, Ill use a factory that will produce differing enemies based on some inputs. Additionally, the bullets being fired by the character will be implemented in an object pool to avoid performance hits from excessive instantiation and garbage collection. If the game is more complex, I may switch to a compositional model such as Entity-Component-System. The system functions would then leverage dependency injection to better separate concerns and increase testability of the game logic.”

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Mock Google interview (for Software Engineer job) – coding & algorithms tips
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    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.

    What Is Agile Software Development And What Are Your Thoughts On It

    Process is an extremely important component of software development. Agile is currently one of the most popular software development processes adopted in the industry. The core concepts were introduced in 2001 when The Manifesto for Agile Software Development was published. Since its inception, growing numbers of companies have adopted the methodologies in some form. However, there are a wide range of opinions and interpretations on the subject. Some invest the time to train for Agile certification while others use the principles as guidelines rather than hard rules, interpreting Agile as an adjective rather than a noun. And there are yet others who wholly disagree with the philosophy.

    No matter your opinion, wide industry adoption means you will likely work within the framework at some point in your career. You should be capable of articulating the details of the process. Try using concrete examples from your experience. In your answer, address areas of the process such as:

    • What worked about the process?

    • Did your team deviate from the recommendations?

    • Did that work to your benefit or detriment?

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    What Is The Most Helpful Feedback You’ve Ever Gotten About Yourself

    Constructive criticism can be helpful for your overall professional growth, so consider answering this question with a piece of criticism you received and how it helped you improve your work. You can show your ability to react positively to constructive criticism and demonstrate that you’re willing to learn and progress.

    Example:”A year ago, my manager called me into her office and gave me some critical feedback that I wasn’t expecting. However, I am so glad that she pointed out a flaw in my organizational methods so that I could reevaluate my approach. While I didn’t realize it at the time, her criticism helped me challenge myself and improve my work without requiring me to work longer hours.”

    Related: What is the STAR Method?

    Taylor, explains a way to stand out during an interview when answering behavioral interview questions using the STAR Method, a strategic storytelling tool.

    When Writing Your Own Database Server What Should You Consider

    Recap: 3 Pieces of Advice to Become a Successful Software Engineer

    Most of the time software engineers use data stores especially those working on backend applications. Do they understand the underlying factors of the application? How would they write an application like MongoDB or MySQL?

    This type of open-ended question tests the bounds of a software engineer interviewees knowledge and could lead to a discussion of database principles such as file storage, sharding, threading, query optimizers, the big four NoSQL types, indexing, and others.

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    How Do You Explain Technical Challenges To Stakeholders Who Do Not Have Technical Knowledge Or Backgrounds

    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.

    In Your Opinion What Are Some Principles Every Software Engineer Should Follow

    The interviewer is likely to ask this question to evaluate your diligence in your job and how you’d meet or exceed the expectations of the company. Consider mentioning the value of adaptability or resourcefulness, as these qualities are useful in many professional settings. You can also discuss your personal coding philosophy and overall thoughts about software engineering.

    Example:”One principle that I try to follow as a software engineer is to keep things simple and straightforward. The work itself can be technical and complicated, so I find that a simple and effective system for coding and task execution allows me to stay focused on complex tasks without becoming overwhelmed.”

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    Take Ownership Of Your Education

    Big Tech interviews are both fairly standard and widely documented. There is a wealth of resources to prepare for the coding interview and a growing pile of systems design resources.

    It’s easy to get lost in so much information: which is why you should make a plan on how you will get “interview-ready”.

    Create a study plan with topics you want to cover for the interview types you’re expecting to have. Learn the theory, then practice this with practice and exercises where you create something from scratch: implementing a data structure, drawing up a diagram.

    There is no shortage of people complaining about the difficult interview process Big Tech has. However, I know of no other industry where you can get a high-paying job with no college degree, no connections: purely through interviews that are fairly standard among the highest paying employers like Netflix, Airbnb, Uber, Facebook, Pinterest, and others.

    Tech interviews being “standard” across the Big Tech makes preparing for these a high-leverage activity: study once, interview many times. Once you prepare, just make sure your software engineering resume grabs the attention of the recruiters.

    Good luck – and if you are looking for more advice for senior and above interviews, I have some.

    What Are You Looking For In This Job

    Google Coding Interview With A Normal Software Engineer

    This is also an important question, as you want to know why they are looking for a new job and why they applied to your particular company. Did they do research about your company? Try to find out what they know about your companys mission, what your values are, and what your company culture is like.

    If they did not do research about your company and are simply looking for a new job because they need the money, they might not end up being a good fit for your team. You want to make sure that their values align with your own and that they will be dedicated to your mission.

    You want to hire a software engineer who is passionate about your values and goals and wants to help you reach them.

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    Describe The Last Project You Worked On Including Any Obstacles And Your Contributions To Its Success

    A question relating to a specific project will help the interviewer better understand your process and how you handle adversity while working on a specific task.

    As you answer this question, use the STAR method to craft a detailed, informative answer. Start by describing the situation, which allows you to provide all the necessary details about the project on which you were working. Next, discuss the tasks you were assigned to outline your level of responsibility. When describing the action you took, include the steps you took to achieve a goal and finish with the result of the project.

    Example:A previous employer tasked me with creating an internal online learning and training program for employees. The purpose of the program was to make sure all employees received proper training on certain topics, including customer service, compliance with legal requirements and workplace ethics. I began by researching other similar training systems to figure out what worked and what didn’t. Next, I used Java to code a simple program, which I then used to upload training courses.

    After testing the simplified program, I added elements to make it more engaging to employees, such as games and interactive quizzes. This program was well-received by the employees of the organization, and their customer service success rates increased by 25% after all team members took the required course.

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