Friday, January 27, 2023

Preparing For Software Engineering Interview

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Research About The Company

Google Coding Interview With A Normal Software Engineer

You must be prepared for your interview by knowing the companys mission, values, and objectives. You can visit the corporate website and read the About Us section.

Its also essential to research a companys culture. For recruiters to regard you as a perfect fit during the interview, you should discuss the culture and values of the company youre applying to. You must discover the companys dedication to diversity in the workplace. If you wonder why is this important? You must know that you can be directly questioned about their mission and perhaps even their ideals throughout your behavioral interviews. While preparing for software engineering interviews, you should always consider how the companys beliefs align with yours. The explanation should reflect in your comments, even when it is not specifically requested.

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.

Q Any Other Parting Words Of Wisdom

A. If you tend to get pre-interview jitters, try exercising the morning of the interview to burn off some of that nervous energy. Even a long walk to collect your thoughts and mentally prepare for your upcoming software engineering interview can make a world of difference. Oh, and Talent Inc. is hiring, so send us your resume!

Looking to brush up on your interview skills, but don’t know where to start? Try our interview-coaching services today!

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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
  • How Would You Describe An Api To Someone Who Knew Nothing About Programming

    Software Engineer Interview Questions [Video]

    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.”

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    The Interview Process In Smaller Companies

    Smaller companies have a shorter process, and the exact interview workflow will generally be shorter.

    If youre lucky the interview is very quick. This might happen if you already know the people that will hire you, and they already know you are a good fit. But in the vast majority of cases you will have an interview process.

    You might be asked traditional computer science algorithms and data structures questions because they do what big companies do.

    They might also have a different process, for example they might assign you some take-home exercises before having an on-site interview. And on-site you will discuss the take-home work rather than being asked about implementing a random algorithm.

    Tips For Software Engineer Interview Success

    Use these tips to help you complete your software engineer interview successfully:

    • Study popular coding problems. There are many online resources that offer study guides and solutions to popular coding problems you may see during your interviews. Consider studying and solving these problems in your chosen programming language to prepare you for interviews, develop your skills and show you other ways of thinking about problems.

    • Understand the role. Before your interview, try to review the job listing and understand the requirements of the role for which you applied. Doing this may help you ask better questions to potential employers and allow you to describe your experiences in a way that demonstrates how you can benefit a company by working there.

    • Talk through your solutions. During your interview, it’s important to talk through your solutions to coding problems to show interviewers your thought process and your critical thinking skills. As you think about the problem and write possible code to solve it, discuss your thoughts, doubts and reasons for deciding on a specific solution.

    • Practice writing code by hand. While software engineers typically write code on computers, interviewers often expect you to write your code by hand on a piece of paper or a marker board so they can easily see it. Practice writing out your code by hand to help you stay calm and feel prepared when you do this during your interview.

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    Featured Pragmatic Engineer Jobs

  • Staff Frontend Software Engineer at Sirona Medical. $175-215K + equity. Remote .
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  • Backend Software Engineer at AbstractOps. $239-350K + equity. Remote .
  • The above jobs score at least 10/12 on The Pragmatic Engineer Test. Browse more senior engineer and engineering leadership roles with great engineering cultures, or add your own on The Pragmatic Engineer Job board and apply to join The Pragmatic Engineer Talent Collective.

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    Which Programming Languages Do You Have Experience With

    How To Prepare For Software Engineer Interviews

    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.”

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    How To Prepare For A Software Engineering Job Interview

    Interview and career advice for software engineer candidates from Talent Inc.’s CTO, Michael Henderson.

    Interviewing for an engineering position can be a nerve-wracking experience. However, with the right preparation, you can boost your confidence, as well as increase your odds for success.

    Recently, I sat down with Michael Henderson, the Chief Technology Officer for TopInterview’s parent company, Talent Inc., to learn how he conducts job interviews for software engineers and also reveal what interview advice he offers those looking to score a spot on his team.

    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

    Also Check: How To Prepare For An Interview With Google

    What Types Of Roles And Candidates Can Coderbyte Be Used For

    • Software Development: front-end, back-end, mobile, DevOps, database, QA
    • Data Science & Analysis: data scientist, data engineer
    • Design & Research: UX design, UX research, product management
    • Sales & Marketing: SDR, marketing analyst, customer success
    • Finance & Operations: Financial analyst, HR analyst
    • Interpersonal Skills: culture, integrity, communication, writing

    Facing The Remote Code Challenge

    How should software engineers go about preparing for technical ...

    This stage is not as rigorous as the onsite technical interview with the whiteboard, but it will require much preparation. The conditions can vary depending on the company: they can either send a test for you to complete at home and give you a deadline or send a real-time challenge to monitor your work and see how you code.

    However, smaller companies and startups donât generally have this stage in their process and instead have the whiteboard challenge onsite after the telephone interview.

    During this stage, be sure to thoroughly go over the material, instructions, and requirements and ask questions. Plan your code before writing it, and make sure you complete every task required. Always review your work before sending it.

    If the challenge is in real-time, think aloud and discuss the process. Be inclusive, show that you are a member of the team.

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    A Guide To The Software Engineer Interview Process

    The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed’s data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

    Related: A Day in the Life of a Software Engineer

    Sarah, a software engineer, shows you a day in the life of a remote software engineer including work hours, work environment and job duties.

    The interview process varies for jobs in many fields because employers expect different skills and talents for their employees. Even within specific roles, like that of a software engineer, there are many types of interview processes that help employers find candidates with specialized knowledge and abilities. If you’re interested in starting a career as a software engineer, it’s important to understand the basic interview process and the types of interviews you may experience. In this article, we look at the software engineer interview process and answer frequently asked questions about what to expect.

    Prepare For The System Design Interview

    If you are a mid or senior-level candidate, you may expect system design questions as part of your technical interview. They aren’t covered adequately by LeetCode and good resources are still harder to come by.

    The objective of system design interviews is to evaluate a candidate’s skill at designing real-world software systems involving multiple components.

    Also Check: Where To Do A Video Interview

    What Is Data Flow Diagram

    A Data Flow Diagram shows the flow of information flows through a system. It shows data inputs, outputs, storage sites, and paths between each destination using symbols such as rectangles, circles, and arrows, as well as short text labels. Data flowcharts can range from simple to in-depth DFDs that go deeper into how data is processed. They can be used to evaluate a current system or to create a new system. A DFD can effortlessly express things that are difficult to describe in words, and it can be used by both technical and non-technical audiences.

    Make Sure Your Technical Knowledge Is Solid

    Interview tips from Google Software Engineers

    Apart from behavioral questions, you will be asked about more technical aspects of your work like algorithms, structures, coding, and much more. So before any interview, we recommend you take a closer look at the basics and have a short refresher course to strengthen your concepts.

    This will be especially important for the remote challenge and the onsite interview, where your knowledge will be put to the test.

    Recommended Reading: How To Ace System Design Interview

    Learn Data Structures & Algorithms

    Data structures and algorithms are the core of every software engineering interview, so you need a command understanding of this topic. There are a few key takeaways you should get from any prep guide on this topic. For data structures, you should understand their uses and time complexity of insert, lookup, and delete operations. For algorithms, understand the time and space complexity of each. You should also know how to write common algorithms in the language of your choice. Dont worry if you dont know what that means, the courses should give you an overview of these concepts. Here are two courses that are again both free and great resources in building skills in data structures and algorithms: MIT OCW and Coursera

    Questions For The Interviewers

    Its good to prepare some questions for the interviewers as well. Remember, its important to figure out if the company is a good fit for you. The more information you have, the easier it will be to make the decision afterwards. I usually prepare some questions in advance of the interview, such as:

    • How are the engineering teams organized? How are the tasks distributed to the team?
    • How do you go about testing your products?
    • What team is it likely that I will be working on?
    • How do you support people during onboarding? How long does it typically take for a new person to onboard?
    • What would be an example of a task I would work on?
    • What is the main stack you use for this project?
    • What opportunities are available to work on different projects?
    • How do you conduct performance reviews? What does career progression look like for this particular role?

    Think about your ideal work day what you would like to know about it? Different people value different things in work. For example you might prefer a dynamic changing environment that gives more freedom, or you might feel productive in a more structured one. You might like to work in a more autonomous way or prefer to be part of a team.

    It is a good idea to figure out which environment helps you perform at your best and search for companies that will give you this opportunity. If you feel like the interviewer covered most of your questions, you dont have to ask something just for the sake of it.

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    Coding Interview Study Plan

    The recommended time period to set aside for coding interview preparation is 3 months for a more holistic preparation. I shared my 3 month study plan here, which provides a list of coding interview topics with resources and practice questions that you should work through in order of priority every week. I will also be adding content on recommended 1 month and 1 week study plans soon.

    If you have less than 3 months to prepare, you can generate your own study plans using the Grind 75 tool which generates recommended study plans for coding interviews based on the time you have left. The algorithm behind it includes a ranking of questions by priority and also a balance between breadth and depth of topics covered.

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