Steps On How To Prepare Interviews For All Roles | Interviews for software engineering and technical roles

List here are steps on how to prepare interviews for all roles. There are two types of interviews in hiring process. Between each round, the agency gather feedback from your interviewers and determine next steps.

Here’s our advice to help you be ready for your interview.

  • Predict the future: You can anticipate 90% of the interview questions you’re going to get. “Why do you want this job?” “What’s a tough problem you’ve solved?” If you can’t think of any, Google “most common interview questions.” Write down the top 20 questions you think you’ll get.
  • Plan: For every question on your list, write down your answer. That will help them stick in your brain, which is important because you want your answers to be automatic.
  • Have a backup plan: Actually, for every question, write down THREE answers. Why three? You need to have a different, equally good answer for every question because the first interviewer might not like your story. You want the next interviewer to hear a different story and become your advocate.
  • Explain: We want to understand how you think, so explain your thought process and decision making throughout the interview. Remember we’re not only evaluating your technical ability, but also how you approach problems and try to solve them. Explicitly state and check assumptions with your interviewer to ensure they are reasonable.
  • Be data-driven: Every question should be answered with a story that demonstrates you can do what you’re being asked about. “How do you lead?” should be answered with “I’m a collaborative/decisive/whatever leader. Let me tell you about the time I … ”
  • Clarify: Many of the questions will be deliberately open-ended to provide insight into what categories and information you value within the technological puzzle. We’re looking to see how you engage with the problem and your primary method for solving it. Be sure to talk through your thought process and feel free to ask specific questions if you need clarification.
  • Improve: Think about ways to improve the solution you present. It’s worthwhile to think out loud about your initial thoughts to a question. In many cases, your first answer may need some refining and further explanation. If necessary, start with the brute force solution and improve on it — just let the interviewer know that’s what you’re doing and why.
  • Practice: Everyone gets better with practice. Practice your interview answers—out loud—until you can tell each story clearly and concisely.

Interviews for Software Engineering and Technical Roles:

  • Coding practice: You can find sample coding questions on sites like CodeLab, Quora, and Stack Overflow. The book “Cracking the Coding Interview” is also a good resource. You won’t have access to an IDE or compiler during the interview so practice writing code on paper or a whiteboard. Be sure to test your code and ensure it’s easily readable without bugs. Don’t stress about small syntactical errors like which substring to use for a given method (e.g. start, end or start, length) — just pick one and let your interviewer know.
  • Coding: You should know at least one programming language really well, preferably C++, Java, Python, Go, or C. You will be expected to know APIs, Object Orientated Design and Programming, how to test your code, as well as come up with corner cases and edge cases for code. Note that we focus on conceptual understanding rather than memorization.
  • Sorting: Be familiar with common sorting functions and on what kind of input data they’re efficient on or not. Think about efficiency means in terms of runtime and space used. For example, in exceptional cases insertion-sort or radix-sort are much better than the generic QuickSort/MergeSort/HeapSort answers.
  • Data Structures: You should study up on as many data structures as possible. Data structures most frequently used are arrays, linked lists, stacks, queues, hash-sets, hash-maps, hash-tables, dictionary, trees and binary trees, heaps and graphs. You should know the data structure inside out, and what algorithms tend to go along with each data structure.
  • Mathematics: Some interviewers ask basic discrete math questions. This is more prevalent at Google than at other companies because counting problems, probability problems and other Discrete Math 101 situations surround us. Spend some time before the interview refreshing your memory on (or teaching yourself) the essentials of elementary probability theory and combinatorics. You should be familiar with n-choose-k problems and their ilk.
  • Recursion: Many coding problems involve thinking recursively and potentially coding a recursive solution. Use recursion to find more elegant solutions to problems that can be solved iteratively.

Committee and Executive Review:

After your interviews are done, independent hiring committees made up of the Company/Agency at various levels of the company review your candidate packet, which includes your interview feedback and scores, your resume, references, and any work samples you submitted. Hiring committees help make sure we’re holding true to our hiring standards as we grow.

If a committee recommends hire, the panel’s feedback is added to the candidate packet and sent to a senior leader who provides another layer of objectivity for review.

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