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As you get ready for your interviews, consider these suggestions:
- Know Your Resume: While technical skills are extremely important, that’s no reason to neglect your own resume. Make sure to prepare yourself to give a quick summary of any project or job you were involved with, and to discuss the hardest and most interesting problems you encountered along the day.
- Write Code on Paper: Most interviewers won’t give you a computer and will instead expect you to write code on a whiteboard or on paper. To simulate this environment, try answering interview
problems by writing code on paper first, and then typing them into a computer as-is. Whiteboard /paper coding is a special skill, which can be mastered with constant practice.
- Don’t Memorize Solutions: While this book offers a representative sample of interview questions, there are still thousands of interview questions out there. Memorizing solutions is not a great use of your time. Rather, use this book to explore approaches to problems, to learn new concepts, and to practice your skills. Interview Preparation is important
- Talk Out Loud: Interviewers want to understand how you think and approach problems, so talk out loud while you’re solving problems. Let the interviewer see how you’re tackling the problem, and they just might guide you as well.
And remember — interviews are hard! In my years of interviewing at Google, I saw some interviewers ask “easy” questions while others ask harder questions. But you know what? Getting the easy questions doesn’t make it any easier to get the offer. Receiving an offer is not about solving questions flawlessly (very few candidates do!), but rather, it is about answering questions better than other candidates. So don’t stress out when you get a tricky question – everyone else probably thought it was hard too!
I’m excited for you and for the skills you are going to develop. Thorough preparation will give you a wide range of technical and communication skills. It will be well-worth it no matter where the effort takes you!
Study hard, practice, and good luck!
-Gayle Laakmann how to go for an Interview Preparation
We walked out of the hiring meeting frustrated, again. Of the ten “passable” candidates we reviewed that day, none would receive offers. Were we being too harsh, we wondered? Interview Preparation
I, in particular, was disappointed. We had rejected one of my candidates. A former student. One who I had referred. He had a 3.73 GPA from the University of Washington, one of the best computer science schools in the world, and had done extensive work on open source projects. He was energetic. He was creative. He worked hard. He was sharp. He was a true geek, in all the best ways. But, I had to agree with the rest of the committee: the data wasn’t there. Even if my emphatic recommendation would sway them to reconsider, he would surely get rejected in the later stages of the hiring process. There were just too many red flags.
Though the interviewers generally believed that he was quite intelligent, he had struggled to develop good algorithms. Most successful candidates could fly through the first question, which was a twist on a well known problem, but he struggled to develop his algorithm. When he came up with one, he failed to consider solutions that optimized for other scenarios. Finally, when he began coding, he flew through the code with an initial solution, but it was riddled with mistakes that he then failed to catch.
Though he wasn’t the worst candidate we’d seen by any measure, he was far from meeting “the bar.” Rejected.
When he asked for feedback over the phone a couple of weeks later, I struggled with what to tell him. Be smarter? No, I knew he was brilliant. Be a better coder? No, his skills were on-par with some of the best I’d seen. Like many motivated candidates, he had prepared extensively. He had read K&R’s classic C book and he’d reviewed CLRS’ famous algorithms textbook. He could describe in detail the myriad of ways of balancing a tree, and he could do things in C that no sane programmer should ever want to do.
I had to tell him the unfortunate truth: those books aren’t enough. Academic books prepare you for fancy research, but they’re not going to help you much in an interview. Why? I’ll give you a hint: your interviewers haven’t seen Red-Black Trees since they were in school either.
To crack the coding interview, you need to prepare with real interview questions. You must practice
on real problems, and learn their patterns.
One of the sources of the article: Cracking the Coding Interview: book by GAYLE LAAKMANN