Master the technical interview
Stanford HCI tutorial
The first step at getting a programming job at a major company such as Google or Facebook is the technical interview: a 30-45 minute interview where your interviewer will ask you to code the answer of a programming problem in a language of your choice (often on a whiteboard or a Google doc). The company, and your interviewer are just as invested in the process as you are: they want to hire the best possible candidate. Your interviewer will asses your programming and problem solving skills during the interview. The good news is that these are skills that can be practiced.
Read and review
Pick up a data structure and algorithms book and read it! Even if you are confident in the basic
algorithms, you need to keep your mind fresh on the most important ways of solving problems. This will also help you identify problems. Make sure you are proficient in the basics, such as algorithm complexity, hashtables, sorting, and graph algorithms. Read more.
The best way to get good at programming is to code. Pick a problem, design a solution, and code it till it works. Don’t stop at the second step, many times people know what the solution is but struggle when they have to write code for it. Additionally, there are unexpected problems that may come up in the process of coding your solution, such as limited memory. Your interviewer knows these challenges and may ask you how you plan to tackle them. A good source for practicing are programming contest. Read more.
During the Interview
Here’s a list of 5 things to do during your interview:
1- Talk! We can’t emphasize how important it is to have positive communication with your interviewer. Be vocal, explain how you’re thinking about the problem and your ideas for solving it. This is how your interviewer will assess your problem solving abilities.
2- Ask. It is not only OK, but you are encouraged to ask clarifying questions about the problem.
3- Ask II. Ask questions about how your interviewer wants you to approach the problem and what they care about. For example: Should I care about memory? Would you like me to write some code on the board?
4- Don’t jump to code. Even if you are sure you know the answer, don’t start coding immediately. Start by explaining your solution to the interviewer.
5- It’s OK to ask for help. Well occasionally. If you find yourself stuck, break the silence by asking for help or hints. This may take off points from your evaluation but it will help you more in the long run.
Submit a request to do a practice interview with one of our experts. Your intervier will call you via Google hangouts and ask you popular questions at technical interviews. You will code your answers in a Google doc. After the interview, your interviewer will tell you about your performance and how you can get better. You can do as many practice interviews as you would like.
Questions? Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org