Fork me on GitHub

If you were interested in working at a 1-20 person startup in the Bay Area, how would you study for the interview? Particularly if you are at the beginning of your career? Most of the advice I see online seems to be targeting FAANG companies e.g. study leetcode. Thanks guys.


A lot of startups just copy leetcode style questions themselves


Don't forget some system design questions


@tiotolstoy Also, try to think of good questions. Figure out what things have frustrated about your previous jobs and what apprehensions you have of this one. Then figure out questions along those lines


To expand on this, think of a few good questions and not only technical ones. One I like in particular is: Where do you see your best employee in 3 years and what's the road he should take. Or something similar. Genuine questions that are unusual and most probably new for them. Questions where they have to think that are apart from the usual hiring routine. It triggeres different emotions and different regions in their brain, which is usually a good thing.


Hiring routines are often very standardized, so differentiating from that in a positive way let's you stand out.


I agree with @scriptor and @sveri. You should be interviewing them every bit as much as they’re interviewing you. They should, and probably will, respect the fact that you’re also asking them hard questions that makes them think. And if they don’t, you don’t want to work there.


I wish all companies would stop using "leetcode style questions" -- they really don't identify "good" developers from "bad" ones. Unfortunately, there's now a whole industry built up around this terrible style of interview with "how to beat the interview" books and courses. And even some of the FAANG recruiters admit this style of interview is both broken and disrespectful.

💯 16

As others have said, the interview should be a two-way conversation instead of them just dumping on the candidate 😞

💯 4

@tiotolstoy If you are interviewing for a specific company, learn about the company, so that you can show you understand their business and what interests you about them specifically and what value you can bring to their business.


I'm curious to know how a developer who crammed for leet style coding questions/algorithms does when tasked with real work at these companies.


As a hiring manager (for 25 years or so), I'm interested in why a candidate applied for the role -- why this role? why this company?


@naomarik Well, that's the thing... some of these FAANG recruiters have admitted that some of the folks who ace the coding interview don't do well in real work (and also that some folks who failed the coding interview are still excellent developers who would have been great hires). The process is broken in both directions.


@seancorfield do you consider it a bad sign if they are not sure yet, but are open to being convinced by you during the interview?


I feel like this is why Apple software seems to be getting worse over time. My iPad Pro 11 regularly gets locked in weird rotations and often the dock gets in orientations that make absolutely NO sense.


Or how the keyboard is broken when trying to provide a review on the App Store iOS app. SpaceX can put two guys into orbit and Apple can’t seem to get a damned keyboard right. :face_with_rolling_eyes:


Same with Google - their stuff has turned increasingly into sh** ware.


I hate those types of interviews. I got into a big argument with a hiring manager from Google over this (during an interview with Google!).


@seancorfield You linked your question chart once here from a hiring perspective, I found that super awesome, maybe it is of help for those applying too, to get a different perspective on the whole process.


@sveri It's a pinned item in this channel.

👍 4

(and so is my April 15th message about how I use it)


What I also find is that they often don't bother to check if you have the ability to grasp a concept. Long, long time ago before data science was a thing I interviewed with Amazon EC2 (team was still very small) and they asked do I know MapReduce. I said no and they dropped it right there. In hindsight I should have prompted them, because I had no issue grasping it when I researched. I think that's part of preparing for an interview, be ready to prompt them for the information you need. It doesn't help though if your interview lasts 6 hours :(


I just want to add that this style of interviewing is really problematic for people of color and people who were educationally disadvantaged.


It’s pretty common now for people to spend lots of money preparing for interviews on services like If the entire interview is based on leetcode style questions you have people that easily game the system


Not too different from how college admissions works really with standardized testing.


This is a really good talk that touches the subject of hiring diversity

👀 12