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DFS With Memo
DFS With Memo

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My Bloomberg interview experience

Interview Experience

I applied for a SWE role(not a new grad) and heard back from a Bloomberg recruiter in April. I scheduled my first technical phone screen three weeks from the time I was contacted.

Technical phone screen 45 minutes - My interviewer asked me questions on my resume for around 15 minutes and then gave me a variation of number of islands.

The next day I was contacted by my recruiter and I was informed I will be moving to the next round which is a virtual on-site that consists of technical rounds. I was asked to keep 3-4 hours aside for the rounds but I wasn't told how many rounds and what kind except that the first will be a technical round.

My virtual on-site started at 11am a week later. The first round was indeed a technical round with two interviewers. One of them was shadowing the main interviewer. My interviewer was nice, he introduced himself and gave me a brief overview of how the interview would be structured. Then we spent 15 minutes on my resume to understand what type of work I had done and what I am currently working on, what are my technical interests etc. We moved to the first problem. It was a very verbose problem on handling requests in the front office of a trading desk and it had multiple requirements. I saw that all of the requirement aligned with implementing a min stack so I explained that to the interviewer.

He was happy and allowed me to code up the solution. He asked me for the time complexity of each function and we discussed a bit on some of the edge cases. He gave me another problem on balanced parenthesis which was straightforward enough on the first attempt and I told him a stack approach. He was satisfied and I coded it up.

He gave me a follow up to solve it without using a stack. I struggled a bit here and he was trying to nudge me in the right direction. I came up with an O(n^2) algorithm but he pushed me to give him a O(n) and constant space solution which I finally was able to come up with. The interviewer was quite satisfied and we ended there. It took about 1 hour. He told me I will have one more round in half an hour.

My next interviewer showed up in 15 minutes and he told me that he can wait for 15 more minutes because he was early. I told him that I am ready. We spoke for around 10 minutes about my resume and the he gave me the first question which was a variation of all paths from source to destination.

I was able to come up with the solution quite easily and coded it up. Then he asked me the time complexity and I really struggled with it though it wasn't complicated at all. He had to finally tell me. We spent the same amount of time on the time complexity as that on the actual problem. My mind was kind of fried at that time.

Since we had time, he gave me another problem involving hashmaps (it is one of the most frequently asked questions in Bloomberg). I was able to solve it because I had done the problem before and we finished before time. He informed me that I have an HR round in 45 minutes.

HR round - lasted for 30 minutes and again I was asked about my previous work experience, how many people I would interact with, did I work with stakeholders, why am I doing a master's now and why in the US etc. The HR told me that I am done with the virtual on-site and my recruiter will let me know on the next steps

It was a while, I don't remember the exact time but I was contacted by my recruiter and they let me know that I had one more round this time with an engineering manager. I scheduled it for a week from the date I was informed.

EM round - This was taken a very senior manager at Bloomberg(>25 YOE at Bloomberg). He wanted to know about my experience with different programming languages. He asked me to differentiate between C++,Python and Java, asked couple of standard behavioral questions and gave me advice on how to succeed as an engineer at Bloomberg.

I was contacted by a different HR a week later and was told they are giving me a verbal offer.

How I prepared

I had solved problems from Cracking the Coding Interview on Leetcode, solved majority of blind 75 problems and I had collected questions asked in previous Bloomberg interviews from leetcode discuss section and geeksforgeeks to prepare.

I had started solving Leetcode problems from December end of last year(2021) and my final LC count(if that matters) on the day of my virtual on-site was 289.

If you are starting from scratch - consider checking out my Leetcode survival guide where I have listed out the important topics you need to know and links to helpful learning and practice material.

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