re: How NOT to succeed in your 45-minute coding interview VIEW POST


Please ignore this article, and this comment.

Not really. Some good points are made. But this kind of absolute articles don't do good to anyone.

  1. Never assume what your interviewer wants. Please just stop assuming that interviewers want short or long answers. You will need to find your way to what the other person in front of you wants.

  2. We all misunderstand things. Point number one shows that we don't know what the interviewer really wants.

  3. Do whatever you want. It is a whiteboard, you can erase things, evolve, do pseudocode first. You have an editor in front of you? Much better. Just do something. Think loud, because again you don't know what the interviewer is looking for, so you better dump whatever you're thinking.

  4. Sean said it better in another comment.

  5. Test, check, run. If you're in a whiteboard test you cannot "run" your code, you're the cpu of your code, you better run it. Not only you will find bugs, but you will have some time again to explain your solution.

As an interviewer.

  1. Tell the people what you want and stop them if they're talking to much. Direct them to the topics you're interested.

  2. No, the candidate didn't misunderstand the problem. You didn't explain it correctly.

  3. You've seen this problem 100 times in 100 candidates. Perhaps this candidate sees the problem for the first time. Understand that. I know you like the problem, but it is your... BIAS, do not force into the candidate.

  4. Sean said it better.

  5. Drive the candidates to speak loud about the solution they've implemented. If you arrive to the end of the interview and you haven't told them to speak or asked any question and expects them to say anything... you might have set the wrong expectations.

And for candidates.

  1. If your interviewer is not clear about how much detail of things they want... they might not care at all about the interview, you, or whatever you end up doing in that place if you get hired.

  2. If you make a wrong assumption and the interviewer is there to point at you at the end and say "HAHA", you might not want to work in this kind of environment where everybody is waiting you to FAIL to punish you.

  3. If your interviewer is looking for their solution, you might want to run away from a place where there is no alternative ways. Sooner or later the "my way or the highway" will push you out.

  4. You might not want to go to a place where they do not evolve software.

  5. Back to point two, you will miss things, but if the interviewer is waiting for you to fail, it might not be a good sign of culture and environment.

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