SDE interview preparation - tips
Do you dream of working with the world’s biggest research & development facilities and organizations of the big tech companies as a software development engineer?
If you are applying for any tech job, the first question is how to crack the interviews. So, the most important thing that these interviews test is how you can approach a problem. Getting the answer is secondary, but mainly, your approach matters.
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In many interviews, when the interviewer asks a question, gauging the candidate’s answer, it’s easy to determine if he knows the answer. No level of good acting can hide that fact (unless, of course, you are Morgan Freeman). These interviewees are easy to break when an interviewer transcends the complexity of the given question or extrapolates it to a higher dimension. So honestly, the interviewers are looking for a candidate who can think on the spot and not produce the answers he has mugged up from 500 sites. (P.S. college days are over!).
So try to solve problems by yourself without looking at the solutions to them. Live through an entire week of frustration when the code judge rejects your multiple submissions, each one better than the previous in time and space. The biggest thing that you will gain from this is clarity of thought.
In this article, we’ll advise you on some important things. We’ve provided some tips and tricks for cracking the SDE interview. Also, we’ve provided a smart plan for 2 months of interview preparation.
- What should you do before the SDE interview- tips?
- 2 months interview preparation plan
- Additional SDE interview preparation tips
1. What should you do before the SDE interview- tips?
- Review your resume and be able to talk intelligently about everything you put on it.
- Read up on the company you’ve applied for to understand their main lines of business. Get an idea of good or bad things about each division. Have a couple of questions about the company that isn’t easy for you to find out yourself, like “what division am I being interviewed for?”
- Brush up on coding. Make sure you can write solutions to simple problems easily, if you haven’t coded in a while, e.g. “Find the missing number in this array of 1..100.”
- Review basic data structures and algorithms. Binary trees. Remind yourself what a queue, stack, heap, and sort algorithm are. Review common classes like container classes in the language of your choice.
- Sleep. Make sure you’re well-rested before the interview.
2. Two months SDE interview preparation plan
For the SDE position, you need to have a clear concept of algorithm and data structure, database, and expertise in a programming language.
The first step towards any preparation is self-awareness. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Then, focus on your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Opportunity is a presence of mind. Convert the threat into an opportunity.
-> Below is an 8-week plan for your smart SDE interview preparation:
Week 1: Time Complexity, Arrays, Math.
Week 2: Binary Search, String, Bit Manipulation.
Week 3: Linked Lists, Two Pointers, Stacks & Queues.
Week 4: Backtracking, Hashing, Greedy.
Week 5: Heaps & Maps, Trees.
Week 6: Graphs, DP.
Week 7: Resume, Operating Systems, Databases, Computer Networking, System Design.
Week 8: Practice mock interviews on Interview Help.io, and practice communication.
3. Additional SDE interview preparation tips
When the interviewer gives you a problem, you don’t need to jump right to coding. Instead, you must be sure that you have a proper process for solving the problem.
Design a solution first, test the design and then you may write code. Use whatever process you have. Whether your method is, come up with a design first, then with code! Because coding is how you implement a solution, not how you solve a problem. You must have a solution first. In the end, when you have a solution and code, you may test the code.
However, other than programming expertise, you might need to understand the main concept for the interview is to keep the interview active, and this requires some action from your side, such as:
- You need to talk.
- You need to explain.
- You need to discuss.
- You need to express your views.
- You need to understand clearly the questions given to you.
- You need to understand the interviewer’s expression and mindset to understand those questions.
- You might need to ask appropriate questions to understand the question or any other discussion item.
4. Practice mock interviews with Interview Help.io
We’d highly recommend you do mock interviews with current or former software engineers/software development engineers in your network who can give you feedback before your actual interviews. If you don’t personally know anyone who can help, you can practice on our peer-to-peer platform. You can practice with ex-interviewers from Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon, Twitter, and many other top companies.
If you follow this approach and practice extensively before your interview, you’ve got a pretty good chance of landing a job offer at one of the FAANG companies.
Crack your SDE interview