My Approach To Coding Interviews: Optimize For Iteration
tl;dr: “I didn’t encounter this question in an interview personally. I’ll be pretending to go through a ~60 minute interview with an imaginary interviewer. And what you will read here is how I would tackle this question and how I predict the interview would go, informed by my experience in interviews. While reading all of this, it’s important to remember that the most important part of an interview is communication. Keep your interviewer in the loop! Not only tell them what you are currently doing, but also what you are working towards. Think out loud and describe what your ideas are and how you plan to implement them. Most interviewers want to help and will reinforce good ideas and try and prevent you from going down the wrong path. A coder that can’t articulate what they are doing is likely not going to do well in a team environment.”
featured in #449
How To Sabotage Your Salary Negotiations Efforts Before You Even Start
tl;dr: Common mistakes people make during salary negotiations, focusing on two key errors: revealing information too early and negotiating before being ready. Aline emphasizes that recruiters are not your friends; they work for the company and are incentivized differently. Revealing information like your current salary, expectations, or other job interviews can be used against you. The article advises being in "passive information gathering" mode during interactions with recruiters. It also stresses the importance of timing in negotiations. “Only when you have all the necessary information should you begin to negotiate.”
featured in #444
Real Time Presence Platform System Design
tl;dr: “In layman’s terms, the presence status shows whether a particular user is currently online or offline. The presence status is popular on real-time messaging applications and social networking platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Slack. The presence status represents the availability of the user for communication on a chat application or a social network.”
featured in #408
System Design Interview Cheat Sheet
tl;dr: “The system design questions are subjective. This cheat sheet is a work in progress and is written based on my research on the topic.” Topics include databases, API design, capacity planning, high level design, design deep dives, and more.
featured in #403
I Failed 3 Job Applications, Here's What I Learned
tl;dr: “Today after 23 years, I have a relatively high level leadership position but it wasn’t always like this. As an introvert in a world that’s optimized for extroverts I had a long and painful learning curve.” Alex provides us with tips he's learned and mistakes he's made applying for jobs at Datadog, Spotify and Shopify.
featured in #402
How To Approach A System Design Interview
tl;dr: This article covers: (1) The difference between engineering problems and design problems. (2) How approaching a system design interview is different to a coding interview. (3) What it’s like to walk into a system design interview. (4) What your interviewer looks for, and what they don’t. (5) Green Flags, Red Flags, and other signposts.
featured in #395
The Really Important Job Interview Questions Engineers Should Ask (But Don't)
tl;dr: "It's normal for candidates not to ask harder questions about our company, so they usually miss out on a chance to (1) de-risk our company's performance and (2) increase the chances they'll like working here." James gives several examples of interview questions candidates can ask about product-market fit, financial runway and more.
featured in #339
How To Estimate Disk Space
tl;dr: Will recalls one the best architecture interviews he's been in, "where the candidate was able to significantly narrow down the possible solutions by asking for a few details: queries per second, expected number of rows, and necessary columns." Will demonstrates how he would approach this question.
featured in #336
STAR Method For Interview Questions
tl;dr: Will offers the STAR template as a framework to respond to interview questions e.g. "Tell me about a time when you had to change your organizational structure to solve an important problem?” STAR: (1) Situation surrounding your task. (2) Task you undertook, or were assigned, to address the situation. (3) Actions to accomplish the task. (4) Results of your actions.
featured in #329