Cracking Software Engineer Interviews

When I prepare the interview for my internship, I divided my knowledge into two area, behavior question and coding question. Some of the companies will ask Object-oriented design and System design, but normally it is not a requirement for interns and new grads. I also used to do mock interview with Senior Engineers, which helped me as well to get familiar with the process.

When prepare Behavior Question, I use the STAR technique as the following. There are many articles, which explained what is STAR techniques and how to use it. Attached below is what I found online before. The most important thing I found out is preparing your story in different aspects and try not to use the same story to answer different interview questions. Practice with your roommates, classmates, or friends as many times as you can before the interview.

1. Situation: Open with a brief description of the Situation and context of the story (who, what, where, when, how).

2. Task: Explain the Task you had to complete highlighting any specific challenges or constraint (eg deadlines, costs, other issues).

3. Action: Describe the specific Actions that you took to complete the task. These should highlight desirable traits without needing to state them (initiative, intelligence, dedication, leadership, understanding, etc.)

4. Result: Close with the result of your efforts. Include figures to quantify the result if possible.

For preparing Coding Question, there are so many places which provided algorithm problems like LeetCode and LintCode. Starting with easy question and build the confidence at very beginning is also very helpful. I think the number of problem you solved is not that important comparing to understand the basic concept and thinking process. During my interview, the interviewers will focus on the communication and how you walk them through step by step to the solution, it’s more like a TA office hour, clarifying the question, showing other students how you solve the problem instead of telling them the answer directly. All in all, as long as we insist working on it, we will get our job eventually.

Attached some resources that I used to learn Data Structure:

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