Technical - interview . ppt by VP8177

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									      Mastering the Art of the
       Technical Interview

Cecilia Aragon, Lawrence Berkeley Lab & Univ. of Washington
                  Erin Chapple, Microsoft
    Tamara Holden-Gurin, County of Alameda, California
           Ellen Spertus, Google & Mills College
                Taylor Van Vleet, YouTube
   Understanding the company's perspective:
    Taylor Van Vleet, YouTube
•   How to prepare for a technical interview:
    Cecilia Aragon, Lawrence Berkeley Labs & UW
•   How to approach questions:
    Ellen Spertus, Google & Mills College
•   Non-technical considerations:
    Tamara Gurin, County of Alameda, CA
•   Mock interview:
    Erin Chapple, Microsoft, and Ellen Spertus
•   Q&A
        Hiring from the Company’s
                Perspective
• It’s a numbers game.
   – 1000 resumes : 100 phone screens : 50 interviews : 1
     job offer (and not every offer is accepted!)
• Hiring process is time and labor intensive.
• Employees routinely paid referral bonuses.
   – Don’t underestimate the power of your social
     networks; it could help you or your friends in the
     future.
• Companies hire to backfill from attrition as well
  as for new positions.
   – Many (larger) companies are always hiring.
         Hiring from the Recruiter’s
                 Perspective
• The main point of contact throughout the hiring
  process.
• Feeding and scheduling the hiring pipeline.
     –   Run in conjunction with a Hiring Committee.
     –   Can often accommodate external deadlines.
• Hiring process can be chaotic.
     –   Challenging “N-Body” problem for recruiters.
     –   Don't be surprised by a snafu or two.
     –   Hiring process != life at the company.
      Hiring from the Interviewer's
               Perspective
• Expect range of interviewers:
     –   Peers and senior.
     –   Intra-team vs. inter-team.
• May do one several interviews a week.
• Generally find interviewing to be one the more
  stressful day to day activities.
     –   But most also want the candidate to succeed.
• Interviewers should be polite; don’t take
  discourteous interviewers personally.
    Hiring from the Hiring Manager’s
               Perspective
• Hiring managers usually represent a specific job
  opening.
• They are in the best position to tell you the job's
  exact responsibilities and expectations.
• You may encounter 0, 1 or more hiring managers
  in your interviews.
   – Depends if candidates are assigned to positions
     before or after job offers have been made.
• Interview them as your future boss.
  Hiring from the Hiring Committee's
              Perspective
• Managers, recruiters, senior technical staff.
     –   Interviewers may only provide written feedback.
• Delay between last interview and “the decision”.
• May meet on demand or several times a week.
     –   15-30 min/candidate; dozens of candidates.
• Hiring false positives is expensive for companies.
     –   At least one strong endorsement from an
         interviewer is usually required before making an
         offer.
   Understanding the company's perspective:
    Taylor Van Vleet, YouTube
   How to prepare for a technical interview:
    Cecilia Aragon, Lawrence Berkeley Labs & UW
•   How to approach questions:
    Ellen Spertus, Google & Mills College
•   Non-technical considerations:
    Tamara Gurin, County of Alameda, CA
•   Mock interview:
    Erin Chapple, Microsoft, and Ellen Spertus
•   Q&A
                  My Experience
• Industry, government, and academia
• Research labs
• Software developer
• Employee and Contractor
• Founded own business
• 1st and 2nd level manager
• CEO
• Have screened thousands of resumes and interviewed over a
  hundred people
        Long-Term Preparation
• What material do you need to learn in class or on
  your own?
• Know what kind of job you want
• Informational interviews
• Create a resume that looks like the job you want
  – Don’t just list all your skills
  – Tailor the resume for your dream job or a waypoint
      Medium-Term Preparation
• Interview skills to develop
• Material to review
• Programming Interviews Exposed by John Mongan
  and Noah Suojanen
  – Programming problems
  – Puzzles
  – Knowledge-based questions, non-technical questions
• Story: Data Structures TA
         Short-Term Preparation
How to prepare for interview with a particular
  company?
• Company website
• Ask your friends about the company
• Review your resume & bring copies with you
• Arrive early
 Understanding the company's perspective:
  Taylor Van Vleet, YouTube
 How to prepare for a technical interview:

  Cecilia Aragon, Lawrence Berkeley Labs & UW
 How to approach questions:

  Ellen Spertus, Google & Mills College
• Non-technical considerations:
  Tamara Gurin, County of Alameda, CA
• Mock interview:
  Erin Chapple, Microsoft, and Ellen Spertus
• Q&A
          Interviews are Artificial
•   Time pressure
•   Nerve-wracking
•   No computer or reference material
•   They test interview skills
         Categories of Questions
•   Background
•   Programming
•   Puzzles
•   Algorithms
•   System design
•   Product and industry ideas
                Background
Be prepared to discuss:
• Past projects (including lines of code)
• Debugging
• Leadership or teamwork experience
• Resolving difficulties with co-workers
                  Programming
• White board
  – Practice on paper without an IDE
  – It's okay not to remember library routines
• Interviewer wants to evaluate how you think
  – Think aloud
  – Balance confidence and humility
• Question may be ambiguous
  – Make sure you understand
  – Ask questions
                  Example
“Find a substring within a given string.”
• Make sure you understand problem.
• Consider time, space, and other trade-offs.
• Test your code.
• If you don't know how to proceed
• Work through an example.
• Start simple, then optimize.
• You're not expected to be perfect.
                    Puzzles
• Purpose is to test intelligence, logic,
  problem-solving.
• Actually hit or miss.
• Approaches
• Study puzzle problems beforehand.
• Think aloud.
                  Algorithms
• Problems
  – How would you sort/search/represent/solve ...?
  – What is the efficiency of this data
    structure/algorithm?
• Approaches
  – Again, ask questions and consider trade-offs.
  – Review undergraduate algorithms and data
    structures.
  – Listen carefully to the problem.
               System Design
• Types of question
  – Class structure
  – Scalability
• Example: “Sort a million numbers.”
• Use previous techniques, especially:
  – clarifying problem
  – asking what to optimize
  – discussing trade-offs
     Product and Industry Ideas
• Sample questions
  – “How could one of our products be improved?”
  – “What could you contribute to our company?”
  – “What should we be doing?”
• Approaches
  – Be aware of what the company does and the state
    of the industry.
  – Don't say their products are perfect.
  – Think ahead.
 Understanding the company's perspective:
  Taylor Van Vleet, YouTube
 How to prepare for a technical interview:

  Cecilia Aragon, Lawrence Berkeley Labs & UW
 How to approach questions:

  Ellen Spertus, Google and Mills College
 Non-technical considerations:

  Tamara Gurin, County of Alameda, CA
• Mock interview
  (Erin Chapple, Microsoft, and Ellen Spertus)
• Q&A
 Interview Starts Before the Interview
• You are interviewing them, too!
• Research the company
• Who to ask questions?
  – Secretary or HR
     • Parking?
     • Dress code?
     • How long is the interview?
  – Hiring manager
     • Job description?
     • Size of the team?
     • Who am I interviewing with?
                 How to dress
• Makeup – as long as it makes you comfortable
• A notch above the company’s dress code
• Black suit - at a shorts & t-shirt place?
             Dealing with nerves
• Learn as much as you can before the interview
• Make yourself comfortable: water, comfortable
  shoes, time of the day, etc.
• Give yourself ample time (arrive 15 minutes prior,
  plan for 1 hr extra time after)
• If you don’t know the answer - slow down and think
• Get good night of sleep before
               Interpersonal skills
Scan the room – am I in tune?
     Confident and enthusiastic
     Eye contact, smile
     Be a team player
     Humor - in moderation
     General subjects (hobbies, interests) – in
      moderation
                     Cultural fit
Probing for a cultural fit can be implicit:
     Tell me about your project you are most proud of:
      why? what was your contribution?
     How would you document your design?
     What do you do when a customer calls you with
      <technical issue>?
               Different Cultures
• Established software company: highly developed
  SDLC process, variety of tools, high-tech, sales and
  marketing dominate
• Startup: high-intensity, minimum bureaucracy, lack of
  specialized job roles, often weak SDLC process, high-
  tech, fun
• Internal IT department: software development is not
  the company’s core competence, lack of specialized
  job roles, direct interaction with the customer, often
  bureaucracy
              Inappropriate Questions
•   Age, race, pregnancy, etc.
•   Do not offer more information than you have to
•   Don’t be arrogant but don’t be apologetic
•   Non-emotional, matter of fact response, address the concern,
    not the actual question:
    – Whether I plan to have children in the future is not really relevant to
      my career, I intend to ….
    – Whether I am pregnant or not is not really relevant to my career, I
      intend to …..
• DO NOTs in the technical interview:
    – Ask about salary or benefits – wait until you get an offer
 Understanding the company's perspective:
  Taylor Van Vleet, YouTube
 How to prepare for a technical interview:

  Cecilia Aragon, Lawrence Berkeley Labs & UW
 How to approach questions:

  Ellen Spertus, Google and Mills College
 Non-technical considerations:

  Tamara Gurin, County of Alameda, CA
 Mock interview:

  Erin Chapple, Microsoft, and Ellen Spertus
• Q&A
   Understanding the company's perspective:
    Taylor Van Vleet, YouTube
   How to prepare for a technical interview:
    Cecilia Aragon, Lawrence Berkeley Labs & UW
   How to approach questions:
    Ellen Spertus, Google and Mills College
   Non-technical considerations:
    Tamara Gurin, County of Alameda, CA
   Mock interview:
    Erin Chapple, Microsoft, and Ellen Spertus
   Q&A

								
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