Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Mastering the Art of the Technical Interview Cecilia Aragon, Lawrence Berkeley Lab & Univ. of Washington Erin Chapple, Microsoft Tamara Holden-Gurin, County.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Mastering the Art of the Technical Interview Cecilia Aragon, Lawrence Berkeley Lab & Univ. of Washington Erin Chapple, Microsoft Tamara Holden-Gurin, County."— Presentation transcript:

1 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

2  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

3 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.

4 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.

5 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.

6 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.

7 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. – 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.

8 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

9 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

10 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

11 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

12 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

13 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

14 Interviews are Artificial Time pressure Nerve-wracking No computer or reference material They test interview skills

15 Categories of Questions Background Programming Puzzles Algorithms System design Product and industry ideas

16 Background Be prepared to discuss: Past projects (including lines of code) Debugging Leadership or teamwork experience Resolving difficulties with co-workers

17 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

18 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.

19 Puzzles Purpose is to test intelligence, logic, problem-solving. Actually hit or miss. Approaches Study puzzle problems beforehand. Think aloud.

20 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.

21 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

22 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.

23 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

24 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?

25 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?

26 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

27 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

28 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 ?

29 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

30 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

31 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

32 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


Download ppt "Mastering the Art of the Technical Interview Cecilia Aragon, Lawrence Berkeley Lab & Univ. of Washington Erin Chapple, Microsoft Tamara Holden-Gurin, County."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google