Interview

Normal questions

Where do you see yourself after 5 years?

A: Either an expert in what I am going to do or in a quite different filed searching for challenges.

What are your future plans?

A: First try to be an expert in what I am to do as my first job, and then try to expand my fields and do something challenging and meaningful.

What if you are not selected?

A: This is quite a simple question, if not then I will try my best to prepare for other companies since this is not what I can change, I will gracefully accept it and dive into my next searching journey accessing myself again and preparing myself further better and try again and again until my ideal company hires me.

What’s your strengths and weakness?

A: Goal-oriented personality can be my strength, once I see a necessity then I will try my utmost to solve no matter how challenging it might be and in the end I will give myself a satisfying result, just like my body-building routines. As for weakness, then I must say it can be related to my strength, I cannot stop until the job is finished properly. I want my life meaningful and colorful so I need challenges all the time mentally and physically.

Tell me about yourself?

A as he: He got his bachelor degree at College of Software in Nankai University with aggregate 75% and now pursuing master degree in Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences with aggregate 85%. He did try different platforms (Windows, Fedora, Ubuntu, CentOS and OS X) and different programming languages (C, C++, java, python, C# and shell). And his current research lies in virtualization and hadoop optimization. Some of his latest projects are uploaded to the Github (https://github.com/Hearen). Besides this is his personal home page (https://www.lhearen.top) where lots of algorithm problems are discussed, quite impressive. He is an enthusiastic and active man. He loves sports, like martial arts (he learned taekwondo and free combat for many years and was a coach in Nankai University). When he is quiet, he really enjoys reading and listening to musics and sometimes he will ride his bike to travel around to relax.

A as I:
As for my education background, I got my bachelor degree at College of Software in Nankai University with aggregate 75% and now pursuing my master degree in Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences with aggregate 85%. Till now I did try different platforms (Windows, Fedora, Ubuntu, CentOS and OS X) and different programming languages (C, C++, java, python, C# and shell). And my current research lies in Virtualization, Cloud computing and Hadoop optimization. Some of my latest projects are uploaded to the Github (https://github.com/Hearen). I also maintained a personal home page (https://www.lhearen.top) where lots of algorithm problems are discussed.
As for family background, I have a happy family composed of my Dad, my Mom and me, three-person team.
As for myself, I’m an enthusiastic, active and self-motivated person, and I’m very fond of sports, like martial arts (I learned taekwondo and free combat for many years and was a coach in Nankai University). Also I can be quiet, when that comes, I really enjoy reading and listening to musics and sometimes I will ride to travel around to get relaxed.
Latest project:
National Hero, Friends, WillDo, OnceCloud, Beyondsphere, HadoopInitialier etc.

Why you want to join our company?

A: one, No.1 job searching company then there must lots of amazing guys, I want to work with them. No.2 the free relaxing atmosphere deeply attracts me, I just want to prove myself by result instead of meaningless formalism. No.3 Working aboard is another factor that interests me, I want to experience more when I am still young.

What’s the most challenging project you’ve ever done?

The most challenging and recent project should be Friends, which is an application used to search out the potential real friends as well as the most valuable friends in certain fields. First, I assembled a small group for it but some of them just cannot spare enough time for it as I do and as a result, their tasks were always unable to meet the deadline and then I had to finish it for them (algorithm, android client etc). Second, it’s kind of uneasy to manage people especially someone who is against your arrangement and not to mention it in public to let you know, which would just cause bad things happen at last, disastrous. Third, no mentor or senior staff helps us when we encountered some tricky implementation problems and algorithm-selection dilemma.

Attention

  1. A Thank you is always necessary to show your politeness and respect.
  2. If you really have some interest in the company, show them properly.
  3. Do not interrupt the interviewers.
  4. You’d better know the company, if you are really interested in it. If you can show great interests and knowledge about the company, it can be very impressive and it’s possible to make a difference to the final hiring decision. Not only can you answer well to the question “what do you know about us”, but also you may come up with very good questions to interviewers at the end of the interview. So always do your research about the company including its mission, culture and almost everything before your interview.
  5. Try to be a core user of the product before your interview. Many people believe that product is the core of a company and many interviewers like to test if the candidate has any sense or comment on their products although it’s a technical interview.
  6. In any interview, you will need to tell the specific reason you are applying for this company. I truly believe that people should apply for companies that can resonate with them. In other words, you should only interview companies that you believe in their missions, love their products and cultures as well. In this case, it should be very natural to have a clear answer why you want to join the company.
  7. Always be yourself. Be honest with both your advantages and disadvantages. There’s no shame to have specific drawbacks. Over the past, I noticed that interviewers are more likely to vote for candidates who are honest and modest rather than braggers.

All the points above may hardly help if you lack subject knowledge .A team of interviewers has spared a lot of time to get intelligent guys as their team mates and if they don’t find that technical expertise in you then all other traits may go into vain. So, start preparing for your placements/ interview well before time and look for what you aren’t good at .Prepare the subjects one by one. Use all the resources available to you, be it your library, internet, seniors, colleagues, faculties, friends or anybody who may help in any manner.

In a broader perspective, interviewers are trying to evaluate if they want to work with you in the future instead of you can give a correct answer to those questions.

Whiteboard

Frequent problems

  • Pseudo code
  • Incomplete code (no function/variable definition)
  • No input validation
  • Bad code style/naming
  • Unclear handwriting
  • Redundant code

The rule of thumb is that when preparing always write down your solution on a whiteboard or a piece of paper instead of in your mind.

Communication

You can keep talking about your idea when thinking even if no one else is there. Or have mock interviews with your friends or some experienced people to practice this, which is also highly recommended.

If you do not know the answer, use the most important interview phrase: “No, But….”

Question you may ask

“The last 5 people who’ve held this position - where are they now?”

There are hardly any shortcuts to pass an on-site interview. The golden rule is always to spend enough effort and time on preparation.
With enough practice, you will realize that on-site interview is not as hard as people expected and you’ll enjoy the whole process for sure.

Always welcome new ideas and practical tricks, just leave them in the comments!