FAANG Coding Interview – Do You Need Company Specific Coding Interview Prep?

FAANG Coding Interview – Do You Need Company Specific Coding Interview Prep?


What’s up everyone. Sam here from
Byte-by-Byte.com. And today I want to talk about how you should do company
specific interview prep. Alright so when I talk to new coaching
clients a lot of times they ask me the same question, which is have you worked
with someone who has gotten a job at X company? So maybe that’s Facebook or
Google. Maybe that’s some very specific company. But I understand why they’re
asking this question. The idea is that they want to work with someone who has
experienced getting candidates into that specific company that they want to work
for. And I understand that but if you’re asking that question you’re asking the
wrong question. And so today I want to talk a little bit about why that’s the
wrong question and what you should focus on instead. So the issue behind this
question is that most people are not nearly at the point where they actually
need to be worrying about whether they are doing company specific prep or not.
And what I mean by that is that most people just have so much of the
fundamentals that they still need to work on that working on the company’s
specific prep is just the icing on the cake. So if you use the cake analogy you
can’t frost a cake that doesn’t exist right. And so why are we worrying about
the frosting before we actually have the cake. And this is the problem that I see
a lot of people run into because most people have not focused enough on the
core technical skills and the core interview skills to be able to even
think about what are these specifics of these different companies. So what should
you do actually? Well the first thing you should do is you should focus on the
fundamentals. And this is something that people really tend to skip a lot and
it’s even more important if you did a bootcamp or you didn’t study computer
science as an undergrad. And what does this look like? This looks like going
through all of those common data structures and algorithms and reviewing
them. It looks like going through a linked list and understanding not only
what a linked list is and how to implement it. But what are all of those
common algorithms that go along with linked list? So for example how do I
reverse a linked list? How do I insert a node into a linked list? How do I delete
a node? How do I swap two nodes? All of these questions are
core to that like fundamental understanding of what a linked list is.
And most people have not gone through this nearly enough. There are a lot of
pretty tricky questions out there just within this realm of fundamentals. So for
example deleting a node from a binary tree, like do you actually know how to do
that right now? Because if you don’t you probably need to go back and review.
These should all be things that you can just pull out of a hat because you
already know exactly how to do them. And so if you don’t know how to do them
that’s the place that you need to start. Really coding interviews are just a
matter of combining all of these different patterns from different places
and those patterns start with the fundamentals. So if you don’t know your
fundamentals you won’t have the patterns to draw on. The next thing that you
should do once you understand those fully, all of those patterns, and all of
those different fundamental data structures. Is to understand how to solve
these problems that you might see in your interview and how to get unstuck
when you see those problems. Because this is one of the biggest problems that I
see people have. It’s not that they actually don’t know the stuff they need
to know to solve the problem. Right, as long as you’ve done your fundamentals
you know everything you need to know to solve the problem. The issue is that
you’re getting stuck somewhere and you don’t know how to get unstuck. So the
next most important thing is to really understand and practice getting unstuck
in a problem when you see it. And so I wrote a blog post about this I’ll link
to that below so that you can check it out. But there are ten different
techniques that I use to get unstuck when I’m when I’m seeing an interview
question and I don’t know what to do. And I highly recommend that you check that
out, because that’s a super important thing to cover. And now only once you’ve
done all of these things and only once you feel really confident on answering
interview questions in general, this is when you can start to look at companies
specific prep. This is when you’re just tweaking around the edges where you’re
basically good and you know everything you need to know, it’s just that little
bit of refinement that’s gonna put you over the edge. And really give you that
leg up when you go to the company. And the key
thing here if you’re looking for that information is go to GlassDoor.com.
GlassDoor is hands down the best place for this information. You can look at
those interview questions that people were asked at the company. You can look
at what sort of experiences people had and what you can expect when you go into
the interview. And this is the point you only want to do this at the very end
when you’re trying to refine everything. And this is the point where I like to
work with people who really have everything nailed down and then we can
get into that specific stuff and really research and figure out what they need
to know for that company. But if you’re worried about preparing for a specific
company focus on overall prep first and then you can come back to worrying about
that company later once you’ve got that really nailed down. So if you liked this
video please hit subscribe and below and also if you’re interested in downloading
my free e-book on dynamic programming you can do that over at Dynamic
ProgrammingBook.com and I look forward to talking to you again soon.

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