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I've recently interviewed in 10+ companies (interviewed as went to the last part of the process) and just changed jobs.

I have a degree in computer engineer and 5 years of experience, what I have to say:

1. In the interview process I always feel really hard to know how deep I should go in the answer... I had the same design an short url service in two different companies, one complained that I went too deep and didn't talked about the thing on a system level too much. Other said I didn't went too deep and looked like over heardish as I focused on the system level.

2. I've studied a lot of algorithms and data structure as every company thinks they are google and asks for big o notations, algorithms optimisations, implement a tree, reverse a tree blablabla. This part was the easiest in all companies as I "gamed" the system by studying it weeks in advance. Does it make me a better developer? Probably not, I already knew that stuff but if you asked me to go deep in those questions when it wasn't fresh in my mind I wouldn't be able to develop an answer. I am pretty sure that 6 months from now I won't be able to answer them in a satisfactory manner

3. I had the same singleton question and I didn't answer correctly, gave an answer like you said. Basically, I know what a singleton is, I've used this pattern in the past. Even in a C++ embedded systems app running in a touchscreen + ARM. But, please, don't ask me nuances about it. If I really wanted I could just game it as well by reading some cracking the interview questions on design patterns.

The best interviews I had were a CHAT where I talked about previous project, challenges and etc.

Not some question / answer quiz game where the interviewer is in a position of authority and I am always concerned that I am giving the answer he is expecting.

You're forgetting not everyone could game the system like that. Not everyone is as motivated as you, either. These tests (even if they are contrived, unrepresentative of real work, and gameable) give desirable results.

A test who's only flaw is that motivated individuals with good problem solving skills could "game" if they worked hard enough?

That sounds like a good tool for finding strong candidates to me.

Well said, I interview a lot of developers and always refuse to add to our interview process or ask any questions where the candidate could easily google the answer.

We will do a basic phone interview, to seek out what they know about the areas we work in and then dig - explain how it works and why how we would use it?

Then its a technical test if they pass the phone interview. Now demonstrate some the concepts we previously talked about.

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