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Ask HN: Has anyone curated a list of hidden interview questions?
160 points by Neablis 54 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 43 comments
For example Uber in-app hacking challenge https://danonrockstar.com/uber-hacking-challenge-decf3276207a

Googles foo https://thehustle.co/the-secret-google-interview-that-landed-me-a-job

I remember finding a really cool one all over network requests at one time but can't remember the company. What are other great hidden interview processes?

Oh... I thought you talk about real hidden interview questions. Like the ones they use to figure out how you got the recommendation letter to this job (i.e. if it wasn't one of their faction who they must be careful about). Or when you get a referral at a competitor and in the interview they try to get your insider info without making you an offer (i.e. "tell me about the last interesting project you worked on"). Or when they try to figure out in your first tasks after hiring how far they can let you in to the actual decision making process without shocking you. Or when in the interview there are different factions present and each tries to see how much they can pull you to their side.

I'm really interested in this sort of thing. Can you point to any practical, illusion-free resources for navigating and understanding corporate politics? Bonus if it's tailored to, idk, a "startup" instead of "a big four"

See this comment and parent thread on management, with link to Manager Tools podcast episode on politics.


I'm guilty of having done one of these things.

The repl.it jobs page is literally just a shell, and you have to figure out how to apply:


I just did a fork bomb:

jobs@repl.it:~$ :(){ :|: & };: [1] 26 jobs@repl.it:~$ bash: fork: retry: Resource temporarily unavailable

this is why we can't have nice things

I don't think it will have any effect, probably some container/vm will go down and that's it.

That's pretty cool, but they should really lock down outbound requests. You can send arbitrary curl requests to the public internet from their IP addresses (which are located in GCP). I'm not sure about mapping out the internal network, but that at least gives you a reliable proxy through Google Cloud.

SSH too. I found both Python (v2.7.13 and v3.5.3) and Perl v5.24.1 on the thing. After running ‘cat /etc/GLOBrelease’ (where glob is that pesky asterisk), I learn that it’s Debian 9, but according to ‘uname -a’ it’s Ubuntu. Fun!

Is brilliant, but there is a problem with this page. It seems that the files can be edited by any visitor. They should restrict the permits to avoid this.

I don't think It's shared.

probably running in a container or sandboxed in another way

So does anyone know the root password?

Cool but a bit too easy.

I feel like the pattern of "solve this puzzle, get an interview" has fallen out of fashion in the past few years.

In 2012 I got an interview at facebook by solving a puzzle that involved adding weights to a recursive arrangement of levers on top of levers. I remember both having a lot of fun with the puzzle and knowing that I would have never landed the interview any other way because I was coming from a non-traditional background and still relatively junior.

I think Google's foobar came out a few years later. I had some fun with them and got through the first rounds, but by that point I already had a job and never got around to finishing it.

I also remember doing some fun puzzles on codeeval, hoping their business model of linking people to companies would gain some steam, but the companies they signed up never seemed to be very interesting.

Is leetcode essentially the new codeeval?

Ya i remember doing them pretty often 5-6 years ago. When i went to remember some of the fun ones for my friends who like puzzles, i couldnt find any of them, so i posted this.

Bandcamp typically has a fun application process.


Awesome, these are exactly what I mean! Even if I don't attend to apply, they are usually really fun to do.

I wonder how many people get to the end and then don't bother to apply, either because they never intended to or because writing up with a resume is too time consuming.

I've gotten to the end of the fraud engineering application but am woefully unqualified for the work. It took me two weeks.

https://leetcode.com/ is pretty popular and has lots of actual questions. However, Google actively bans any question that ends up there.

google also actively recommends leetcode before their interviews

i also have plenty of friends who have been asked leetcode questions at google

I just signed up for https://dailycodingproblems.com, a daily email of company interview problems. I can't speak to the veracity of the claims that the problems are from actual interviews, but I have no reason to doubt their authenticity. The premium version shares the answers, too. I like it so far.

You wrote the wrong link: https://www.dailycodingproblem.com/

Ah, thanks. My bad.

I tried to design one of those for my company. We've typically just hired someone through my HN post about it recently, so I think it's working, but I'd still really like to get some feedbacks on it. I am very concerned about getting it right, having been through the shitty side of many interview processes.


The Curbside challenge was pretty fun. It may be the one you’re thinking of, lots of API calls to get the key.


Many tech companies add a link to their careers page in browser consoles. I'm not sure if that's "secret" or "cool" enough. (Facebook puts in a warning to prevent "XSS" attacks.)

AirBnB did this at least 3-4 years ago? If you watched the network traffic their HTTP headers included the email address for an engineering manager there. I stumbled on this while debugging something I wanted to file a bug report for. I didn't end up interviewing, but I remember thinking it was really cool at the time. I wonder how many applicants they got through that.

usually one person who finds it then posts it on a reddit and it loses value as a filter

Frankly I'd probably just send my resume and an email to that manager and skip the rest. You found the prize.

Bandcamp has a fun puzzle on their jobs page: https://bandcamp.com/jobs

“To apply, gather the crumbs (starting with your cookies).”

i still remember SWIM googling for hours trying to force google foobar to pop up. when it eventually did, most of the answers were on github and it got me an interview.

Would you mind explaining this like I'm 5? I'm curious but have no idea what SWIM or foobar is, and those aren't exactly googleable terms!

The other poster explained what SWIM is, basically just an acronym to give onself plausible deniability when talking about an action they don’t necessarily want to tie to themselves.

Foobar is google’s hidden coding challenge which can let people get a job interview. see: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.geeksforgeeks.org/google-fo...

SWIM = Someone Who Isn’t Me

The uber one was pretty creepy. It was right after one of their scandals broke, and I said to my driver that I guess they somehow know I write code.

Maybe you just live in SF :)

Try Interviewbit.com It has an reward based approach which is hard to shake off once the streaks build up.

Red Balloon Security 'hidden interview' process was pretty interesting, and fun! Too bad I wasn't good enough to go past a couple of stages, but to me it was the epitome example of your question.

Citymapper has a cool Colossal Cave Adventure game that pops up in DevTools console, and finishing it landed me an interview there.

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