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Ask HN: SDE Interviews getting more difficult?
2 points by Ancalagon 4 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 4 comments
Hey HN, I’ve been on the interview grind for a couple of months now. Made it to four final rounds, and no offers. This in huge contrast to my last job hunt experience two years ago when I had multiple offers in hand after just three final round interviews.

Has anyone else noticed interviews getting harder? And I don’t just mean leetcode, but most final rounds now are longer (more interviews overall), and require multiple systems design and plenty of leetcode M/H. I just finished (and failed) a set of 8(!) interviews for a senior SDE position.

Maybe this is just because I’m now aiming for a higher tier of pay or experience (senior roles vs. non-senior) and need to seriously up my game, but grinding all of the leetcode and systems design, looking up companies, asking relevant questions, had really started weighing down on my personal time outside of work (~40hrs/wk). Wondering what others feel.

I tested the water during late Spring and early Summer. I didn't find it to be harder, but the processes got longer. I find the interviewers and companies are far more "arrogant" than the last time I job hunted (2018). I pretty much stop any interview process that requires take home exam, or more than 5 rounds of interviews. I got a couple of offers, but the experiences with them were so bad that I told them no. I can't imagine working with people that behave the way they did.

You have to rethink the interview process from a social psychology perspective. See



I think this book appears to be more about the STAR method right? I don’t really know if storytelling can solve 8 30 minute leetcode problems for me, but I guess maybe I can silver tongue my way out of having that many technical interviews in the first place? I guess I don’t see how this relates to the technical difficulty increase in interviews I was talking about.

Attitude is everything. Most people "lose their shit" in interviews and interview at a level less than their real level is. That's true if it is behavioral interview, technical, whatever. I have recovered from interviews where I made gaffes because I won the mental game (e.g. I couldn't answer "What is regularization?" but when they told me what it was I could show I knew "50 ways" to do it)

I never saw a question in a data science interview that couldn't be answered with: (1) "look it up in the hashtable" or (2) "look it up in the literature"

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