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System Design Interviews (Part II) – The Complete Guide to Google Interview Preparation

This is the sixth chapter of our The Complete Guide to Google Interview Preparation series.

We’ll continue our discussion about system design interviews from <LAST CHAPTER>. In this post, we’ll mainly focus on some practical on-site strategies.

Assuming you’ve already had a somewhat reasonable design (if not, check our previous chapter), the idea here is how to maximize the results in a system design interview. How to clearly communicate your approach is both a science and an art. Also, many candidates are too eager to show off their knowledge and tend to use some buzzwords that make no sense in the current scenario. We’ll address all these problems and red flags in this chapter.

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How To Get an Interview From Tech Giants

As everyone knows that nowadays the most straightforward way to get a job is through interviews. However, stats from 2014 shows that 98% of job seekers are eliminated at the initial resume screening and only the “Top 2%” of candidates make it to the interview.

As that being said, majority of people didn’t even get a chance for an interview, which is quite disappointing as many of them have spent months or even a year to prepare for it.

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Questions to Ask At The End of an Interview

Normally at the end of each interview, you’ll get the chance to ask questions to the interviewer. Many people don’t pay much attention to this part because they believe it won’t make any difference to the interviewer’s decision and feedback and they also have no idea about what kind of questions to ask at the end of an interview. However, it’s not always true. What I really want to suggest here is to take every opportunity you have to boost your chance.

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7 Simple Ways to Improve Code Quality In Interviews

How do you write perfect code in an interview?

From industry experience and Gainlo interviewers feedback, majority of candidates wrote crappy code in interviews, which could be bugs, terrible coding style, inconcise, confusing and so on. It’s also worth to note that there’s a significantly better chance for cleaner code to get hired because they tend to have less bugs, easy to understand and look much more professional.

Like other posts in this blog, we’ll give you very detailed and practical tips to improve code quality instead of telling you some very general ideas. Some tips won’t take you 30min to acquire, others may take a little longer. They are all very practical and you don’t need to have years experience or write a lot of codes.

1. Language selection

Most companies allow candidate to choose whatever languages they like and the most common ones are definitely C++ and Java. Although they shouldn’t have a big difference as both languages are so popular, we see significant advantages when using C++ compared to Java.

First of all, C++ has a much more concise syntax. Remember that normally you only have no more than 20min to solve a coding question and if removing the time you spend on thinking and discussing, you would usually have less than 10min to code your solution. With that in mind, C++ would allow you to write the exactly same solution with less code and less time. Try to compare list/vector and class definition, you will definitely get an idea how verbose Java is.
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