A year of interviews

This year, I applied for various positions – internships, full time positions, team lead, etc. Some were for serious purposes, a few were just for fun. I have interviewed quite a number of other companies as well but have only listed some of the bigger companies below.

Company NameRoleOutcomeExperience
ByteDanceFrontend team leadFail at 1st roundWas rescheduled once. Overall, interview was very professional. I learnt a lot from it
IBMInternNo responseThey use a lot of machine learn to filter out candidate. Be sure to fill up with as much relevant buzzwords as possible. There’s no response.
Pivotal VMWare4x intern positionsRejected, no interviewHad to get someone to bump my resume up. Despite of that, I was rejected with no reason or interview provided.
MicrosoftInternRejected, no interviewWaited for about 3-4 months. At least it was a closure with rejection.
VisaInternFail at testHacker-rank questions. No IDE and no type-hinting, etc. I am too used to using JetBrains IDE. I am not sure why IDE is not allowed.
StripeInternFail at testHacker-rank questions. No IDE and no type-hinting, etc. I am too used to using JetBrains IDE. I am not sure why IDE is not allowed.
ShopeeInternRejected, no interviewThey are heavily focused on GPA. If your university grades are not larger than 4, don’t bother applying. Got rejected due to low GPA.

There are many things that I need to improve myself on. I need to work on more leetcode questions without any IDE and just plain text. This is very odd considering how the same companies’ employees would use IDE assistance during their day to day work. There seems to be some form of disconnect. Other than that, I need to use a language that don’t have built-in data structures (ie, not Java). The biggest mistake I made was that I grind leetcode questions using Kotlin + JetBrains IDE. You can view some of the questions I worked on here: https://github.com/GIANTCRAB/cs2040

Special thanks to Marcel for helping me understand some of the algorithm problems.

Out of all the companies, I think I would only try Visa, Stripe and ByteDance again. Even though it was for fun, ByteDance’s interview experience was very good.

Overall, community and opensource contribution as well as side projects did not play any role. In-fact, I think most companies do not care them. It would only make sense if you’re applying to the company that you’re contributing to. For example, you want to work at Facebook, so you contribute to React. Don’t waste your time doing side projects or contributing to opensource projects. Instead, use that time to grind leet-code.

Author: Huiren

I use free software and sometimes contribute to free software. I write about mostly technical problems I face and how I overcome them

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