Failed an Uber everything nyc interview last fri

Bloomberg kpij38
Apr 6, 2018 31 Comments

So it’s a small enough office maybe someone might see this and could pm me and give me feedback on what I need to work on. Recruiter “was not allowed to give feedback”. I have 15 years experience but really only got good after being at bbg the last 8 years.

I haven’t been interviewing in 8 years when these design questions were NOT popular and when leetcode questions were there but not ubiquitous. I of course did study a lot and did about 75-100 leetcode/ctci/hackerrank over about 6 months.

There was only one coding and three design and I thought I nailed the coding. However I had to ask questions and think out loud, and of course had some bugs to correct.

Design I probably could have been better, however I did a gainlo design and got 4.5 / 5 on it so I thought I was good there. My only thought is that it may have been judged by the standards of a junior level and not a senior level position.

I just want to know what to improve on since I’m clearly out of the game. Walking out of an interview and thinking I nailed it then finding out I don’t get it is a problem - I need to know where the goalposts are to be able to hit them.

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TOP 31 Comments
  • New / Eng whyy
    Wait 5 more years and you will not even be invited to the interview.
    You were invited to uber by mistake.
    Apr 6, 2018 10
    • New / Eng whyy
      And if you are not aware of PC speak you are not only old, but slow beyond repair
      Apr 6, 2018
    • Cadence °
      I thought cultural fit meant diversity and whether you were cool with that particular office's general preference regarding whether or not it was acceptable to speak to someone who is presently at a urinal.
      Apr 6, 2018
    • New / Eng whyy
      I like your definition. CF includes everything you cannot discriminate openly.
      Apr 6, 2018
    • Cadence °
      I can surely discriminate against those who wanna have conversations while their wang is in their hand!
      Apr 6, 2018
    • Uber RhKf47
      Uber doesn't do culture fit anymore
      Apr 11, 2018
  • Uber flash05
    I don't work in that office, but it could have been a culture fit or team fit issue and not any problem with your code or design.
    Apr 6, 2018 0
  • Microsoft DankusMemu
    It was probably more of a culture fit thing since it’s such a small office. You have to be able to fit into the clique. I wouldn’t take an Uber rejection personally
    Apr 6, 2018 5
    • Uber rahul2
      Office here has over 100 engineers at this point so this is unlikely.
      Apr 6, 2018
    • Microsoft DankusMemu
      Ah didn’t know it grew that big! I know some of the first few people there
      Apr 6, 2018
    • Uber / Eng Who dis?
      Yeah I wouldn't say the NYC office is cliquey.
      Apr 6, 2018
    • Jet Hhh1234
      Cliquey? Do you recommend the NYC office then?
      Apr 9, 2018
    • Uber / Eng Who dis?
      I think it's pretty solid, people generally speak pretty highly of it.
      Apr 10, 2018
  • Bloomberg kpij38
    OP
    Ah I should say that the recruiter told me he was not allowed to say then I pressed a little asking about the design and coding and he said they expected more in those areas for my level of experience. Again not sure what this means with regard to coding since I solved the problem efficiently. I could really use some specific feedback on design. I think that’s where I need help. I paid for it from gainlo but clearly I didn’t get what I paid for because a 4.5 would have been an offer
    Apr 6, 2018 3
    • Cadence °
      Maybe it's like drivers. 4.6 or below gets you fired. Smiley-Face
      Apr 6, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng AmIEwok
      Seriously, were they a bunch of people in their early 20s interviewing you?
      Apr 6, 2018
    • Bloomberg kpij38
      OP
      They were not in their 20s. Mostly 30s. I was surprised.
      Apr 6, 2018
  • Uber xxvegas
    There are many ways experienced developers can fail an interview.

    Was the coding problem easy? If it was, maybe it was just a warm up, but you spent all hour working on it.

    Having three design sessions means they likely pegged you at high level, which has very high expectations. You may have failed one or more aspects in clarity, coherence, scalability, operational concerns, etc.

    Lastly, at high level they may expect you have strong leadership. Did you have a good wartime story to tell?
    Apr 6, 2018 2
    • Bloomberg kpij38
      OP
      Yeah I have a feeling the coding problem was “easy”, tho I would have considered it medium. Perhaps they wanted to give me two. I finished it with some time left but less then 15 min and he was asking to refactor some and asking random little extra questions that I thought were superfluous in the last ten min.

      Then the scalability was probably lacking. It’s good to know these four areas. This is the kind of details I’m looking for.
      Apr 6, 2018
    • Bloomberg kpij38
      OP
      In terms of war stories I did tell some. I honestly have some pretty good experience doing read scalability. Not so much write scalability tho
      Apr 6, 2018
  • Microsoft jzRH51
    Hey OP, don't be too hard on yourself. The interview process isn't perfect, and it requires a lot of practice. I had a similar experience as you when I started interviewing after 7 years. I practices for 6 months and still wasn't doing well, but then I improved (based on feedback and more practice) over the course of 6–8 weeks and landed offers.

    I highly suggest using Cracking the Coding Interview to prepare. Lots of good questions, and the author describes everything really well. LeetCode is helpful, but not all those problems are good interview questions. Also, Cracking the Coding Interview instructs you on how to study, which is really important.

    Keep trying, and schedule some"burner" interviews at companies you're not as interested in to help practice. You can do it!
    Apr 6, 2018 1
    • Uber / Eng Who dis?
      +1. Cracking the coding interview over leetcode (or at least before leetcode). Ctci teaches you how to think about the problems and how to approach them. Using ctci I killed my NYC eng interview.
      Apr 6, 2018
  • Uber / Eng
    (💡)

    Uber Eng

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    With 15 years of experience, you were considered for a higher level and may have failed on some of competencies of that level. Have you mentored some engineers before? Handled a small group leading to consummation of a project? They are looking for someone who can give examples while designing problems from their own work and the reasons why you chose that design over the other based on your experience with so and so. What was the Problem, action and result of it. Was the result pass or fail. If it was a fail, any design decisions you may have had taken to not fail and thats why chose to go with a particular design in the problem you were solving the interview. You have to be speaking on each and every design decision you make. So, the decision could have been based on design combined with any mentorships you may not have done previously. Also, they consider culture and Uber fit. You can go over glassdoor on all things we look in a person to be considered culture fit. That includes the passion for work, taking big bold steps, risk evaluation etc.
    Apr 6, 2018 2
    • New / Eng whyy
      I must say that is very idealistic and utopian view on what people gain with experience.
      Apr 6, 2018
    • Bloomberg kpij38
      OP
      Yeah I talked about the projects I led to completion a lot. I’m kinda kicking myself I didn’t buy the grokking the design interview course and study the design Uber question. While I’ve done a lot of work in these years with heavy read scaling, I’ve mostly not had to think about any data modeling outside of one db in all my projects (like most devs)
      Apr 6, 2018
  • New hdSt7l
    I think it's exceedingly hard to get a job in Uber NYC. I landed an offer from Uber as senior swe but they could not fulfill my request for NYC office however had positions available in SF.
    Apr 6, 2018 0