Interview Kickstart Experiences? Scam?

OSIsoft / Eng xorM36
Aug 22, 2017 40 Comments

Has anyone here gone through the Interview Kickstart program? In researching online it seems the next two cohorts are full and they have been around since 2014. You would think, given the type of people that would go through this program and it's supposed popularity, that alumni would have written about their experiences online. However, looking through Quora, Google, yelp, coursereports, etc there is barely any feedback from people who have gone through the program. The little feedback you do find, are all from the same small (3-4) group of people. This is a red flag to me. Has anyone here gone through this program or know anyone that has? If so, I would love to hear about the experience. I am also considering Outco. Outco doesn't seem as extensive but their website is more professional, and they have more reviews

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TOP 40 Comments
  • Cisco cpIM32
    If you are considering it, take it. My first offer already multiplied my current salary. 3 more onsites next week.

    Keep in mind this is not a magic bullet. You will have to put in the work. But IK Makes everything so much smoother and provides a process and priceless community

    I actually miss the lectures
    Aug 25, 2017 0
  • Microsoft Rscold
    ‘InterviewKickstart’ alumni here. I took course because I like solving algo puzzles/problems. I was looking to get design/scalability part right. It was horrible. I suggest, do Leetcode. All they do is cover 2-3 problems on each section and then give homework assignment (found on Leetcode). Don’t waste your money. (I have given anonymous feedback on Quora).
    Sep 29, 2017 6
    • Microsoft Rscold
      Since you are already in Microsoft, it’s not going to be helpful. People who are clueless about Linkedlists or trees may find it helpful. I didn’t find their mock interviewers that good. Some were deliberately trying to give low rating in mocks or were confused with approach taken and when convinced that solution is right, suddenly change topic saying i was checking your confidence. Yeah, that happened.
      Sep 29, 2017
    • Microsoft Rscold
      @Gjti3848 which batch were you in?
      Sep 30, 2017
    • Microsoft Rscold
      In my case, I got calls from my classmates. One theme was, they too weren’t impressed with design part and sometimes interviews.
      Sep 30, 2017
    • New LC'ing
      Have they improved their design part since then?
      Apr 9
  • Oracle bYBVg65
    IK is a great program but still requires lots of efford from your side. You will have 15 mock interviews with people from top companies with detailed feedback. They offer 6 months of support time after program is finished (daily web meetings with person who helps you solving code problems, sessions about interview process, resume, behavior questions, negotiation etc). I highly recommend IK, but keep in mind that usually full process takes more than 8 weeks, most likely 3-4 months.
    Aug 22, 2017 8
    • Oracle bYBVg65
      I am sure Outco should be another good option. When I choose between them, decided to go with IK as program is longer.
      Aug 22, 2017
    • OSIsoft / Eng xorM36
      OP
      Is it 15 mocks or 12? When I spoke with the founder he mentioned that there would be 12 mocks. Also, what were the results of some of the others in the program?
      Aug 22, 2017
    • Oracle bYBVg65
      They increased to 15, but looks like not all people using all mocks. Sorry, I don't keep in touch with other batch members and don't know if they started interviewing, but we solved problems which I was asked during Google and Amazon interviews and with this prep could solve them way better.
      Aug 22, 2017
    • Oracle bYBVg65
      Batch members were with different background and with different goals. For some of them any job is OK, but some are already in good companies and target for something better.
      Aug 22, 2017
    • Oracle bYBVg65
      You also have an option to drop the course after first two classes if it doesn't fit you (will cost you few hundred $). But don't start course before completing all prerequisites.
      Aug 22, 2017
  • Finastra IBCA66
    IK is the best investment I ever made. They basically help engineers double their income. Everyone I kept contact with from my batch feels the same way.
    Nov 9, 2017 4
    • Microsoft Fqrxjkechj
      Disagree
      Nov 9, 2017
    • New LC'ing
      Can you please provide more details, @microsoft. I can pm you if that works better.
      Apr 9
    • Microsoft _Merlin_
      Avoid IK
      Apr 9
    • New LC'ing
      Why so?
      Apr 11
  • Op- here is my bottom-line unsolicited advice for you or anyone considering interview kickstart: don't do it if you don't come from a CS background, or at least have a good chunk of experience in software engineering.

    If you DO have a CS background though or enough experience, then you can sign up blindly even. They are the real deal.
    Aug 22, 2017 3
    • Oracle bYBVg65
      I think something like Coursera algo and DS course from Princeton + IK prerequisites could be a good start before IK.
      Aug 22, 2017
    • OSIsoft / Eng xorM36
      OP
      Interesting, why do I need a full CS background? What if I just had a year of experience as a software developer? I guess my question is what parts of the CS background are required in order to get a good experience out of IK?
      Aug 22, 2017
  • I just went through interview kickstart and cracked into Google.

    I didn't leave a review simply because I wanted to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. A couple of my batch mates also cracked into Facebook and same reason.

    It is the next best thing to sliced bread with sex.

    Every single instructor there is amazing. And I come from a CS background with 7 years of experience.

    I checked outco also. They are only good for finding your first job in the industry. IK picks up where outco ends.

    Not a scam. just a founding team that is clueless about how to grow their business despite an amazing service.

    Outco is the exact opposite IMHO. I didn't find enough meat there, coming from a CS background. And I didn't need the self awareness BS.
    Aug 22, 2017 2
    • OSIsoft / Eng xorM36
      OP
      Why do you think so many people would want to remain anonymous?
      Aug 22, 2017
  • I agree fullly with @uwsT69, but not with the part where s/he says that you need a CS background. I don't have one and I am not facing any trouble in the class.

    More importantly, the entire program and all instructors seem so vested in what they do, that the whole thing is a joy to be a part of.

    I am currently In the program and I have learnt more enjoyable and relevant stuff in just 3 weeks than I learnt ever before.

    I looked at outco also. There is not even a comparison.
    Aug 27, 2017 0
  • Intel Qwepo
    ** I wish I had known what I am going to post when I was thinking to put so much money in IK program, so posting here (and at few more forums/posts) for others, hoping it helps atleast one person ****

    If you give your best, below two courses are more than sufficient to prepare you for next programming interview ( I believe give much better understanding than what IK promising ). And all this comes in fraction of cost. I paid for these courses and learning a lot. So I am telling you from first hand experience.
    1. udemy: master the coding interview from andrei neagoie
    (Nice overview of questions , negotiations, process etc )
    2. Coursera : ds and algo specialization from university of California San Diego
    (Practice coding questions in exactly same manner as professor teaching, and you will be good to go)

    The money that you save by not buying IK services, you can use to buy yourself time and use that time to practice coding interviews.

    Hope it helps!
    Dec 14, 2018 3
    • ClearDATA zjDm22
      How was your onsite experiences after doing those courses you linked? Also, how was feedback from the mock interviews from IK?
      Dec 31, 2018
    • New LC'ing
      Thanks Intel.

      @cleardata how was your experience with IK?
      Apr 9
    • ClearDATA zjDm22
      @New: I didn’t do IK, I was asking Intel about their experience. I’m LC’ing, just like you lol
      Apr 18
  • New timber
    What is the fees for the program?
    Jun 17, 2018 0
  • New / Eng ᕕ( ᐕ )ᕗ
    I can vouch for Outco teaching you the things that leetcode won't (the non technical aspects).

    Outco is surprisingly self aware about what they're doing, and I'm a big fan because of it.

    The feedback loop with Outco is the most valuable part I got out of it. 1 on 1 practice is super valuable and rarely will you get something like that.

    As with literally anything in life, it's what you make out of it and nothing is a magic bullet.
    Aug 22, 2017 2
    • OSIsoft / Eng xorM36
      OP
      What do you mean by Outco being self aware?
      Aug 22, 2017
    • New / Eng ᕕ( ᐕ )ᕗ
      It's hard to explain as a lot of it isn't tangible, and people write it off as "fufu", "lack of substance", "emotional bullshit".

      The irony is that may be the most important part, and the engineers that ignore are likely the self-absorbed asshole archetype we all love to hate.

      I think IK is good, but it's not like what they teach doesn't exist out there on the internet.

      I'm probably gonna be shat on for being "unable to quantify this" and judgements subsequently made on my abilities as an engineer, but I'm realizing that's what holds them back as an engineer.

      If you like, I'm open to continue this over PM's.
      Aug 22, 2017
  • New LC'ing
    OP did you join IK then? How was the experience?
    Apr 10 0
  • Microsoft Scath
    Leetcode all the way. Anything else will teach you the same thing.

    That said, I wouldn't mind doing some mock interviews with them. You could get good feedbacks.
    Aug 22, 2017 0

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